Author(s): Ben Dupre
Have you ever lain awake at night fretting over how we can be sure of the reality of the external world? Perhaps we are in fact disembodied brains, floating in vats at the whim of some deranged puppet-master? If so, you are not alone and what's more, you are in exalted company. For this question and other ones like it have been the stuff of philosophical rumination from Plato to Popper. In a series of accessible and engagingly written essays, 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know introduces and explains the problems of knowledge, consciousness, identity, ethics, belief, justice and aesthetics that have engaged the attention of thinkers from the era of the ancient Greeks to the present day.
Ben Dupre read Classics at Exeter College, Oxford before pursuing a career in reference publishing. He was Children's Reference Publisher at Oxford University Press from 1992 until 2004 and, all told, has more than 20 years' experience of bringing complex and challenging concepts to the widest possible audience.
Brain in a vat Categorical imperative Lifeboat Earth Plato's cave Golden rule Just war Veil of perception Acts and omissions Prisoner's dilemma Cogito ergo sum Slippery slopes Social contract Reason and experience Beyond the call of duty Animals are people too Tripartite theory of knowledge Is it bad to be unlucky? Speciesism The ghost in the machine Virtue ethics Can bad art be good? What is it like to be a bat? Forms of argument Intentional fallacy Turing Test Deduction and induction Nature's watchmaker Ship of Theseus Barber paradox Who lit the blue touchpaper? Other minds Gambler's fallacy The greatest imaginable being Hume's guillotine Sorites paradox Problem of evil One man's meat The King of France is bald Do we really control our destiny? Divine command theory Positive and negative freedom Faith over reason Boo/hoorah theory Difference principle Falsification Ends and Means Leviathan Good science Experience Machine Theories of punishment Ockham's razor