Issue 103

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Issue 103: July/August 2014


How Did He Do That?

by Rick Lewis


News: July/August 2014

David Armstrong Dies • Kindergarten Ethics Lessons • Stephen Hawking warns of Artificial Intelligence dangers — News reports by Sue Roberts and Anja Steinbauer


Wittgenstein,Tolstoy and the Folly of Logical Positivism

Stuart Greenstreet explains how analytical philosophy got into a mess.

The Tractatus… is it so intractable?

Carlos Muñoz-Suárez guides us on a trip down the linguistic rabbit hole.

“The world is all that is the case”

José Zalabardo investigates which problem Wittgenstein is trying to solve.

The Tractatus Code

Sándor Szegláb decodes the hidden message of the Tractatus.


Does Philosophy Get Out of Date?

Mary Midgley says philosophy is about understanding the context and about understanding how we came to be where we are.

Climate of Disbelief

Paul Biegler asks whether the way we form our beliefs means we’re hardwired to succumb to global warming.

The Philosophical Library

Rick Lewis on libraries, philosophical classics, unexpected discoveries and the challenges of a digital age.

How to Read Philosophy

What follows is an extract from a forthcoming book called AQA AS Philosophy by Gerald Jones, Dan Cardinal & Jeremy Hayward – an engaging, student-friendly textbook designed to help UK high school students embrace and enjoy philosophy at AS level. It seemed such a useful guide that we decided to print it here as well.

Public Life, John Dewey, and Media Technology

Hans Lenk and Ulrich Arnswald use John Dewey’s distinction between public and private life to consider some implications of information technology.

The Impossibility of Maximizing Good Consequences

Lawrence Crocker on lotteries, reasonable actions, and weird outliers.

Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872)

Dale DeBakcsy tells us how Ludwig Feuerbach revolutionized philosophy and got absolutely no credit for it.

How Should I Live?

The following readers’ answers to this central human question each win a book.



Feeling Philosophical? • High Class Underworld • Defending Derrida • More Arguments About God • Impinging on Realities • Philosophical Speculations


The Comet Cometh

Tim Madigan hears Pierre Bayle’s 17th century plea for religious toleration.

A Small Explosion From A (Relatively) Quiet Atheist

Raymond Tallis considers democracy and assisted dying.


Ethics Without Morals by Joel Marks

Bill Meacham finds Ethics Without Morals easy enough to live with.

Knowledge by Ian Evans and Nicholas D. Smith

Nick Everitt is uncertain about a book on Knowledge.

How To Live: Wise (and not so Wise) Advice from Philosophers by Martin Cohen

Patricia Cleveland-Peck gets some ‘dodgy’ advice from philosophers concerning How To Live.

War Horse

Colin Brookes gains ethical understanding from a profound aesthetic experience.


Simon & Finn

by Melissa Felder

Chris Madden’s Cartoon

by Chris Madden

Chris Gill’s Cartoon

by Chris Gill


Dream or Reality?

Edo Shonin and William Van Gordon dream of the not too distant future.

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