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Arguing for a Better World: How Philosophy Can Help Us Fight for Social Justice (Paperback)
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Is it sexist to say that “men are trash”? Can white people be victims of racism? Do we bear any individual responsibility for climate change?
We’ve all wrestled with questions like these, whether we’re shouting at a relative across the dinner table, quarreling with old classmates on social media, or chatting late into the night with friends. Many people give kneejerk answers that roughly align with their broader belief system, but flounder when asked for their reasoning, leading to a conversational stalemate—especially when faced with a political, generational, or cultural divide.
The truth is that our answers to these questions almost always rely on unexamined assumptions. In Arguing for a Better World, philosopher Arianne Shahvisi shows us how to work through thorny moral questions by examining their parts in broad daylight, equipping us to not only identify our own positions but to defend them as well. This book demonstrates the relevance of philosophy to our everyday lives, and offers some clear-eyed tools to those who want to learn how to better fight for justice and liberation for all.
About the Author
Arianne Shahvisi is a Kurdish-British writer and academic philosopher. Raised in Lancashire and Essex, she studied astrophysics and philosophy at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, and now teaches applied philosophy at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, where her research focusses on gender, race, migration, and health. She writes regularly for the London Review of Books, and her essays have also appeared in the Guardian, Prospect, the Independent, and the Economist.
"If we truly hope to participate in the political and moral quandaries of our time, Shahvisi argues, we need to be able to articulate our beliefs and values, and also why we believe them. Let her be your backup at your next meeting of minds"—Reader's Digest
“Toggling between despair and hope, Shahvisi offers a practical and forgiving path into the tough discussions we have with each other—and our own consciences.”—SALON
“Firmly grounded in the philosophical spirit of critical inquiry, this entry masterfully explores nuance without losing sight of its practical stance. This is a fascinating, pragmatic resource for those who want to make a difference but don’t know where to start.”—Publishers Weekly
"A philosophy professor attempts a cooler approach to divisive political questions. In chapters with intriguing titles like 'Can You Be Racist to a White Person?' 'Is It Sexist To Say Men Are Trash?' and 'Has Political Correctness Gone Too Far?' Shahvisi attempts not 'to be "objective" or "apolitical," if such a thing were even possible,' but to 'make my reasoning clear enough that those who disagree with me will at least see where we part ways.'"—Kirkus Review