phi los o phers’ the
reporter 4news hound news, plus straw poll and mediawatch
12fertile blogs? Ophelia Benson examines the rise of the philosophy blogger
15Dublin tour the thinking person’s guide to the Irish capital
18word of mouse Luciano Floridi on the arrival of Vista
thoughts 19on reasons Jonathan Dancy pens The TPM Essay
25sci-phi are robots starting to wake up?
27Xenophon why Socrates’s chronicler is more than just a historian
30provocations the evolution of right and wrong
31troth and truth in trust we reason, argues Edmond Wright
issue 37 • 1st quarter 2007
forum 36Anthony Kenny our forum interviewee, on doubt and certainty
42imperial folly Stuart Sim on the empires of belief
46being agnostic another ex-priest resists atheism
50on probability why certainty does not belong in the God wars
54West is best? why the occident has lost its nerve
58clarity in 2D the virtue of gross over-simplifi cation
discussion 62my philosophy Argentine novelist Guillermo Martínez
67open debate Stephen Law on the war for children’s minds
the lowdown 79conceptual carvery how to make your arguments valid and sound
80snapshot the lowdown on Hannah Arendt
82the directory listings for UK and North America
83pop culture South Park kicks off our new series – sweet!
review 86new books Ronald Dworkin, Jonathan Glover, Richard Sorabji and more
last words 92Bertrand’s break crossword, cartoon, puzzle and nonsense
94letters irritability factor: severe gale to stormy
75talking politics top philosophers answer key questions
96the skeptic saving children from claptrap
subscribe! see page 66
The Philosophers' Magazine /1st quarter 2007 I’ve been looking around at the wonderful world of mass media and have realised that we need to do a few things differently here at TPM if the magazine is going to face the challenges of the twenty-second century, nay, the third millennium. First, we need to dispense with so-called “expert” writers and get our readers to produce the whole magazine for us. Why shouldn’t the new citizen journalism extend to philosophy? What’s Kant got that the rest of us don’t? Second, we need to identify trends for you to follow, but so rapidly that you have no chance of keeping up. Deontic logic is so last month – perlocutionary speech acts are the fl avour of this week. We also need personal ads. “Disjunctive logician in search of existential qualifi cation seeks satisfaction with conjunct.” Such heart-warming gems will provide proof that philosophers are human too. Barely. Fourth, more real-life stories. Picture specials
phi los o phers’ the phi los o phers’ the phi los o phers’ magazine phi los o phers’ magazine phi los o phers’
98 Mulgrave Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 6LZ, UK Tel: 020 8643 1504 Fax: 0709 237 6412 firstname.lastname@example.org www.philosophersnet.com
Editors Julian Baggini (print edition) Jeremy Stangroom (new media) Deputy editor Ophelia Benson Reviews Editor Jonathan Derbyshire email@example.com
Contributing Editors Susan Dwyer, Simon Eassom, Peter Fosl, Michael LaBossiere, Jeff Mason, Christopher Norris, Christian Perring
Illustrations/Graphics Felix Bennett (cover), Jerry Bird, Pipo di Bressana, Susannah Gill, Michael LaBossiere, Gareth Southwell.
Contributors’ Notes Contact the editor to submit proposals. Please do not send unsolicited man u scripts.
Contributors Christopher Brooke, William W Clohesy, Jonathan Dancy, Luciano Floridi, Gerald Flynn, Peter S Fosl, James Garvey, Wendy Grossman, Mathew Iredale, Emily Jackson, Morten Ebbe Juul Nielsen, Richard Koch,
inside the studies of C-list philosophers, for example; or exclusive snaps from the academic weddings of the year. Fifth, a touch of show-business glamour. Our “My Philosophy” series of interviews (see p62) is all very well, but surely the more famous the interviewee, the more fascinating their philosophy will be? I bet Michael Jackson has an interesting take on dialectical materialism. Sixth, we need to show how philosophy is not just an intellectual discipline, but a lifestyle. What sort of armchair does a contemporary existentialist need? What wines should you serve (and not serve) to lubricate metaphysical debate? What will the smart phenomenologist be wearing in 2007? TPM will be changing over the coming year. The ideas above constitute a kind of checklist against which you can judge whether we change in keeping with our ethos, or whether we simply lose the plot.
Michael LaBossiere, Stephen Law, Michel Petheram, Henry Phillips, Stuart Sim, Chris Smith, Stephen Unwin, Mark Vernon, Alex Voorhoeve, Robin Waterfi eld, Edmond Wright, Catherine Yu
Distribution by (UK) Central Books, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN Tel: 020 8986 4854 (North America) Source Interlink, 27500 Riverview Center Blvd., Bonita Springs, Florida 34134; Tel: (239) 949-4450 Ubiquity Distributors Inc., 607 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Tel: (718) 875 5491
Printed by Warwick Printing, Leamington Spa CV31 1QD
With thanks to George Leaman, The Rainnies, Pam Swope.
Subscriptions UK: 01442 879097 North America: 1 800 444 2419 See page 66 for full details
© 2007, The Philosophers’ Magazine and contributors ISSN 1354-814X All views expressed in The Philosophers’ Magazine represent those of the authors of each article and do not necessarily refl ect those of the editors or publishers.
The Philosophers' Magazine /1st quarter 2007