This is a book I wrote in 2013, available today at Amazon.com, priced from the beginning to sell, at $4.99. A reader who is not a friend or relative gives it four stars and writes:
This is the type of book that a Bertrand Russell or a Stephen Hawking might write toward the end of his career -- after a life of specialization, venturing out to give opinions about other facets of life in which they have no particular expertise. (Bertrand Russell's "Why I am not a Christian" comes to mind.) Smitha, too, is has developed a philosophy of life, and, while he is not famous, his opinions are cogently expressed and well thought out. Along the way, he offers lots of history -- both recent and ancient -- for us to digest.
Much of the first part of the book deals with politics, and while there is much information, I would have preferred firmer opinions. And so I liked the second part better, in which Smitha lays out the rationalist position. It's not a position I myself hold, but I liked that his point of view was clear.
It's difficult to express complicated ideas in clear and cogent prose, and Smitha does this well. And the book is pretty clean editorially: I find more errors in many books published by major publishers. I would have liked a more focused title, though. In the tradition of Bertrand Russell, maybe something like, "Why I am a rationalist" would have done the job.
Overall, this slight volume is well worth a read.
One of the many philosophers the book discusses is Ayn Rand. Another philosopher, viewed more favorably, is Sandra Mitchell, author of Unsimple Truths: Science , Complexity and Policy.
Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.