In her brilliant and witty Plato at the Googleplex (Pantheon, $29.95), Rebecca Newberger Goldstein puts her novelist’s imagination and her scholarly gravitas to work in carrying on the tradition of the Socratic dialogue. Blending ancient history with a contemporary book tour, Goldstein follows Plato’s dictum that “the best thinking is always playful,” as she pits the Ancient against the Tiger Mother in an energetic discussion about raising exceptional children, introduces him to Google to update his ideas about knowledge, and presents his answers on the Myers-Briggs test. Overall, Goldstein refutes the scientists who claim that philosophy has not made progress. By using the form and method of Plato’s moral reasoning, she shows that these are not archaic relicts but ever-practical tools that have helped us see, for instance, that slavery is wrong. More important, these nimble colloquies show that philosophy, unlike physics, doesn’t discover new facts but gives us the perspectives with which to understand what we know.

Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307378194
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Pantheon Books - March 4th, 2014

Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307456724
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2015

Religion Without God has something for everyone: for atheists and theists, artists and physicists, liberals and conservatives. Which was exactly Ronald Dworkin’s goal, to allow polarized groups to communicate. He does this (or attempts to do this – you decide) by revealing the basic, moral foundations of “the good life.” In Justice for Hedgehogs, Dworkin laid out his case for the unity of value, which he explores further in the context of religion and theism in Religion without God. At only 160 small pages, the book is digestible, despite being philosophy. Furthermore, it is engaging; it’s philosophy that you can participate in and argue with and apply to your own life.
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ISBN: 9780674726826
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harvard University Press - October 1st, 2013

If you’ve ever wondered, as Heidegger, put it, “why is there something rather than nothing?” try imagining nothing. That inconceivable void is the point of departure for Jim Holt’s thorough parsing of the question, Why Does the World Exist? (Liveright,$16.95). Holt, author of Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes, is a genial and thoughtful guide to the many theories we’ve come up with to explain the universe, from creation myths and a benign deity to godless materialist theories and on to the wild, everything-goes scenarios of the multi-verse. For each line of inquiry, Holt surveys the major literature and interviews the experts, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each argument. So why is there something? Ultimately, the answers don’t resolve the matter but raise more questions, implicitly suggesting, perhaps, that the world exists to make us wonder.
Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780871403599
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Liveright - April 8th, 2013