We human beings had no say in existing—we just opened our eyes and found ourselves here. We have a fundamental need to understand who we are and the world we live in. Reason takes us a long way, but mystery remains. When our minds and senses are baffled, faith can seem justified—but faith is not knowledge. In Ultimate Questions, acclaimed philosopher Bryan Magee provocatively argues that we have no way of fathoming our own natures or finding definitive answers to the big questions we all face.
With eloquence and grace, Magee urges us to be the mapmakers of what is intelligible, and to identify the boundaries of meaningfulness. He traces this tradition of thought to his chief philosophical mentors—Locke, Hume, Kant, and Schopenhauer—and shows why this approach to the enigma of existence can enrich our lives and transform our understanding of the human predicament. As Magee puts it, "There is a world of difference between being lost in the daylight and being lost in the dark."
The crowning achievement to a distinguished philosophical career, Ultimate Questions is a deeply personal meditation on the meaning of life and the ways we should live and face death.
Bryan Magee has had an unusually multifaceted career as a professor of philosophy, music and theater critic, BBC broadcaster, and member of Parliament. His books, which have been translated into more than twenty languages, include The Story of Philosophy. He lives in Oxford, England.