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

Simon Coghlan

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 ...


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

Janna Thompson

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 ...


Craig Taylor reviews 'Ultimate Questions' by Brian Magee

Craig Taylor

This small book is the culmination of a lifetime's thought about some of the deepest and most unfathomable philosophical questions: the limits of our ...


Simon Caterson reviews 'The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times' by A.C. Grayling

Simon Caterson

As a liberal-minded, London-based philosopher prepared to engage in the mainstream press with major topics of the day, A.C. Grayling is always up for a challenge. Although much of Grayling's commentary conforms to the classical liberal view of things, now and then logic dictates that he takes a stance that may seem radical in those terms.

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J.M. Coetzee reviews 'The Modernist Papers' by Frederic Jameson

J.M. Coetzee

Though by profession a scholar of literature with a specialism in French literature, Fredric Jameson (born 1934) has made his mark as a cultural historian and even as what used to be called an historian of ideas. His chef d'oeuvre, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991), provides one of the more persuasive cognitive maps we have of ... More

Damian Cox reviews 'Moral Injury' edited by Tom Frame

Damian Cox

Military personnel on active service are deliberately put in harm's way. The harm can be physical, psychological, and moral. The first two kinds are well known if not well understood. But what of the third kind of harm? How does moral harm differ from psychological harm? This collection attempts to answer the question by bringing together the views of many people: e ... More

Adrian Walsh reviews 'Consciousness and Moral Responsibility' by Neil Levy

Adrian Walsh

Consider the following dilemma. If it is possible to identify the cause of a person's action and beliefs – causes that are outside the agent's own conscious reasoning – in what sense can we say that the person chooses what she does or she thinks? If the person did not consciously choose, then it is reasonable to ask whether she should be held morally responsible ... More

Ian Ravenscroft reviews 'Historical Justice and Memory' edited by Klaus Neumann and Janna Thompson

Ian Ravenscroft

On 10 June 1838, eleven men – ten whites and an African – slaughtered about thirty indigenous people at Myall Creek in northern New South Wales. The victims were hacked down with swords, and the killers returned a few days later to dismember and burn the bodies. The existence and interpretation of events like this have been deeply controversial since the publica ... More

Ian Ravenscroft reviews 'The Most Good You Can Do' by Peter Singer

Ian Ravenscroft

Much contemporary moral philosophy is highly abstract, with technical arguments advanced on issues that appear far removed from ordinary life. But not all academic ethics has this form. The field of practical ethics has flourished over the last four decades, bringing philosophical techniques to bear on ethical issues in medicine, animal husbandry, climate change, an ... More

Janna Thompson reviews 'Actual Consciousness' by Ted Honderich

Janna Thompson

Our perceptual world is rich in colour and sound. We think and imagine. We experience repugnance and longing. Meanwhile, in our brains neurons are firing and chemical reactions are taking place. Conscious experience and brain events are obviously related. Reputable Australian philosophers insist that they are one and the same. But how can events with such different ... More

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