Issue 69: September/October 2008


What Simone Said

by Anja Steinbauer


News: September/October 2008

Italian Festival of Philosophy • Nagel Nabs Morality Prize • Atheists Urged to Be More Cuddly — News reports by Sue Roberts


A Question of Vengeance

Pauline O’Flynn explores de Beauvoir’s argument that punishment is necessary to demonstrate that the degradation of humanity can never be ignored.

Becoming A Woman: Simone de Beauvoir on Female Embodiment

Felicity Joseph finds that sometimes it’s hard to become a woman.

The Accents of Her Ruby Lips

Annina Lehmann argues that wearing lipstick is a choice which shows that though we’re influenced by society, we can still make decisions about who we want to be.

The Ethics of Ambiguity

Charlotte Moore freely subjects de Beauvoir’s ethics to a discerning scrutiny.

The Second Sex

Sally Scholz traces the major currents of Simone de Beauvoir’s main work.


Daniel Dennett: Autobiography (Part 2)

Daniel C. Dennett reflects on his philosophical life, in this episode from the time he received his first academic post, at the University of California, up to 2003.

Philosophy and the Art of Living

Mark Vernon says don’t do philosophy, become a philosopher!

The Merits of the Milesians

Chad Trainer seeks out the causes of the birth of Western philosophy.

What Makes Human Beings Unique?

Hans Lenk on symbols, interpretation and the nature of thought.



Our twenty-third thoroughly thrilling textual teaser thoughtfully thrown together by Deiradiotes.


Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has had a run-away success with The Black Swan, a book about surprise run-away successes. Constantine Sandis talks with him about knowledge and scepticism.



Gordon’s Destructive Creativity • Just Words • Steiner Decliner • The Heart of Art • Free Existential Joke • Extraordinary Ethical Extractions • Not A Single Dual • Freedom Fudge • What Is Free Will, Anyway?


Dear Socrates

Having traveled from the turn of the Fourth Century B.C. to the turn of the Twenty-First Century A.D., Socrates has eagerly signed on as a Philosophy Now columnist so that he may continue to carry out his divinely-inspired dialogic mission.

First Person, Second Person, Third Person

by Joel Marks

George Moore’s Hands: Scepticism About Philosophy

Raymond Tallis is sceptical about Moore’s scepticism about scepticism.


Language, Consciousness, Culture: Essays on Mental Structure by Ray Jackendoff

Petter Naessan talks Ray Jackendoff’s cultured thinking.

The Bible – The Biography by Karen Armstrong

Marcus Wheeler reads a Bible story by Karen Armstrong.

The Philosophy of Film Noir

Les Reid sees through a lens darkly with Mark Conard.


Grant Bartley looks behind the images of the film Robots to find three perspectives on artistic greatness.


Only Human

Peter Worley’s heroine discovers that love goes deeper than the senses can penetrate.

Cogito Ergo Sum

Juke James thinks himself into a poem.