The Undercover Philosopher

Pages: 296
Subject: Philosophy
Imprint: Oneworld

The Undercover Philosopher

A Guide to Detecting Shams, Lies and Delusions

Michael Philips

In this gripping and controversial book, Michael Phillips outlines all the reasons we don't know what we think we do, and the devastating consequences this can have.
Paperback
9781851685813 (27 Jun 2008)
RRP £9.99 / US$16.95

The Book

What caused the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986? Why were thousands of parents wrongly accused of child sex abuse in the 1990s? Why do law courts throughout the world rely on a process that is next to useless? And why do people entrust millions of dollars each year to hedge-funds that economists agree use flawed financial models?





The answer is failure. Not just any failure; but failure of knowledge. In this gripping and controversial book, Michael Phillips outlines all the reasons we don't know what we think we do, and the devastating consequences this can have. From false memories to fraudulent experts, Phillips treads in the footsteps of Descartes to reveal why we must be more careful in what we believe and how we think. Spanning psychology, philosophy, science, and sociology, this unique exploration of why we get things wrong, and how to guard against it, is an essential read for anyone seeking to make sense of the chaotic world in which we live.

Additional Information

Subject Philosophy
Pages 296
Imprint Oneworld

About the Author

Michael Philips taught philosophy at American and Canadian universities for more than thirty years. Professor emeritus, performance artist, and author of numerous books and scholarly articles, he has written for publications ranging from Mind and Philosophy Now to the New York Times.

Reviews

"A great book! Writing with clarity and good humour, Michael Phillips reminds me of a great philosophical collector, an Aristotle of errors, as he enthusiastically categorizes specimens of every kind of mistake, con and self-deception and describes how we can guard against them." Rick Lewis, Editor of Philosophy Now"A magnificent book - a user's guide to one's own brain. He details the insidious tricks our brains play on us and how to guard against them. As a scientist, I found humbling, but right on target, his assessment of the sociological limitations on our search for Truth. His writing is compact, clear, and delightfully free of academic jargon." Steven N. Austad, author of Why We Age: What Science Is Discovering about the Body's Journey Through Life