Family and Other Catastrophes
By Alexandra Borowitz
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 21st 2018.
Family and Other Catastrophes by Alexandra BorowitzEmily and David are getting married. They are in their late twenties, they live in San Francisco, and they love each other. But Emily is very anxious and insecure, as we see in the opening scenes, when they are flying to New York. Emily is convinced that there is a terrorist boarding the plane and she questions the flight attendant about why she called her ma'am and asks her what age she thinks she looks. So she makes interactions awkward.  We see how this makes sense when we see her mother, a therapist, who endlessly criticizes Emily and respects no boundaries. Although Emily and David h
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A Mirror Is for Reflection
Understanding Buddhist Ethics
By Jake H. Davis (Editor)
Review by Kamuran Elbeyoğlu on Tue, Aug 21st 2018.
Over the last century, experts have written on many commonalities between Buddhism and modern Western philosophy. The main area of overlap between these two traditions is Buddhist ethics, so that it is almost indistinguishable from Western secular ethics and in most part, has nothing to do with traditional Buddhist morality. As Owen Flanagan in hisForeword aptly asserts “Buddhism presents a paradox” since, on the one hand, Buddhists are seen in popular imagination as good and having high standards of moral excellence. On the other hand, Buddhism doesn’t theorize eth
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A Mirror Is for Reflection by Jake H. Davis (Editor)

Primitive Colors
A Case Study in Neo-pragmatist Metaphysics and Philosophy of Perception
By Joshua Gert
Review by Nicholas Danne on Tue, Aug 21st 2018.
Primitive Colors by Joshua GertThe subtitle of Primitive Colors best characterizes Joshua Gert's philosophical defense of color primitivism.  In neo-pragmatic form, the book steadfastly declines to analyze color in terms of the "truth" and "reference" (3) of the empirical property ascriptions germane to what Gert calls "scientific naturalism" (2).  Rivals to color primitivism include reflectance physicalism, reflectance-basis physicalism, dispositionalism (properties induce experiences), eliminativism (qua subjectivism), projectivism (attributing mental properties to objects), and relationalism (col
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The Triumph of Christianity
How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World
By Bart D. Ehrman
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 21st 2018.
Ehrman points out how extraordinary it was that Christianity started out as a small offshoot of Judaism and became the official religion of the Roman Empire followed by millions of people only a few hundred years later. His aim in this book is to explain how this happened, shifting through naturalistic theories based on the historical evidence, sociology and some psychology. It is often tempting to throw up one's hands and conclude that we just can't know anything definite about ancient history, because the evidence is slim and there are always many possible ways to fill in the gaps. But Ehrma
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The Triumph of Christianity by Bart D. Ehrman

The Oxford Handbook of Freedom
By David Schmidtz and Carmen E. Pavel (editors)
Review by Waldemar Hanasz, PhD on Tue, Aug 21st 2018.
The Oxford Handbook of Freedom by David Schmidtz and Carmen E. Pavel (editors)THE LIBERTY TRADITION AT ITS BEST It seems to be the spirit of our topsy-turvy times that the notion of liberty energizes our minds with a new power. When common sense, rationality, moral decency, and legitimate social institutions are challenged and violated we begin to think seriously about the potentials and limits of freedom. We are forced to reconsider some fundamentals of political thinking: why people want what they want, what they do to acquire their goals, what limits them from acquiring these goals, and what kind of rules should regulate their actions. We return to fundamental quest
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Release
By Patrick Ness
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 14th 2018.
Adam is 17 and gay. He lives in small town Washington State. His parents are evangelical Christians. He has a best friend, Angela, who he tells everything to, and who covers for him when he needs to lie to his parents. He has a boyfriend but he is still very preoccupied by his ex. Release tells the story of one day of crisis, where he is planning to go to a farewell party for his ex. His boss at a big-box store is sexually harassing him. His brother, a committed Christian in the tradition of their parents, tells Adam that gay love is not real love. And the difficulties keep on coming
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Release by Patrick Ness

Ethics in Everyday Places
Mapping Moral Stress, Distress, and Injury
By Tom Koch
Review by Lisa Bellantoni, Ph.D. on Tue, Aug 14th 2018.
Ethics in Everyday Places by Tom KochIn Ethics in Everyday Places, Tom Koch, a medical geographer and bioethicist, explores what he terms "the mapping of ethics." He begins by examining "moral distress," which arises when an individual agent's moral judgments or sensibilities conflict with his or her social, institutional or professional obligations. Like other professionals – nurses, physicians, social workers – cartographers regularly face such conflicts between what they believe is right and what their positions require of them. Indeed, Koch identifies such challenges as endemic across professional life. Moreo
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God
A Human History
By Reza Aslan
Review by John D. Mullen on Tue, Aug 14th 2018.
Reza Aslan is an important type of thinker, putting him in a category, for example, with Steven Pinker. That is, he brings to his argument a wide range of fields of research, from which he attempts a synthesis that leads to a credible conclusion. In the work in question we read of the history, psychology and sociology of religions as well evolutionary theory, philosophy, mysticism, and in the end, a theological proposal. Scholars who spend their lives working within a narrow field often think of such writers as dilatants, though that may be explained by the fact that synthesizing of this kind
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God by Reza Aslan

 


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