Issue 39

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Issue 39: December 2002 / January 2003


Monkey Business

by Rick Lewis


News: December 2002 / January 2003

Oxfam in Royalties Row • Worm Wins Nobel Prize • Lakatos Recording Put Online • Scientist Aims to Create Artificial Life


Chomsky on Global Myths and Realities

We live in the era of the global free market. Or do we? And now that the Cold War is over, why are the arms manufacturers still looking so prosperous? Political theorist Noam Chomsky thinks he knows why, as Mike Fuller explains.

Corporate Crises: A Philosophical Challenge

Alan Malachowski tries to unravel the philosophical mistakes which led to America’s recent boardroom catastrophes.

Investment Sayings May Mislead You

Stephen Doty says that the accumulated folk wisdom of the investment community should be taken with a large pinch of salt.


Do Computers Have Syntax?

Michael Philips on the question of whether computers can think.

Is a Philosophical Ethics Possible?

Richard Taylor explains how ethical reasoning is like travelling up an escalator, and describes the difficulties of choosing between competing systems of ethics.

Is Homosexuality ‘Bad Faith’?

Terri Murray says that Jean-Paul Sartre was simply wrong about gay people and self-deception.

Life After Death

Reincarnation? Disembodied survival? Resurection? Steve Stewart-Williams ponders the possible ways in which he could survive his own death, and decides that he doesn’t have a ghost of a chance.

Omissions & Terrorism

Ted Honderich explains why he thinks that we in the West are partly to blame for the terrorist attacks on September 11.

Philosophy & Humour

Is there a possible world in which the great philosophers became successful standup comedians instead? No, there isn’t, says Trevor Curnow – and he shows us why…

The Nun’s Priest’s Tale

Les Reid on sex, freedom and literature.

The Poet’s Metaphysical Role

Rilke thought that the point of poetry was to immortalize that which is transitory. Peter Rickman explains.

Using the F-Word in Philosophy Classes

Ellen Miller on the word which can generate so much instant hostility and misunderstanding.



Mars Attacks? • Guns and Guardians • Faith and Certainty • Swift Response • Immoral Philosophers • Dying for One’s Country • What’s It For? • Charitable Thoughts • A Touch of Sarcasm? • Mind and Morals


Dear Socrates

Having returned from the turn of the Fourth Century B.C. to the turn of the Twenty-First A.D., Socrates has eagerly signed on as a Philosophy Now columnist so that he may continue to carry out his divinely-inspired dialogic mission.

The Etiquette of Ethics, or Morality as an Affliction: the Feeling Fallacy

by Joel Marks


Philosophy & Living by Ralph Blumenau

Roger Caldwell is provoked by Ralph Blumenau’s new history of philosophy.

The Death of Reality by Lawrence Dawson

Antony Flew scorns Lawrence Dawson’s attack on Wittgenstein.

Why Blame the Organization? by Raymond Pfeiffer

Michael Boylan enjoys Raymond Pfeiffer’s book on collective responsibility.

Lord of the Rings

This film column has been seized by Christian allegorists. Tom Wartenberg has been overthrown! (For now.) Meanwhile, here is Bill Murray’s commentary on Lord of the Rings.


The Prime Directive

A short story about ethics and the Final Frontier, by Alister Browne.

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