magazine issue 32 • 4th quarter 2005
reporter 4news hound news, plus straw poll and mediawatch
11word of mouse games can make war, but not love
34stoic warriors Nancy Sherman on modern soldiers and an old ideal
39the secret Jew did Wittgenstein have a hidden agenda?
the lowdown 77the directory listings for UK and North America
78snapshotthelowdown on Peter Singer
12who’s Hume? why the great Scot is unappreciated in his home country
14omnivoreanewcolumn by Scott McLemee
15limb loathers should healthy limbs be amputated if their owners request it?
thoughts 18from 9/11-7/7 after Iraq and London, six writers revisit our 2001 forum
27sci-phididPopper put his theory into practice?
29friendsMarkVernonwondersiffriendship is up to our demands of it
forum 46Oliver Letwin a Conservative view of social justice
50the general will Tony McWalter looks to Rousseau
55just association Norman Geras goes international
59equalityrethinking what it means to be equal
64democracyKeithDowding on the majority v. justice
68the real world Stuart White gets empirical in Stockport discussion 72my philosophy Joan Bakewell
74open debate your chance to debate affirmative action
80theory of knowledge the seventh in the introductory series examines testimony
83conceptualcarverydistinguishingthenecessaryandthecontingent review 84new books Blackburn, Hampshire and other worthy destinations last words 90Bertrand’sbreakfunandgames
96the skeptic flabby thinking on lard arses subscriptions & TPM shop page 44
The Philosophers' Magazine/4th quarter 2005 One reason why we don’t see more philosophers opining in the newspapers and the popular media is that they often steadfastly refuse to give the press the cut-and-dried, straightforward and preferably polarised soundbites they require. As the old joke about a protest of philosophers goes, their cry is “What do we want? A proper and measured debate! When do we want it? At the appropriate time!” You can forgive circulation chasing editors for not leaping on that story.
However, many of the articles in this issue provide reminders that philosophers can say some pretty controversial things, which have the power to reinvigorate tired discussions. For instance, Richard Norman (p21) makes the grave charge that there is a moral equivalence between acts of terror and acts of war in which civilians are inevitably killed, such as the American-led invasion of Iraq. He’s not the first to accuse the US and Britain of criminal acts in Iraq, but when the case is made by measured reasoning rather the philosophers’
98 Mulgrave Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 6LZ, UK Tel: 020 8643 1504 Fax: 0709 237 6412 firstname.lastname@example.org www.philosophers.co.uk Editors Julian Baggini (print edition)
Jeremy Stangroom (new media)
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Contributing Editors Susan Dwyer, Simon Eassom, Peter Fosl, Michael LaBossiere, Jeff Mason, Christopher Norris, Christian Perring Illustrations/Graphics Felix Bennett (cover), Jerry Bird, Molly Crabapple, Pipo di Bressana, Michael LaBossiere, Gareth Southwell. Contributors’ Notes Contact the editor to submit proposals. Please do not send unsolicited manuscripts. Contributors Bat-Ami Bar On, Ranjit Chatterjee, Simon Clarke, Avner de-Shalit, Keith Dowding, Peter S Fosl, Nick Fotion, Norman Geras, Wendy Grossman, Joss Hands, Alan Haworth, Jennifer Hornsby, Mathew Iredale, Edward than shrill polemics, you have to pay attention.
Conservative politician and former philosopher Oliver Lewtin (p46) also expresses some surprising views, such as the fact that he broadly supports Rawlsian ideas of wealth distribution and that he can imagine circumstances in which sharing wealth more equally would be the top priority. Whether or not you agree with him, this is probably the most thoughtful interview you’ll see a politician give in a long time.
Yet as our interview with broadcaster Joan Bakewell (p72) shows, on the whole philosophers have not been too successful at adding their voices to society’s wider conversation about ideas and values – at least not in Britain.
The challenge of reaching out without dumbing-down or talking-down is a tough one. However, as books like Simon Blackburn’s Truth (reviewed on p84) show, top philosophers are no longer leaving it all to the pop philosophers to have a go.
Johnson, Sue Johnson, Michael LaBossiere, Joseph McCarney, Scott McLemee, Tony McWalter, Richard Norman, Beth Pearson, Duncan Pritchard, Jonathan Rée, Nancy Sherman, Mark Vernon, Jonathan Walmsley, Stuart White, Jonathan Wolff Distribution by (UK) Central Books, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN Tel: 020 8986 4854 (North America) Ingram Periodicals Inc., 1240 Heil Quaker Blvd., La Vergne, TN 37086-7000; Tel: (615) 793 5522; Ubiquity Distributors Inc., 607 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Tel: (718) 875 5491 Printed by Warwick Printing, Caswell Road, Leamington Spa CV31 1QD With thanks to Denis Collins, George Leaman, The Rainnies, Pam Swope. Subscriptions UK: 01442 879097 North America: 1 800 444 2419 See page 44 for full details
© 2005, The Philosophers’ Magazine and contributors
All views expressed in The Philosophers’ Magazine represent those of the authors of each article and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or publishers.
The Philosophers' Magazine/4th quarter 2005