In this witty and mischievous book, philosopher Peter Cave dissects the most controversial disputes today and uses philosophical argument to reveal that many issues are less straightforward than we'd like to believe. Leaving no sacred cow standing, Cave uses ingenious stories and examples to challenge our most strongly held assumptions. Is democracy inherently a good thing? What is the basis of so-called human rights? Is discrimination always bad? Are we morally obliged to accept refugees?
In an age of identity politics and so-called 'fake news', this book is an essential resource for reinvigorating genuine public debate - and an entertaining challenge to accepted wisdom.
Country of Publication:
01 October 2019
Professional and scholarly
0: Prologue: On hiding what we know 1: What's so good about democracy? 2: How democracy lies 3: Freedom and discrimination: burqas, bikinis and Anonymous 4: Should we want what we want? 5: Lives and luck: can Miss Fortuna be tamed? 6: The Land of Justice 7: Plucking the goose: what's so bad about taxation? 8: 'This land is our land' 9: Community identity: nationalism and cosmopolitanism 10: What's so good about equal representation? 11: Human duties - oops - human rights 12: Free speech: the Tower of Babel; the Serpent of Silence 13: Regrets, apologies and past abuses 14: 'Because I'm a woman': trans identities 15: Happy Land 16: Epilogue: In denial 17: Notes and References 18: Acknowledgements 19: Index
Peter Cave is a lecturer in philosophy for New York University (London) and the Open University. He is the author of several philosophy books, including the bestseller Can a Robot Be Human? He has scripted and presented philosophy programmes for BBC Radio 4 and has appeared on TV as a popular philosopher.
Reviews for The Myths We Live By: Adventures in Democracy, Free Speech and Other Liberal Inventions
Engaging and mentally stimulating * New Scientist on Do Llamas Fall in Love? * Britain's wittiest philosopher * Raymond Tallis, bestselling author of The Kingdom of Infinite Space *