Who Am I—And If So, How Many?: A Philosophical Journey

Richard David Precht, trans. from the German by Shelley Frisch, Spiegel & Grau, $15 paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-53118-4
Precht, a German journalist, synthesizes philosophical views on topics like morality, happiness, and the soul with insights gleamed from biology and the neurosciences. While the accounts of philosophers like Immanuel Kant, anatomists such as Ramón y Cajal, and neurosurgeons like Robert White are necessarily brief and somewhat narrow, the author emphasizes the many and instructive intersections between them—what Wittgenstein and studies of deaf children can teach us about language, what Descartes and neurobiology tell us about identity formation. Precht moves between his various topics with the easy style of Alain de Botton; however, the conceit of tying each chapter to a specific city or place, thereby giving currency to the book's subtitle, is forced and redundant in light of the author's ability to move through philosophical and scientific fields with such fluency. Nonetheless, as an introduction to philosophy and one that shows its continuing relevance in a world increasingly determined by biological definitions of identity and behavior, it is a remarkably informative and lively read. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 259 pages - 978-1-84901-887-6
Paperback - 332 pages - 978-1-84901-102-0
Ebook - 221 pages - 978-0-385-53117-7
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-385-53116-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-08579-4
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.