Just Think: Philosophy Puzzles for Children Aged 9 to 90 (Paperback)
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Is the world we see around us really there? Is it ever right to do something wrong? Is beauty just a matter of opinion? Should everyone in society be paid the same amount? Are miracles possible? If you find questions like these fascinating, you are a philosopher. And if you are a philosopher, this book is for you.
The book is aimed at intelligent children aged 9 to 14 and their parents or teachers. At the front are thirty philosophy puzzles, like the ones above, written for the young people themselves. These are followed by commentaries giving parents and teachers more background on each question. The book can be used by a young person on their own, or as a resource for adults leading discussions.
The puzzles are divided into sections on six major areas of philosophy: epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of science, social & political philosophy, and philosophy of religion. Each starts with a discussion between Philip and Phoebe, an argumentative brother and sister, followed by what one or more famous philosophers have said on the topic. Then there are three tricky questions, with which the reader can test family, friends, and teachers, and finally one or more websites for research. The adult commentaries on each puzzle are located in a separate section at the back of the book.
Philip West taught students aged 8 to 18 for many years in a variety of schools. He has a degree in Natural Sciences, and a PhD in Philosophy and related subjects, both from Cambridge University. The puzzles originated in a popular Philosopher of the Week competition which he ran at Westminster Under School. They were subsequently published in a well-known children's magazine and trialed successfully by FUNdays Club in Wiltshire, UK.