Synopses & Reviews
Here is a thorough, vividly written introduction to contemporary philosophy and some of the most crucial questions of human existence: the nature of mind and knowledge, the status of moral claims, the existence of God, the role of science, and the mysteries of language, among them.
In Thinking It Through, esteemed philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah shows us what it means to "do" philosophy in our time and why it should matter to anyone who wishes to live a more thoughtful life. Opposing the common misconceptions that being a philosopher means espousing a set of
philosophical beliefs, or being a follower of a particular thinker, Appiah argues that "the result of philosophical exploration is not the end of inquiry in a settled opinion, but a mind resting more comfortably among many possibilities, or else the reframing of the question, and a new inquiry."
Thinking It Through is organized around eight central topics--mind, knowledge, language, science, morality, politics, law, and metaphysics. It traces how philosophers in the past have considered each subject (how Hobbes, Wittgenstein, and Frege, for example, approached the problem of language) and
then explores some of the major questions that still engage philosophers today. More important, Appiah shows us not only what philosophers have thought but how they think, giving us examples we might use in our own attempts to navigate the complex issues that confront any reflective person in the
Filled with concrete examples of how philosophers work and written in the liveliest prose, Thinking It Through guides readers through the process of philosophical reflection and enlarges our understanding of the central questions of human life.
Davis discusses the increasing role of interest groups, the press, and the public, whose role is not prescribed in the Constitution, in the selection and confirmation of Supreme Court justices and how it affects the process. First he examines in detail the history and nature of the process, then he looks at the role and impact of other players. His conclusions about how non-political actors affect the outcome of Supreme Court justice selection leads him at the end of his book to suggest controversial reforms and their prospects for success.
About the Author
is Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University. He is the author of The Web of Politics: The Internet's Impact on the American Political System
, The Press and American Politics
, 3rd edition, and Politics and the Media
. He is co-author, with Diana Owen, of New Media and American Politics
. He is also co-author, with Bruce Bimber, of Campaigning Online: The Internet in U.S. Elections
, a book on the Internet's role in the 2000 elections.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Broken Process
1. Traditional versus New Players
2. The Politics of Judicial Selection
3. How the Process Broke: The Transformation of the Supreme Court Appointment Process
4. New Roles for External Players
5. Today's Nomination Process: The Battle over Image
6. Reforming the Process
Appendix A: A Note on Methodology