Leading philosopher's guide to the ideas that will shape the 21st century
'Ideas are the cogs that drive history, and understanding them is half way to being aboard that powerful juggernaut rather than under its wheels'.
This is a book that celebrates the power of ideas: thought can, and does, change the world. And, in turn, ideas evolve. Fundamentalism, environmentalism and bioethics are defining our future just as Marxism, feminism or existentialism have influenced our present. So what do we need to know as we move into the 21st century? More than a simple reference work, this is A.C. Grayling's personal and heartfelt guide to the ideas, past and present, that shape our world. Covering religion, philosophy, scientific theory and political movements, each alphabetically ordered entry illuminates, elucidates and provokes. Written with Grayling's customary fire and erudition, the result is a book that aims both to arm readers with knowledge and engage them in philosophical debate.
Grayling (The Choice of Hercules) winnows a universe of ideas, ideologies, and philosophies into a personal dictionary for understanding the new century. With topics chosen according to the author s interests and for their intrinsic significance, the alphabetically organized list leaps from the antediluvian Afterlife ; War to the contemporary Artificial Intelligence ; Internet. Each self-standing entry includes a concise introduction intended as a starting point for further investigation by the reader, but the author eschews references and includes only a brief bibliography. While some readers will question the inclusion or omission of specific concepts why Vegetarianism but not global warming? the list is largely conventional if abstract and rather coolly academic. Grayling s dictionary will appeal to readers looking for a perspective of the 21st century s big ideas as seen from the ivory tower.