Nasty, Brutish, and Short: Adven­tures in Phi­los­o­phy With Kids

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

Some of the best philoso­phers in the world gath­er in sur­pris­ing places — preschools and play­grounds. They debate ques­tions about meta­physics and moral­i­ty, even though they’ve nev­er heard the words and can’t tie their shoes. They’re kids. And as Scott Her­shovitz shows in this delight­ful debut, they’re astound­ing­ly good philosophers.

Her­shovitz has two young sons, Rex and Hank. From the time they could talk, he noticed that they raised philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions and were deter­mined to answer them. They re-cre­at­ed ancient argu­ments. And they advanced entire­ly new ones. That’s not unusu­al, Her­shovitz says. Every kid is a philosopher.

Fol­low­ing an agen­da set by Rex and Hank, Her­shovitz takes us on a fun romp through clas­sic and con­tem­po­rary phi­los­o­phy. They explore pun­ish­ment, author­i­ty, sex, gen­der, race, the nature of truth and knowl­edge, and the exis­tence of God. Along the way, they get help from pro­fes­sion­al philoso­phers, famous and obscure. And they show that all of us have a lot to learn from lis­ten­ing to kids — and think­ing with them.

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