Listening to an Audiobook on a serious topic is a tough endeavour simply because we are generally not trained to train our auditory senses to function as stand alone inputs of absolute information processing. I say this to emphasise how this book stands out. Dispensing information about abstract issues is in itself difficult, and a challenging narrative makes the situation worse. But somehow Baggini manages to surmount these hurdles and reaches out to the reader (listener) in a beautiful manner.
This aside, I feel this book is a much required one as it dispels the notion of western philosophy being the de facto, all encompassing idea of philosophy. It explores the largely ignored concepts from East Asia and South Asia, including the fundamental difference in the very conception of the idea of philosophy. A lot of inter-generational and political conflict in a highly globalised world can be sourced to deep rooted philosophical differences. Something as basic as the emphasis of the west on individualism as opposed to the Asian emphasis on collectives and community is largely reflective in day-to-day events. Perhaps a better understanding of where each party to an event is coming from may result in mutual appreciation of standpoints.
I would have preferred for the book to have also covered African and South American outlooks as well for the book to live up to the word “World” in its title, as it largely focuses on the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, I would say the book should form an integral part of anyone’s intellect building to-read list. Perhaps it’s time we actually make sense of the inane trend of the #fromwhereistand hashtag.
PS: Julian Baggini ‘s credentials are readily available online, and it heartens me to know that he has more than enough authority to talk on the topic.