Alexander George believes that all of us engage with philosophical questions on an almost day-to-day basis, but that because we're not exposed to the rich tradition of philosophical writing, we don't realise it. So he set up AskPhilosophers.org, a website where a crack panel of international professional philosophers answers questions that anyone is free to submit, a selection of which questions and answers constitutes this book.
The questions vary greatly in their sophistication, consequence, degree of abstraction and areas of interest, though there is a US-centric slant to their selection. The more quotidian for example, "Is it morally wrong to lie to children about Father Christmas?" often provoke the most interesting responses and the least consensus among the experts. The answers are almost uniformly models of concision and cogency, and often dryly amusing with it. The respondents use what limited space they have to good effect a page or two at most, for even the most intractable of philosophical posers and then make referrals, where necessary, to a specialist. This is one of the best books of philosophy for people who think they don't like philosophy that you are likely to find.Reuse content