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What Do We Really Know?


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Table of Contents

Preface. Am I a Ghost in a Machine? - The search for consciousness. What is Human Nature? - The problem of interpretation. Am I Free? - Choices and responsibility. What Do We Know? - Virtual realities and valuable authorities. Are We Rational Animals? - Reason in theory and practice. How Can I Lie to Myself? - Self-deception, seduction and motivation. Is There Such a Thing as Society? - The individual and the group. Can We Understand Each Other? - Treating words carefully. Can Machines Think? - Artificial intelligence and cognitive powers. Why Be Good? - Annoying behaviour and annoying questions. Is It All Relative? - Problems of toleration, truth and confidence. Does Time Go By? - The strange river of time. Why Do Things Keep on Keeping on? - Problems of constancy and chaos. Why is There Something and Not Nothing? - The strange ways of being. What Fills Up Space? - The curious nature of things and their properties. What is Beauty? - The fatal attraction of things. Do We Need God? - Hope, consolation and judgement. What is it All For? - The pursuit of the meaning of life. What are My Rights? - Positive, negative and natural rights. Is Death to be Feared? - The awful abyss of extinction. Notes. Key Philosophers. Index.

About the Author

Simon Blackburn is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, and one of the most distinguished philosophers writing today. He is the author of the bestselling books The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Think, Being Good, Lust, Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed and How to Read Hume. He lives in Cambridge.

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