Three Questions We Never Stop Asking

Prometheus. Aug. 2010. c.274p. illus. ISBN 978-1-61614-186-8. $28. PHIL
Kellogg, an attorney with a degree in philosophy from Oxford University, examines the relevance of Western philosophy in today's world by looking at what he sees as its three core questions: What can I know? What may I hope? What ought I to do? He examines each of these questions separately by comparing and contrasting, for each question, the theories of two different philosophers. For the first question, he uses Plato's theory of forms and contrasts it with Wittgenstein's theories on the limits of philosophy in establishing metaphysical truths. In the second section, he examines Kant's ethical views and his concept of God along with Nietzsche's replacement of universal ethics with personal values. The third section considers ethics through Aristotle's theories on virtue and Heidegger's philosophy on the nature of being.
VERDICT Kellogg does a wonderful job of showing that Western philosophy's role may not be to find concrete truths, but rather to expand our knowledge of what it means to be human. Readers new to philosophy and those with a background in the subject will find this accessible book highly rewarding.
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