Philosophy

Roman Krznaric's 'Empathy'

Miriam Cosic
31 March 2014

When I was a child, comparing the behaviour of two people in my circle was formative. One would turn out to help in any situation, from raking dirt on the local school oval in a working bee to stopping the car late at night to check on an old man hanging over the rail at a city tram stop. He never talked much about these actions, nor dramatised the recipients’ nee ... More

Jaana Thompson illuminates 'Enlightenment Shadows'

Janna Thompson
28 February 2014

From the Enlightenment, according to contemporary critics, came a dream about human progress from which we have awakened. The Enlightenment is commonly presented as an intellectual era when philosophers believed that reason would solve all human problems and provide a solid foundation for morality and politics. But surely we now know better.

... More

Stephen Buckle on 'The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter'

Stephen Buckle
27 September 2013

In this short and accessible book, Steven Nadler, an accomplished historian of seventeenth-century philosophy, turns his attention to René Descartes (1596–1650) and his cultural milieu in Holland in the 1630s and 1640s. His angle of approach is to take the familiar portrait of Descartes, attributed to Frans Hals – versions of which grace the covers of the ... More

Tony Coady reviews 'Why Priests?'

Tony Coady
26 September 2013

Garry Wills is a distinguished American historian whose writings over the past twenty years or so on the frailties of the Catholic Church, notably in such books as Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit (2000) and Why I Am a Catholic (2002), have provided stinging critiques of the institution to which he still steadfastly belongs. His new book, < ... More

Graham Oppy reviews 'A Frightening Love'

Graham Oppy
27 August 2013

The main aim of this book, which is written by a philosopher for other philosophers, is to take them to task for their failings. As Andrew Gleeson writes in his preface, ‘overall the book is a case study in the dissociation of a certain way of doing philosophy from its subject matter’.

... More

Jay Daniel Thompson on 'Philosophy in the Garden'

Jay Daniel Thompson
27 August 2013

P hilosophy in the Garden is the latest book from philosopher and social commentator Damon Young. The text contributes to existing studies of the cultural and personal significance held by gardens. Young begins by noting that gardens ‘can console, calm and uplift’, as well as ‘discomfit and provoke’. This range of responses adds to ... More

Janna Thompson reviews 'European Aesthetics'

Janna Thompson
28 April 2013

It is possible to imagine a culture that treats art merely as decoration, but to inheritors of the European tradition this idea of art’s function is demeaning. We expect great art to express or reflect the spiritual and philosophical preoccupations of our cultural heritage. No system-building philosopher in modern European history would have failed to incorporate ... More

Frank Jackson reviews 'Introspection and Consciousness'

Frank Jackson
08 March 2013

I have beliefs about what you believe. I also have beliefs about what I myself believe. The big difference between the two cases is how I come by these beliefs. By and large, my beliefs about what you believe come from observations of your behaviour (understood in a wide sense, which includes the environment in which your behaviour is located). Here are ... More

Craig Taylor reviews 'The Antipodean Philosopher, Volume 2'

Craig Taylor
27 November 2012

This volume, which complements a collection of public lectures by Australian and New Zealand Philosophers, comprises separate interviews with fourteen prominent Australasian philosophers. Many general readers will be unfamiliar with the interviewees, the exception being Peter Singer, whose international reputation transcends academic philosophy. However, the subject ... More

Glyn Davis reviews 'The Making of Modern Liberalism'

Glyn Davis
24 October 2012

In a famous essay on poetry, English philosopher Michael Oakeshott evoked the metaphor of conversation to describe how people share and discuss ideas. A conversation, suggested Oakeshott, allows a continuous discussion between past and present, between the thought of earlier generations and the pressing needs of the present. A conversation is not a search for truth ... More

Page 3 of 4