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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Say 'philosopher', and someone grand, old and bearded might come to mind. But, as philosophy professor Scott Hershovitz shows in this delightful debut, some of the best philosophers in the world are better described as nasty, brutish and short—that is to say, they're children. Children make wonderful philosophers because they constantly question things that grown-ups take for granted, test theories about the people around them and try to work out the way the world works. Following the lead of his two young sons, Rex and Hank, Hershovitz takes us on a unique tour through classical and contemporary philosophy, steered by questions like, does Hank have the right to drink Fanta? When is it okay to swear? And does the number six exist?

Fast-paced and funny, Nasty, Brutish, and Short is a unique guide to the art of thinking. Alongside Rex and Hank, Hershovitz investigates big questions about rights, revenge, punishment and authority, sex, gender and race, the nature of truth and knowledge, the size of the universe and the existence of god. The result is an irresistible invitation to become more discerning thinkers, by cultivating our innate, childlike wonder at the world.

©2022 Scott Hershovitz (P)2022 Penguin Audio

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  • C. Stannard
  • 05-20-22

Fascinating insight into philosophy with kids

Nasty, Brutish and Short is a fascinating book that delves into the depths of philosophy. The author has two young boys and he talks about their philosophical wonderings and how inquisitive children are fantastic philosophers.

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading this book, but I ended up being very pleasantly surprised. For context, I have always had an interest in philosophy and studied it at university; I also have two young children who ask ALOT of questions.

There are so many different topics covered here - Critical thinking, philosophy of mind and ethics as well as talk about existence, race, punishment and so much more. I really enjoyed being reminded of my previous studies in reading this book, and it gave me some good ideas for ways that I can have better conversations with my own children.

Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in philosophy who also has children.

My thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for sending me this ARC in return for an honest review.