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Standpoint Magazine: Beards need not apply

Women who engage in public speaking are seen as “freakish androgynes”, argued classics professor Mary Beard in her recent London Review of Books speech at the British Library. Throughout the centuries we have come to believe that public speaking is men’s business, Professor Beard said, citing Homer’s Odyssey and referring to the likes of Aristotle and Cicero. However, Aristotle and Cicero had female contemporaries who are … Continue reading Standpoint Magazine: Beards need not apply

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Times Literary Supplement: Book Review of Simon Blackburn’s “Mirror Mirror”

Simon Blackburn credits L’Oréal’s slogan, “because you’re worth it”, as a source of outrage and inspiration for Mirror, Mirror: The uses and abuses of self-love. Drawing on the myth on Narcissus, Blackburn writes on vanity, pride and amour propre with deep insight. He introduces “lofty pride”, for instance, with reference to the House of Pride, allegory of fickleness and superficiality, in Spenser’s Faerie Queene. A more … Continue reading Times Literary Supplement: Book Review of Simon Blackburn’s “Mirror Mirror”

Times Literary Supplement: Book Review of Martha Nussbaum’s “Political Emotions”

“The public culture needs to be nourished and sustained by something that lies deep in the human heart and taps its most powerful sentiments, including both passion and humor”, Martha Nussbaum writes, “without these, the public culture remains wafer-thin and passionless”. Continuing her philosophical inquiry into both emotions and social justice, Nussbaum now makes the case for love, arguing that emotions rooted in love can … Continue reading Times Literary Supplement: Book Review of Martha Nussbaum’s “Political Emotions”

Philosophy Now Magazine: What did Mary know?

Imagine a girl called Mary. She is a brilliant neuroscientist and a world expert on colour vision. But because she grew up entirely in a black and white room, she has never actually seen any colours. Many black and white books and TV programmes have taught her all there is to know about colour vision. Mary knows facts like the structure of our eyes and … Continue reading Philosophy Now Magazine: What did Mary know?

The Beaver: Michael Sandel the public philosopher

The first thought that popped into my head when Michael Sandel walked onto the stage to deliver his lecture at the LSE was that he looks nothing like Mr Burns! According to urban legend, the Harvard Professor of Political Philosophy was the inspiration for Montgomery Burns of the Simpsons, Homer’s evil boss and owner of Springfield’s nuclear power plant, who has the habit of bribing … Continue reading The Beaver: Michael Sandel the public philosopher