What Is Philosophy For?


Why should anybody do philosophy? Is it just one more detailed study, like metallurgy or German? Or is it perhaps something more like History and Literature and even – traditionally – Religion, something meant to do them some personal good – a study that could influence their own lives? Renowned moral philosopher Mary Midgley takes on these provocative questions in her most up-to-date statement on the specific forms of many of our current intellectual anxieties and confusions, and how to deal with them, providing a robust defense of philosophy and philosophizing in the process. This defense is expertly placed in the context of contemporary debates about science, religion, and philosophy and asks, in the light of scientific and technological developments, do we still need philosophy and religion to help us think about big questions about meaning, knowledge, and value?

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Why should anybody take an interest in philosophy? Is it just another detailed study like metallurgy? Or is it similar to history, literature and even religion: a study meant to do some personal good and influence our lives?“Engaging and accessible, this vigorous swansong exemplifies many of Midgley’s virtues, and revisits many of her favourite themes.” – The Tablet In her last published work, Mary Midgley addresses provocative questions, interrogating the various forms of our current intellectual anxieties and confusions and how we might deal with them. In doing so, she provides a robust, yet not uncritical, defence of philosophy and the life of the mind.This defence is expertly placed in the context of contemporary debates about science, religion, and philosophy. It asks whether, in light of rampant scientific and technological developments, we still need philosophy to help us think about the big questions of meaning, knowledge, and value.

Additional information

Weight0.256 kg
Dimensions19.8 × 12.9 × 1.4 cm










100 (edition:23)


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