Issue 94

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Issue 94: January/February 2013


Reading, Writing, Thinking

The first few articles in this issue look at literature and its contributions to ethics, to political philosophy, and to our understanding of the nature of language. We asked the very philosophical novelist and short story writer Tibor Fischer to kick things off with a few words about the relationship between philosophy and literature.


News: January/February 2013

Ben Goldacre wins Against Stupidity Award • A Theory of Justice: The Musical! • Philosophy helps schoolchildren to shine — News reports by Sue Roberts


Reading Jane Austen as a Moral Philosopher

Thomas Rodham keenly observes Jane Austen’s exacting ethical expertise.

Democracy & Tragedy

Mark Chou argues that the performance of tragedies helped establish democracy.

“Nobody Said Anything”

Meghan Bidwell ponders language and silence in the short stories of Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway.

The Twin Souls of Oscar Wilde and Friedrich Nietzsche

Yahia Lababidi meditates on the aesthetics and ethics of two great contrarians.

I Re-Read, Therefore I Understand

Kimberly Blessing tells us René Descartes’ advice on reading philosophy.



Helen McCabe considers problems with different ideals of equality.

A Matter of Consent

Simon Smith argues that many discussions of abortion miss the point.

Instabilities in Nature & Art

Malcolm E. Brown and Steve Hubbard ask if scientific laws are fact or fiction.

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)

Alistair MacFarlane considers the being and times of the writer of Being and Time.

What Are The Most Important Things To Know?

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


J.J.C. Smart (1920-2012)

Graham Nerlich remembers an amiable and versatile Australian philosopher.


William Irwin

William Irwin edits Blackwell’s ‘Philosophy And Pop Culture’ book series. Grant Bartley asks him about Black Sabbath & Philosophy.



Returning To Nietzsche • It’s Not Immaterial • Buddhist Recommends Desires • McGavin Rejoins Dennett • Mindful of Tallis • Doubting The Truth


Trade Secret

by Joel Marks

“Wad Some Power The Giftie Gie Us”

Tim Madigan takes up a very gentlemanly system of morals.

Where Is My Itch?

Raymond Tallis is itching to find out.


The Laws of Belief by Wolfgang Spohn

Richard Baron forms some beliefs about Wolfgang Spohn’s book.

A User’s Guide to Thought and Meaning by Ray Jackendoff

Nikki Dekker doesn’t think too much of Ray Jackendoff’s book.

Donald Davidson: A Short Introduction by Kathrin Glüer

David Fraser is introduced to Donald Davidson’s thinking by Kathrin Glüer.

The Lion King

Jonathan Barfield argues that an Existentialist trumps a Christian interpretation of this popular Disney parable.


Simon & Finn

by Melissa Felder

Bill Stott’s Cartoon (1)

by Bill Stott

Bill Stott’s Cartoon (2)

by Bill Stott


Vulgar Intrusions

Daryn Green takes a satirical swipe at philosophical disengagement.

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