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philosophers’ the

magazine

reporter 4news hound news, plus straw poll and mediawatch

13omnivore Scott McLemee lacks inspiration

14Iran mystery the puzzle of the jailed philosopher

17word of mouse Luciano Floridi on keeping customers

thoughts 18body talk keep fit with Richard Shusterman

25sci-phi agreeing to disagree

27strength of will why not stopping bad habits is rational

31provocations thinking what you want to think

issue 36 • 4th quarter 2006

41Blair’s guru what the prime minister saw in John Macmurray

forum 46duty to rescue Alex Voorhoeve introduces the forum

49what we owe Jonathan Glover argues for giving much more help than we do

54drop the guilt Paul Collier wants a more rational basis for aid

58responsibilites David Miller unpicks the ambiguities of responsibility

64Chinese miracle Linda Yueh on what we can learn from China

68do NGOs work? putting the credibility of aid to the test

76my philosophy Mylo destroys rock and roll

80terrible terror the verdict on Ted Honderich’s TV show

the lowdown 82snapshot the lowdown on Martha Nussbaum

84the directory listings for UK and North America

85conceptual carvery facts with value

review 85new books gardens, genes, relativism, Mill, poetry

last words 92Bertrand’s break fun and games

33marginalia the joys of Kant’s notes and scribbles

37on flirting should you fear the killer-flirt?

discussion 72iconoclast Kenan Malik and Janet Radcliffe Richards debate Peter Singer

94letters you set us straight

96the skeptic why sci-phi is not stranger than fiction

Win Sartre books! See competition on page 44

The Philosophers' Magazine /4th quarter 2006 A couple of issues back we featured a series of comics called Action Philosophers! If you read this issue of TPM , however, that title will seem much less oxymoronically funny that it did back then. While describing this edition as “all-action” might be stretching it a bit, there’s certainly plenty of activity to be found within. Richard Shusterman’s lead essay (p18) sets the tone with an argument that mind and body are so closely linked that to do philosophy without attending to such factors as breathing, posture and physical health is as crazy as trying to run a marathon in flip-flops. His thesis is so out-ofkilter with dominant thinking about philosophy that it comes as a surprise to find his arguments extremely credible indeed. Our forum (p45) also concerns the need to do and not just think. It concerns our duties (or lack of them) to help the developing world. Jonathan Glover (p49) believes that, although philosophers may not be best equipped to actually alleviate suffering directly, they do have a

philosophers’ the

magazine

98 Mulgrave Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 6LZ, UK Tel: 020 8643 1504 Fax: 0709 237 6412 editor@philosophers.co.uk www.philosophersnet.com

Editors Julian Baggini (print edition) Jeremy Stangroom (new media) Deputy editor Ophelia Benson Reviews Editor Jonathan Derbyshire reviews@philosophers.co.uk

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, Susannah Gill, Michael LaBossiere, Gareth Southwell.

Contributors’ Notes Contact the editor to submit proposals. Please do not send unsolicited manuscripts.

Contributors Paul Collier, Luciano Floridi, Peter S Fosl, Jonathan Glover, Wendy Grossman, Mathew Iredale, Carrie Jenkins, Michael LaBossiere, Scott McLemee, Kenan

role in arguing the moral case for a fairer world in which abject poverty becomes a thing of the past. It’s a challenging argument that is likely to leave you wondering if even your most basic consumer non-essentials are obscene luxuries. The action doesn’t stop there, however. We have a guide to the philosophy of flirting that might just have some practical implications (p37), a discussion of Ted Honderich’s controversial television programme about terrorism (p80), an explanation of why giving up smoking might be so difficult because it’s irrational (p27), news on the release of a dissident Iranian academic (p14), and a review of a book on the philosophy of gardening as an activity (p88). Fortunately for Action Philosophers (check out their new anthology and “Hate The French” issue, by the way), they have more jokes than just their title. Otherwise it would be back to the drawing board for a new comedy concept. Sexy Philosophers , anyone?

Malik, David Miller, Tristan Moyle, Michel Petheram, Duncan Pritchard, Janet Radliffe Richards, Fred Rauscher, Kieran Setiya, Bart Shultz, Steve Schwartz, Richard Shusterman, Peter Singer, Mark Vernon, Alex Voorhoeve, Jeane Warren, Linda Yueh.

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, Leamington Spa CV31 1QD

With thanks to Ian Bray, Denis Collins, George Leaman, The Rainnies, Pam Swope, Sharon Tobias.

Subscriptions UK: 01442 879097 North America: 1 800 444 2419 See page 34 for full details

© 2006, 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 reflect those of the editors or publishers.

The Philosophers' Magazine /4th quarter 2006