I want to explore the idea of Greek philosophy as a meeting-point between various humanisms, including Christian humanism, atheist or agnostic humanism, Islamic humanism and Jewish humanism. These days, I would describe myself as a Christian humanist. I mean ‘humanist’ in the Renaissance sense – someone who loves and wants to revive ancient philosophy and Read more…

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Imagine, if you will, the scene. The Enlightenment has defeated Religion, and its various champions meet to carve up the vanquished enemy’s territories. Philosophy takes the chair: ‘Right then, settle down everyone. Thank you. Now, let’s see…Religion used to offer ethics and laws. We’ll split that with jurisprudence. It also used to offer divination and Read more…

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Hi, welcome to another issue of the PoW digest. The Journal of Medical Ethics found itself in hot water this week when it published an article in which two Australian philosophers said that ‘after-birth abortion’ should be permissible in a wide variety of cases (in fact, pretty much in any case) because new-born babies aren’t Read more…

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I picked up Philip Pullman’s book The Golden Compass one evening a few weeks ago, and was immediately engrossed, to the point where I had to re-read the next two books in the Dark Materials trilogy. I was reminded of everything I loved about the books: Pullman deftly connects some fascinating ideas from contemporary physics, Read more…

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I like Alain De Botton’s energy and chutzpah, but I also think ideas are better when they’re challenged and thinkers are prodded to consider the possible holes in their thinking. So here is what I think is a serious hole which De Botton needs to consider in his ‘religion for atheists’. At the moment, it Read more…

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