Philosophy

David Neil reviews The Birth of Ethics by Philip Pettit, edited by Kinch Hoekstra with Michael Tomasello

David Neil
22 April 2019

The Birth of Ethics is a remarkably ambitious and innovative work by one of Australia’s most eminent philosophers. It is the full-length statement of an argument originally set More

Peter McPhee reviews Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely by Andrew S. Curran

Peter McPhee
22 April 2019

Andrew S. Curran recounts the only meeting between the two great philosophes Denis Diderot and Voltaire early in 1778 when Diderot, aged sixty-five, insulted Voltaire, then eighty More

Lewis Rosenberg reviews Walter Kaufmann: Philosopher, humanist, heretic by Stanley Corngold

Lewis Rosenberg
25 March 2019

My favourite image from Stanley Corngold’s Walter Kaufmann: Philosopher, humanist, heretic is set in Berlin as World War II concludes. Young Walter Kaufmann, a German Jew forced More

Benjamin Madden reviews 'Enlightenment Now: The case for reason, science, humanism and progress' by Steven Pinker

Benjamin Madden
25 May 2018

For a book announcing ‘the greatest story seldom told’ – that is, the triumph of the Enlightenment and its ‘stirring, inspiring, noble’ ideals – Steven Pinker’s ...< More

Janna Thompson reviews 'Does Anything Really Matter?: Essays on Parfit on objectivity' edited by Peter Singer

Janna Thompson
30 November 2017

Philosopher Derek Parfit claimed that nothing matters unless ethical and other normative beliefs are objectively true. Parfit, who died on 1 January 2017, wrote a three-volume work, On More

Tim Smartt reviews 'The Dream of Enlightenment: The rise of modern philosophy' by Anthony Gottlieb

Tim Smartt
30 April 2017

In 1784 Immanuel Kant wrote a remarkable essay entitled ‘An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment?’ The essay, written for a magazine, provided an occasion for the great and difficult philosopher to present some of his ideas to a broader audience. The essay is short, accessible, and contains breezy descriptions of freedom, rationality, and human dignity. ... More

Tim Smartt reviews 'The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the new science of child development tells us about the relationship between parents and children' by Alison Gopnik

Tim Smartt
30 November 2016

Philosophers do not have the best track record as parents. Plato seemed to entertain the idea that children should be raised by the state. Rousseau abandoned all five of his children to an orphanage. There is a rumour that Descartes used to travel with a life-sized mechanical doll that he named after his daughter. Wittgenstein was encouraged to move on from his brie ... More

Ben Brooker reviews 'Ethics in the Real World: 86 brief essays on things that matter' by Peter Singer

Ben Brooker
28 October 2016

In its original meaning, the word ‘philosopher’ simply meant ‘lover of wisdom’. At a time when theories of knowledge were still in their infancy, it was applied to thinkers – oft More

Simon Coghlan reviews 'Run, Spot, Run: The ethics of keeping pets' by Jessica Pierce

Simon Coghlan
26 September 2016

A sea change has occurred in the way we regard pets. In recent decades the West has fervently embraced pet keeping. Australia has one of the world's highest levels of pet ownership ...

More

Janna Thompson reviews 'Hume: An intellectual biography' by James A. Harris

Janna Thompson
26 September 2016

David Hume earned his place in the philosophical pantheon mostly because of the uncompromising empiricism of his early work A Treatise of Human Nature (1738). He looked ...

More
Page 1 of 4