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Designing Our Descendants

From the January 2001 Print Edition

In one of the classic early discussions about the possible uses of advancing genetic knowledge to control and reshape human life, Paul Ramsey, more than thirty years ago, wrote the following: I . . . raise the question whether a scientist has not an entirely “frivolous conscience” who, faced . . . . Continue Reading »

What Sex Is–And Is For

From the April 2000 Print Edition

Sexuality and the Christian Body By Eugene F. Rogers, Jr. Blackwell. 303 pp. $62.95. The blurbs on the back cover of this book create in the potential reader an expectation of something new”a creative, original approach to the morality of homosexual acts, not just a rehashing of standard . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »