Issue 147

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Issue 147: December 2021 / January 2022


Happiness & Meaning

by Rick Lewis


News: December 2021 / January 2022

The fault is not in our stars but in our genes • Trans rights and academic freedom • Moral dilemma? Ask a chatbot — News reports by Anja Steinbauer


Looking for the Purpose of Life

Brian King says that life’s meaning is a question of purpose; but what is the purpose of human existence?

Why You’re (Probably) Wrong About The Meaning of Life

Lewis Vaughn asks what it’s all about.

What Is Happiness?

Gary Cox asks, ‘is happiness a cigar called Hamlet?’, and other searching questions.

The Happy State

Dan Corjescu says soma could be coming.

The Philosopher with a Thousand Faces

Alex Gooch on narrative, meaning, and the failure of philosophy.


Huygens: A Scientist Among the Philosophers

Hugh Aldersey-Williams traces the philosophical connections of a polymath.

What Is Guilt?

Farah Abdessamad wonders if it is a function of responsibility.

Hegel Reading Heraclitus

Antonis Chaliakopoulos offers an intro to Heraclitus, and to Hegel, via each other.

Exploring Time

Nurana Rajabova looks for a way of seeing time as if from the outside.

Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677)

Brad Rappaport expresses the essential attributes of the prophet of pantheism.

Can Eating Meat Be Justified?

Each answer below wins a book. Apologies to the entrants not included.


Samuel Grove

Samuel Grove recently published Retrieving Darwin’s Revolutionary Idea: The Reluctant Radical. In commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of The Descent of Man (1871), Roberto Navarrete sat down with him to discuss the philosophical dilemmas Darwin faced in applying his theory of natural selection to human beings.



Representations of Reality • “But Officer, it’s clearly a plant!” • Against ‘Against Veganism’ • Existential Ethical Enquiries • Swift Responses • More Misquoting & Misdirection


Philo of Alexandria (c.20BCE-c.50CE)

by Terence Green

Philosophers on Laughter

by Matt Qvortrup

Living the Good Life

Peter Adamson ponders the ancient ethics of happiness.

From Dust to Dust

Raymond Tallis on a lifetime of cleaning.


On Philosophy and Philosophers: Unpublished papers, 1960-2000 by Richard Rorty

Daniel C. Dennett on the Richard Rorty Factor.

An Event, Perhaps: A Biography of Jacques Derrida by Peter Salmon

Omar Sabbagh on a biography of Jacques Derrida.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

Sara Bizarro reviews a classic: Mary Wollstonecraft’s pioneering Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

Minding the Gap

Dylan Skurka on a film that suggests it’s possible to choose to overcome your upbringing.


Mike Shiell’s Cartoon (1)

by Mike Shiell

Guto Dias’ Cartoon

by Guto Dias

Loren Fishman’s Cartoon

by Loren Fishman

Simon & Finn

by Melissa Felder

Mike Shiell’s Cartoon (2)

by Mike Shiell


Santa’s Existential Crisis

Samantha Neave finds that Christmas is a time for woe ho ho!

Friday Nights

by Peter Read

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