Scientists are still trying to figure out what makes things and people beautiful. In some ways, it's like asking whether your vision of 'red' is the same as someone else's -- there's just no way to know for sure, says Denis Pelli, professor of psychology and neural science at New York University.
Imagine if Rip Van Winkle fell asleep in 1992 and woke up yesterday. He would probably be amazed at the extent to which our national conversation on reproductive health has regressed in 20 years. Abortion is no longer at the center of the debate. It's contraception!
'Thinking that renounces argument -- Heidegger -- switches into pure irrationalism,' Adorno cautions; 'the mistrust of argument is at bottom what has inspired the Husserls and the Heideggers. The diabolical aspect of it is that the abolition of argument means that their writing ends up in tautology and nonsense.'
Jane Austen wrote romantic comedies about middle-class girls looking for a good husband among the landed gentry. If that were all there was to it we wouldn't take her any more seriously now than the genre hacks published by Mills and Boon. But Austen was also a brilliant moral philosopher who analysed and taught a virtue ethics for middle-class life that is surprisingly contemporary.
Philosophers Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva have received an avalanche of abusive comments and emails following the publication of their paper on 'post-birth abortion' in last week’s Journal of Medical Ethics. The response has been despicable but it shouldn’t blind us to the flaws in the authors' argument.
Last week, Slavoj Žižek—the clown prince of contemporary Marxist philosophy, star of The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, scene-stealer of Examined Life, and subject of the celebrated documentary Žižek!—spoke at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities on a subject he was born to tackle: The Wire.
From the day he was born — 23 June 1912 — Alan Mathison Turing seemed destined to solitude, misunderstanding and persecution. As his centenary year opens, Nature hails him as one of the top scientific minds of all time
Jennifer Homans: I was married to Tony Judt. I lived with him and our two children as he faced the terror of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It was a two-year ordeal, from his diagnosis in 2008 to his death in 2010, and during it Tony managed against all human odds to write three books.