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Edge of Reason: A Rational Skeptic in an Irrational World

by Julian Baggini Yale University Press
Pub Date:
11/2017
ISBN:
9780300228724
Format:
Pbk 272 pages
Price:
AU$27.99 NZ$31.30
Product Status: In Stock Now
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An urgent defense of reason, the essential method for resolving—or even discussing—divisive issues


 


Reason, long held as the highest human achievement, is under siege. According to Aristotle, the capacity for reason sets us apart from other animals, yet today it has ceased to be a universally admired faculty. Rationality and reason have become political, disputed concepts, subject to easy dismissal.


 


Julian Baggini argues eloquently that we must recover our reason and reassess its proper place, neither too highly exalted nor completely maligned. Rationality does not require a sterile, scientistic worldview, it simply involves the application of critical thinking wherever thinking is needed. Addressing such major areas of debate as religion, science, politics, psychology, and economics, the author calls for commitment to the notion of a “community of reason,” where disagreements are settled by debate and discussion, not brute force or political power. Baggini's insightful book celebrates the power of reason, our best hope—indeed our only hope—for dealing with the intractable quagmires of our time.
“A thoughtful analysis for hyper-emotional times.”—Nature


“Baggini, who has one foot in the academic world of philosophy, another in the world of journalism, expertly straddles the abstract and the practical… Blending lucidity and passion, Baggini shows how much richer and more varied reason is than often supposed. Ultimately, he reminds us, the outcome of our reasonings has to depend not on objective truth but on what “we feel compelled to accept as objective.”—Jane O’Grady, Financial Times


“In an age in which atheist sceptics have often been full of hot air, Julian Baggini is a breath of fresh air… The Edge of Reason is a fine tour through what reason can and can’t do for us. Engaging, winsome and thoughtful.”—Nick Spencer, The Tablet “Books of the Year”


 


“It provides an extremely readable introduction to many issues related to reasoning.”—S. E. Forschler, independent scholar, Choice


 
Julian Baggini is a philosopher, cofounder of The Philosopher’s Magazine, and author, coauthor, or editor of more than twenty books. He lives in Bristol, UK.