Nasty, Brutish, and Short: Adventures in Philosophy with Kids

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A fast-paced and funny investigation of life's biggest questions, guided by the world's most clever and creative thinkers--kids.

Some of the best philosophers in the world gather in surprising places-- preschools and playgrounds. They debate questions about metaphysics and morality, even though they've never heard those words and can't tie their shoes. They're kids. And as University of Michigan professor of philosophy and law Scott Hershovitz shows, they can help grown-ups solve some of life's greatest mysteries.

Hershovitz has two young sons, Rex and Hank. From the time they could talk, he noticed that they raised philosophical questions and tried to answer them. They re-created ancient arguments and advanced entirely new ones. That's not unusual, Hershovitz says. Every kid is a philosopher.

Powered by questions like: Does Hank have the right to drink soda? Is it ever okay to swear? and, Does the number six exist? the Hershovitzes take us on a fun romp through classic and contemporary philosophy. If we join kids on philosophical adventures, Hershovitz argues, we can become sharper thinkers and recapture their wonder at the world.

"This is the only parenting book I would insist everyone read, whether they have kids or not." --Merve Emre, author of The Personality Brokers and contributing writer at The New Yorker