Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Really, Really BIG Questions

I always LOVE finding a great book to add to my classroom library collection, especially when it's unexpected. Today I found this one in a clearance bin at Marshall's five minutes before the store was closing for the night (we'd stopped in after dining out to see if they had chop sticks).

Really, Really Big Questions About Life, the Universe, and Everything by Dr. Stephen Law is literally a book full of philosophical questions. A few of my favorites include:

Did someone design the universe?
What is the meaning of life?
Can I think about nothing?
Is my mind my brain?
How can you fake psychic powers?
What makes stealing wrong?
How important is happiness?
Is it okay to eat animals?
What is knowledge?
Are we all selfish?
Are there really miracles?

These are only a few out of about a hundred questions. I find them fascinating and have a feeling kids will too. I could see using this book as a inspiration piece for writing. It would be so cool to challenge kids to ask questions such as these and write what they think and then find out what others think.

It was a great find, a hardback for 7 bucks. And it has an introduction, table of contents, glossary, index, and humorous illustrations by Nishant Choksi. I always consult to find out more about books I'm interested in. Here's what they had to say...

" unusual and fun introduction to philosophy that explores life’s important but often unanswered questions. Readers will be able to explore the history of thought and the great thinkers and learn how to think rationally for themselves. Mind-teasers, optical illusions and thought experiments make this philosophic journey unforgettably fun!"

"Dr Stephen Laws a senior philosophy lecturer at Heythrop College in London and the editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy’s journal THINK, which aims to introduce philosophy and its merits to a wide audience. Stephen has written numerous academic papers as well as books for both adults and children including the hugely popular The Philosophy Files."

It's amazing how one book can spark so many ideas...

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