July 14, 2024


Veteran Baby Makers

Often lighthearted (and frequently hilarious), Scott Hershovitz talks philosophy in “Nasty, Brutish and Short”

This job interview was edited for length and clarity.

In his new reserve “Nasty, Brutish, and Quick: Adventures in Philosophy With My Young children,” Scott Hershovitz, professor of regulation and philosophy at the College of Michigan, shatters the notion that philosophy need to be reserved for the ivory tower. Some of the best philosophers, he points out, are small children. Naive and unabashed, young children are unafraid to query matters we as grown ups take for granted. Hershovitz’s very own precocious sons, Rex and Hank, are definitely unafraid to question factors — in particular their father’s authority. 

As Rex and Hank pose philosophical issues (Does the range 6 exist? Do I have legal rights? etcetera.), Hershovitz employs these humorous anecdotes as indicates to discover weighty issues ranging from racial and gender equality to the nature of reality. Usually lighthearted (and commonly hilarious), “Nasty, Brutish and Short” pairs the boys’ observations with powerful arguments from up to date philosophers to offer an available intellectual survey of quite a few of philosophy’s best inquiries.