In brief: John T. Noonan on the High Court and Michael Kochin on gender in Plato.Dec 30, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 16 • By
BOOKS IN BRIEF
Narrowing the Nation's Power: The Supreme Court Sides with the States by John T. Noonan Jr. (University of California Press, 208 pp., $24.95).
A SLIM MAJORITY of the Supreme Court has over the past decade expanded states' immunities against federal authority. These decisions are the target of John T.
William James's lectures on religion, a century later.Dec 30, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 16 • By JOSEPH LOCONTE
A CENTURY AGO, the psychologist, philosopher, and agnostic William James delivered the prestigious Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh. His 20 addresses were published in 1902 as "The Varieties of Religious Experience," which soon became one of the most widely read works on religious belief by an American. Before James, no scholar had devoted such attention to the process--and the effects--of conversion. His basic argument: There is something authentic and profoundly beneficial about religious belief.
John McCain's "Worth the Fighting For" and Behnegar on Leo Strauss.Dec 23, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 15 • By
BOOKS IN BRIEF
Worth the Fighting For: A Memoir
by John McCain, with Mark Salter
Random House, 396 pp., $25.95
AS A RECOVERING McCainiac, I hesitated to pick up the new John McCain-Mark Salter volume. Their previous effort, McCain's war memoir, "Faith of My Fathers," was so good that I expected "Worth the Fighting For" to be a disappointment.
John Rawls, 1921-2002.Dec 16, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 14 • By PETER BERKOWITZ
JOHN RAWLS, who died on November 24 at age eighty-one, was the towering figure of academic liberalism. A gentle, dignified, self-effacing man, he taught philosophy at Harvard for more than thirty years and exerted a commanding influence on his profession, single-handedly shifting its dominant picture of itself and the world.
Before Rawls, professors of philosophy, when they addressed questions about politics at all, restricted their analysis to the use of words and their logical relations.
From the September 22, 2002 Washington Times: A new book on film editing finally gives the great Walter Murch his due.12:00 AM, Sep 26, 2002 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
THE MOVIE INDUSTRY is peculiar for many reasons, among which is this: The least important and most interchangeable artists in the community (actors) are the best known and rewarded, while the most-skilled and least replaceable artists (writers and editors) are virtually anonymous. To wit: Everyone in America knows who Adam Sandler is.
The life and times of an analytic philosopher.Jul 15, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 42 • By THOMAS HIBBS
The Making of a Philosopher
My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy
by Colin McGinn
HarperCollins, 256 pp., $25.95
COLIN MCGINN is a clever man--the very clever product of that very clever school of British academic thought known as analytic philosophy. His initial impetus for studying philosophy came, he says, from reading Bertrand Russell, and he studied with the formidable A.J. Ayer, the famed practitioner of the analytic style in its most pristine and most ambitious form, whose goal was to turn philosophy itself into science.
When Ludwig met Karl.Apr 15, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 30 • By DAVID GUASPARI
The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers
by David Edmonds and John Eidinow
Ecco, 352 pp., $24
LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN and Karl Popper met only once--just after World War II, when Popper addressed the Cambridge University Moral Sciences Club. Popper challenged Wittgenstein head on: Philosophy, he said, addresses genuine problems and not, as Wittgenstein would have it, "puzzles" that disappear when proper mental hygiene clears up our conceptual muddles.
Hans-Georg Gadamer, 1900-2002.Apr 8, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 29 • By WALLER R. NEWELL
HANS-GEORG GADAMER, one of the most important and influential European philosophers of the twentieth century, died on March 13 at the age of 102. The author of dozens of books and articles, he was the principal founder of hermeneutics, an approach to textual interpretation now widely practiced at American universities.
Princeton's Peter Singer, baffled by charity.Dec 31, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 16 • By PETER BERKOWITZ
IN RESPONSE TO SEPTEMBER 11, people from many walks of life performed their jobs with spirit and guts and aplomb. Exhibiting a high degree of seriousness and professionalism, the police and the firefighters, the doctors and nurses, the ground zero construction crews and the media, the mayor and the president, and the military and their man Rummy in the Pentagon have risen to the occasion. Alas, if Peter Singer's latest offering is in any way representative, the same cannot be said of academic moral philosophers.
Singer, the reader may recall, is the Ira W.
The revival of Christian philosophy.Dec 24, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 15 • By THOMAS HIBBS
Warranted Christian Belief
by Alvin Plantinga
Oxford Universiy Press, 576 pp., $24.95
Thomas Reid and the Story of Epistemology
by Nicholas Wolterstorff
Cambridge University Press, 627 pp., $54.95
WHAT ACCOUNTS for the surprising upturn of interest in philosophy of religion in major American departments of philosophy over the last thirty years? Alvin Plantinga's "Warranted Christian Belief" and Nicholas Wolterstorff's "Thomas Reid and the Story of Epistemology" are illustrative of contemporary philosophy of religion at its best.
Politics and culture after September 11.Nov 5, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 08 • By DAVID BROOKS
"A SINGULAR FACT OF MODERN WAR," the historian Bruce Catton once wrote, "is that it takes charge. Once begun it has to be carried to its conclusion, and carrying it there sets in motion events that may be beyond men's control. Doing what has to be done to win, men perform acts that alter the very soil in which society's roots are nourished." Catton was writing about the Civil War, but his observation applies to most wars, and it will likely apply to the war to which we are now committed.
Why everything is at stake.Oct 22, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 06 • By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
EUROPE'S GREAT RELIGIOUS WARS ended in 1648. Three and a half centuries is a long time, too long for us in the West to truly believe that people still slaughter others to vindicate the faith.
Thus in the face of radical Islamic terrorism that murders 6,000 innocents in a day, we find it almost impossible to accept at face value the reason offered by the murderers. Yet Osama bin Laden could not be clearer.
A new book on Plato's Symposium by Leo Strauss!Sep 3, 2001, Vol. 6, No. 47 • By MARK BLITZ
FINDING A NEW BOOK by the political philosopher Leo Strauss more than a generation after his death in 1973 is as startling and unexpected as discovering a lost manuscript by Bach in some dark and remote German basement. Strauss has become famous among American conservatives as an opponent of relativism or historicism and as a friend of natural right or law. His rediscovery of natural standards led to a fresh and salutary look by some of his students at how equal natural rights, not arbitrary power or chance, form the bedrock of the United States.
Stanley Fish's explanation of how Milton works.Aug 20, 2001, Vol. 6, No. 46 • By JASON P. ROSENBLATT
IT’S BEEN THIRTY-FOUR YEARS, and you haven’t changed at all—flattering if exclaimed immediately by a friend one hasn’t seen in all that time, less so if blurted out after fifteen minutes of conversation. It’s true in both senses of Stanley Fish, whose latest book, How Milton Works, contains pages of still-youthful exuberance that match the verve, insight, and persuasive force of Surprised by Sin, his indispensable 1967 book on Paradise Lost.