Issue 159

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Issue 159: December 2023 / January 2024


Free William?

by Rick Lewis


News: December 2023 / January 2024

A new (and problematic) use for chatbots • Monkey business with stem cells • Consciousness: Koch loses bet to Chalmers — News reports by Anja Steinbauer


Spinoza & Other Determinists

Myint Zan compares different ways of denying free will.

What Is Free Will?

Grant Bartley wants to know what the problem with freedom is all about.

Criticising Strawson’s Compatibilism

Nurana Rajabova is wary of an attempt to dismiss determinism to keep free will.

Materialism, Freedom & Ethics

Philip Badger constructs a materialist ethical theory, with the help of John Rawls.

The Will Is Not Free: You Have To Earn It

Basil Gala on what it takes to free ourselves from our formative factors.


Saying, Keeping Silent & Showing

Slavoj Žižek on Wittgenstein and Cancel Culture.

Torture & Ticking Bombs

Edward Hall is sceptical about this infamous ethical example’s usefulness.

Parrhesia & Doing Philosophy with Children

Maria daVenza Tillmanns considers the need for freedom of speech for children.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

Warren Ward looks at the history of a man who looked at the history of the world.

What Are The Limits of Knowledge?

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


Terry Pinkard

Terry Pinkard, Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University in Washington DC, talks to AmirAli Maleki about how Hegel can help us make sense of modern social, cultural and political hot topics.



A Pool of Philosophical Reflections • Arendt versus Anti-Semitism • Entertainment, Ancient & Modern • Additional Maths Problems • Back To Reality • Both Philosophical & Vegetable


William James (1842-1910)

by Terence Green

Philosophers on Football

by Matt Qvortrup

The How & Why of Consciousness

Raymond Tallis says the mysteries haven’t been solved.

The Discipline of Action

Massimo Pigliucci tells us how to practice forebearance.


Debating Multiculturalism: Should There Be Minority Rights? by Peter Balint & Patti Tamara Lenard

Elaine Coburn navigates differences.

The Revolt Against Humanity by Adam Kirsch

Ian James Kidd responds to rejections of humanity.

Looking for Theophrastus by Laura Beatty

Chad Trainer hunts for a lost thinker.

Rationalism in Politics by Michael Oakeshott

Anika Vijapur revisits Michael Oakshott’s critique of rationalism in politics.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Jason Friend hacks your identity algorithm.


Phil Witte’s Cartoon (1)

by Phil Witte

Phil Witte’s Cartoon (2)

by Phil Witte

Guto Dias’ Cartoon

by Guto Dias

Van Scott’s Cartoon

by Van Scott

Simon & Finn

by Melissa Felder


Rudolph’s Revenge

Samantha Neave tells a good old-fashioned tale of Christmas scheming.

The Ides of March

by Robert Edmondson

The Enlightenment Philosophers’ Seven-A-Side Football Team

by Sarah Rochelle

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