Issue 111

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Issue 111: December 2015 / January 2016


The Philosophy of Humor

by David Boersema


News: December 2015 / January 2016

Cressida Cowell wins Philosophy Now Award • Study claims religious children “less altruistic” • Can Ought Not Imply Can? — News reports by Anja Steinbauer


Lawyers, Blondes & Irishmen

Anja Steinbauer on who can make fun of what, when and how.

Nothing Is Funny But Laughing Makes It So

Alan Soble encounters problems in thinking about comedy.

The Nature of Laughing at Ourselves

Mordechai Gordon takes ideas about not taking ourselves too seriously seriously.

The Philosophy of a Controversial Joke

Isadora Mosch considers why we laugh at things that aren’t funny.

In Defense of Humorous Nihilism

John Marmysz looks on the funny side of absolute nothingness.


The Free Will of Ebenezer Scrooge

Richard Kamber considers the possibility of changing destiny.

Al Qaeda and ISIS: From Revolution to Apocalypse

Audrey Borowski briefs us on the very different ideologies of two superficially similar terrorist organisations.

When Apes Have Their Day In Court

Shawn Thompson follows legal efforts in the U.S. and Argentina to win rights for apes, exploring arguments about morality and autonomy along the way.

Wittgenstein & Occam: A Philosophical Conversation

Christian Erbacher and Lu Jiang imagine a meeting between a modern and a medieval philosopher.

Time: The Big Squeeze

Peter Cave barely avoids being crushed into a singularity. Phew!

Alfred Tarski (1901-1983)

Alistair MacFarlane thinks through the life of a godfather of logic.

What’s More Important: Freedom, Justice, Happiness, Truth?

The following answers to this categorical question each win a random book.



Balancing Liberty and Equality • The Eternal Return of the Absurd • Getting The Moral Facts • Einstein A No-Go… • A Beautiful Mind • Trial Response


Women’s Works

Peter Adamson thinks about the women in the history of philosophy.

Reality & Stability: From Parmenides to Einstein

Raymond Tallis wonders how stability has changed.


Classical Philosophy by Peter Adamson

Ken Shouler whizzes through Classical Philosophy.

States of Shock by Bernard Stiegler

Peter Benson recovers from States of Shock.

The Philosopher, The Priest, & The Painter by Steve Nadler

Massimo Pigliucci studies a portrait of Descartes.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Raffaele Alberto Ventura views a self-portrait of industrial society.


Steve Delmonte’s Cartoon

by Steve Delmonte

Simon & Finn

by Melissa Felder

Chris Madden’s Cartoon

by Chris Madden

Jon Carter’s Cartoon

by Jon Carter

Bill Stott’s Cartoon

by Bill Stott


Philosophy 101

Bradley Roote asks: what does baseball have to do with philosophy?

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