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    • Imported from USA.

    Is philosophy obsolete? Are the ancient questions still relevant
    in the age of cosmology and neuroscience, not to mention
    crowd-sourcing and cable news? The acclaimed philosopher and
    novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein provides a dazzlingly
    original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its
    hidden role in today’s debates on religion, morality, politics,
    and science.

    At the origin of Western philosophy stands Plato, who got about
    as much wrong as one would expect from a thinker who lived 2,400
    years ago. But Plato’s role in shaping philosophy was pivotal. On
    her way to considering the place of philosophy in our ongoing
    intellectual life, Goldstein tells a new story of its origin,
    re-envisioning the extraordinary culture that produced the man
    who produced philosophy.

    But it is primarily the fate of philosophy that concerns her. Is
    the discipline no more than a way of biding our time until the
    scientists arrive on the scene? Have they already arrived? Does
    philosophy itself ever make progress? And if it does, why is so
    ancient a figure as Plato of any continuing relevance? Plato at
    the Googleplex is Goldstein’s startling investigation of these
    conundra. She interweaves her narrative with Plato’s own choice
    for bringing ideas to life—the dialogue.

    Imagine that Plato came to life in the twenty-first century and
    embarked on a multicity speaking tour. How would he handle the
    host of a cable news program who denies there can be morality
    without religion? How would he mediate a debate between a
    Freudian psychoanalyst and a tiger mom on how to raise the
    perfect child? How would he answer a neuroscientist who, about to
    scan Plato’s brain, argues that science has definitively answered
    the questions of free will and moral agency? What would Plato
    make of Google, and of the idea that knowledge can be
    crowd-sourced rather than reasoned out by experts? With a
    philosopher’s depth and a novelist’s imagination and wit,
    Goldstein probes the deepest issues confronting us by allowing us
    to eavesdrop on Plato as he takes on the modern world.

    (With black-and-white photographs throughout.)

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