Issue 71

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Issue 71: January/February 2009


God or Nature?

by Grant Bartley


News: January/February 2009

International Darwin Day celebrations • Deaths of outstanding philosophers and tortoises • Cleanliness and Godliness — News reports by Sue Roberts


Darwin On Moral Intelligence

Vincent di Norcia applies his mental powers to Darwin’s moral theory.

Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

Sherrie Lyons revisits Evolution and Ethics by Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwin’s most energetic defender and the coiner of the word ‘agnostic’.

Purpose, Meaning & Darwinism

Mary Midgley meditates on mind and meaning among the mutations.

Social Spencerism

Tim Delaney relates how Herbert Spencer, inventor of the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’, originally applied evolutionary thinking to human society and culture.

The Evolution of Evolutionary Theory

Massimo Pigliucci recounts the history of the theories of evolution, and asks whether evolutionary biology has ever shifted paradigms.


Augustine’s Choice: The Lord of Light or the Light of the Lord?

Charles Natoli considers whether St Augustine had any better reason to convert to Christianity than remain a Manichean.

Everything is a Goat

Bill Capra rebutts a cosmological argument against goatism.

Paternalism and the Law

Barbara Hands considers whether it is ever right for the law to limit your freedom of choice and action, for your own good.

Up The Nile With A Child: What the Sphinx had to say…

Artemis Pittas and Rafael Guzman take a trip through time and space on a boat.

Welcome To My Philosophy Class

Lecturer Wayne Buck has written a letter to his students explaining what philosophy is, and how to do it.



Our twenty-fifth nexus of nominally numbered nouns neatly nested by Deiradiotes.



Religion vs Science Preempted • The Spray Can of God • Be Not Nice to the Nasties • Two Perfect Letters • Probably Philosophy • Don’t Believe In Me • Be Happy Together • Right to Coerce • How To Do Philosophy?


Dear Socrates

Having traveled from the turn of the Fourth Century B.C. to the turn of the Twenty-First Century 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.

Dewey and Darwin

Tim Madigan on how Darwin influenced the Pragmatist.

Mysterious Loss, or Something About a Body

by Joel Marks

Just A Little Tune I Found In My Mouth

Raymond Tallis muses on music, memory and memes.


Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong by Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen

Tony Beavers considers a timely understanding of machine ethics.

The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang

Mark Cyzyk finds out how to be a loafing scamp.

Why We Hate Us by Dick Meyer

Kurt Keefner argues that Americans have had enough of Dick Meyer’s Pragmatic medicine.

V for Vendetta

Floris van den Berg watches The Open Society and its Enemies, the movie.

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