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The Last Word

From the June/July 1999 Print Edition

How refreshing and intellectually stimulating it is to read a philosopher”and one as smart as Thomas Nagel”say a favorable word on behalf of Descartes. In a time when “Cartesian” has almost become a pejorative term, Nagel invites us to have second thoughts. He does so in order . . . . Continue Reading »

The Slowness of the Good

From the March 1999 Print Edition

Over the past several decades both philosophers and theologians within the academy have participated in a revival of interest in what is generally called “virtue ethics”-an ethic that focuses not so much upon what we ought to do, but upon character, upon the sort of persons we ought to . . . . Continue Reading »

Man as Lucifer

From the February 1999 Print Edition

The Invention of Autonomy: A History of Modern Moral Philosophy by J.B. Scheewind Cambridge University Press, 624 pages, $69.95 cloth, $24.95 The autonomy whose invention J. B. Schneewind explores in this long and magisterial history of seventeenth-and eighteenth-century moral philosophy is Kantian . . . . Continue Reading »

Shall We Clone?

From the October 1998 Print Edition

Human Cloning: Religious Responses Edited By Ronald Cole-Turner. Westminister/ John Knox. 151 pp. $15 The nature of public policy debates in the United States in recent years has tended to exclude-or, at least, to suggest that we ought to exclude-religious considerations. They are suspect in the . . . . Continue Reading »

Gays Marrying

From the May 1998 Print Edition

There are moments when a person says something that should have been obvious but which has been left unsaid-and we wonder why the rest of us have failed to see or say it. That, at least in part, is my reaction to a thesis put forward by Jonathan Mills in a little book titled Love, Covenant & . . . . Continue Reading »