By Gideon Calder
Popular Great Philosopher's Series.An accessible overview of the work of one of our most influential living philosophers, as part of the popular Great Philosophers series. Richard Rorty is often cited as the most prominent philosophical defender of postmodernism. Best known for his unusually readable books and articles on philosophy - most notably Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979) and Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989) - Rorty has for some years now been a wide-ranging public intellectual, unwilling to be confined within the boundaries of academe. There is no real school of Rortianism. But Rorty-bashing is almost an industry in itself. He is a renegade to purists, a reactionary to radicals and a subversive to conservatives. And yet he presents his ideas as the culmination and extension of many of the most familiar and fashionable trends in contemporary thinking.
The Reason of Things
By A.C. Grayling
The follow-up to THE MEANING OF THINGS which continues A.C. Grayling's philosophical journey through lifeThe most important question we can ask ourselves is: what kind of life is the best? This is the same as asking: How does one give meaning to one's life? How can one justify one's existence and make it worthwhile?How does one make experience valuable, and keep growing and learning in the process - and through this learning acquire a degree of understanding of oneself and the world? A civilised society is one which never ceases debating with itself about what human life should best be. Some would, with justice, say that if we want ours to be such a society we must all contribute to that discussion.This book is, with appropriate diffidence, such a contribution. It consists of a collection of Grayling's regular 'Last Word' columns in the Guardian. This time topics include Suicide, Deceit, Luxury, Profit, Marriage, Meat-eating, Liberty, Slavery, Protest, Guns and War.