HomePhilosophia: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 41 no. 1 (2012)

BOOK NOTE: Nicholas Fearn. Philosophy: The latest answers to the oldest questions London: Atlantic Books

Nicolo M. Masakayan

Discipline: Social Science



Nicholas Fearn has written a useful book for both beginners and long-time devotees of philosophy. The part of the subtitle that should interest the experienced philosophy professionals would be the “latest answers.” Beginners, meanwhile, will find the lucid and example-laden discussion of the “oldest questions” useful as they try to learn their way about.


How does Fearn manage this juxtaposition? First, he produces three basic philosophical questions (Who am I? What do I know? What should I do?) which designate the three parts of his book. Contained in these three parts are more detailed problems, which constitute the book’s thirteen chapters. We have, for example, under “who am I?” chapters on the self, free will, other minds, and the soul. These different chapters flesh out, for the most part, the classic philosophical problems. They are the “oldest questions” mentioned in the title.