The essays in this book, drawn mainly from A. C. Grayling's columns in Prospect, the Dubliner and The Times, are in fact responses to questions set by editors and readers. If beauty existed only in the eye of the beholder, would that make it an unimportant quality? Are human rights political? Can ethics be derived from evolution by natural selection? If both sides in a conflict can passionately believe that theirs is the just cause, does this mean that the idea of justice is empty? Does being happy make us good? And does being good make us happy? Are human beings especially prone to self-deception? As in his previous books of popular philosophy, including the best-selling The Reason of Things and The Meaning of Things, rather than presenting a set of categorical answers Grayling offers instead suggestions for how to think about every aspect of a question, and arrive at one's own conclusions. As a result Thinking of Answers is both an enjoyable and inspirational collection.
A.C. Grayling is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a multi-talented author. He believes that philosophy should take an active, useful role in society. He has been a regular contributor to The Times, Financial Times, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Economist, Literary Review, New Statesman and Prospect, and is a frequent and popular contributor to radio and television programmes, including Newsnight, Today, In Our Time, Start the Week and CNN news. He is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum at Davos, and advises on many committees ranging from Drug Testing at Work to human rights groups.