The Bookshop on the Shore
A Novel
By Jenny Colgan
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 20th 2019.
The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny ColganJenny Colgan has been writing pleasant romantic dramas for a couple of decades now. I reviewed her first two novels Amanda’s Wedding and Talking to Addison when they were released. Her early books were set in London. Since then she has broadened her scope to Birmingham and the Scottish highlands. The Bookshop on the Shore features characters from both London and Birmingham who were in some of her previous novels, but it is mainly set in Scotland next to Loch Ness. The plot features Zoe and her four year old son Hari, who start out in London but are havi
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The Oxford Illustrated History of the World
By Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (Editor)
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 20th 2019.
I was 12 years old when I last took a history class. I was far more interested in science, mathematics and literature; and languages might be useful. I didn't see much point in studying history and I didn't enjoy it. Eventually I got interested in philosophy, and I ended up teaching philosophy for the last 30 or more years. But in a curious turn of events, I have also been teaching a course in ancient western culture for the last few years. I've picked up enough knowledge in the intervening decades to be able to fill the time, and I've come to realize that in order to explain cultures that are
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The Oxford Illustrated History of the World by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (Editor)

Red Meat Republic
A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America
By Joshua Specht
Review by Bob Fischer on Tue, Aug 20th 2019.
Red Meat Republic by Joshua SpechtRed Meat Republic is a wonderfully thorough history of the rise of industrial beef production. According to one standard narrative, it was almost inevitable that the industry took the shape it did: as people moved to urban centers, there were fewer people left in rural areas to raise and slaughter cattle, and as refrigeration technology improved, it became easier to centralize aspects of production and then distribute meat across the country. The rise of big beef, on this view, was a bit like the rise of the factory line in any other industry: the method was so efficient, and fit so well
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Scientism
Prospects and Problems
By Jeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels, René van Woudenberg (Editors)
Review by George Carpenter on Tue, Aug 20th 2019.
As the editors note in their introduction (p6), this book represents another entry in the growing philosophical literature on scientism (Williams and Robinson 2015, Beale and Kidd 2017, Haack  2007, 2017, Boudry and Pigliucci 2018). Scientism, at first approximation, valorizes science and denigrates traditional philosophy to an excessive degree (Haack 2007, p17-18). But one might wonder what counts as excessive, or how scientizers (to borrow Stenmark's term for scientism's proponents) can be distinguished from naturalists, such as W.V.O. Quine or Wilfrid Sellars, who also take science as
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Scientism by Jeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels, René van Woudenberg (Editors)

Wunderland
A Novel
By Jennifer Cody Epstein
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 13th 2019.
Wunderland by Jennifer Cody EpsteinWunderland is a novel about two families, mainly focusing on female characters, over more than fifty years, in Bremen, Germany in the 1930s and New York City in 1989. It starts out at the end of the story, with middle aged Ava Fisher receiving news of her mother Ilse's death, along with her mother's ashes, and letters her mother had written. Ava does not want her thirteen year old daughter to see this all, since she told her daughter that her grandmother died more than 10 years ago. The next scene goes back to a middle school classroom in Germany years before the Second World War. Renate
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All That You Leave Behind
A Memoir
By Erin Lee Carr
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 13th 2019.
The Amazon review by ERB sums up most of my reactions to Erin Lee Carr's memoir. She is now in her early 30s, and is a successful documentary maker for HBO and other media companies. Her book is a love letter to her father David Carr, author of his addiction memoir Night of the Gun and media correspondent for the New York Times. David Carr, a serious smoker, died of lung cancer at the age of 58.  Going back to my own review of David Carr's memoir, I had forgotten how much I disliked the book for his writing style and his lack of insight into his own problems.
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All That You Leave Behind by Erin Lee Carr

On Animals
Volume II: Theological Ethics
By David L. Clough
Review by Bob Fischer on Tue, Aug 13th 2019.
On Animals by David L. CloughPhilosophers are writing a lot about animals these days. Christian theologians generally aren't. And that's a shame, even if you aren't particularly sympathetic to the Christian tradition. After all, there are roughly 2.2 billion Christians in the world today. Some of them are moved by secular moral argumentation, but a lot of them aren't. This isn't because they're unreasonable, but because they recognize that a lot of secular moral argumentation assumes premises that they reject. And if you reject the premises, you don't have any reason to accept the conclusions. The upshot: if you want to c
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Doing Philosophy
From Common Curiosity to Logical Reasoning
By Timothy Williamson
Review by Camille Atkinson, PhD on Tue, Aug 13th 2019.
Bertrand Russell once said that philosophy was formed by "the residue," which remained after "definite" answers had been given, and insisted that "philosophical contemplation" should be distinguished from natural science and men's "practical" affairs. (Russell, Bertrand, "The Value of Philosophy," from The Problems of Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1969). The author of this book says philosophy is "like mathematics," in that it is a "non-natural science;" but, unlike mathematics, is not yet "fully mature." (p. 5) While both Russell and Williamson are respected logicians, their views dive
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Doing Philosophy by Timothy Williamson

 


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