Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Death and Immortality in Ancient Philosophy

2020.03.22 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews A. G. Long, Death and Immortality in Ancient Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, 2019, 232pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781107086593. Reviewed by Emily Austin, Wake Forest University A. G. Long's book is, thankfully, not a handbook. There are surprisingly few sustained scholarly treatments of death and immortality in Ancient Greek philosophy, and the world does not need another 'guide.' Long has produced a monograph that takes interpretive risks and gives due attention to neglected dimensions of well-travelled ancient authors. The book both requires and rewards careful study, a verdict that will admittedly serve as an enticement to many readers and a caution to others. Long divides the volume into two parts: 'Immortality' and 'Death.' It might seem strange to address the topics in that order, since humans who believe in immortality usually think the dying part comes first, as it does in the book's title. As I understand... Read [More]

Ibn Sina’s Metaphysics

[Revised entry by Olga Lizzini on March 26, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] For Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā) metaphysics is a science (ʿilm), i.e., a perfectly rationally established discipline that allows human reason to achieve an authentic understanding of the inner structure of the world. Metaphysics is the science of being qua being and therefore the science that explains every being. In his interpretation, Avicenna fuses the Aristotelian tradition, which he intends to renew (Gutas 2014), with the Neo-Platonic idea of emanation, on which he builds [More]

Coronavirus! The Movie

Yes, of course there’ll be a Covid-19 movie, as soon as they can find a film crew not in self-isolation, but meantime, how are you enjoying the crisis?  Is it permitted to even ask the question? Our whole world has been turned upside down, you or someone you love may die prematurely, when it’s over we’re all going to be a lot poorer. So how is it you feel more intensely alive than you have done in years?Because suddenly we’re living in a drama. By which I mean one of those stories we watch on Netflix, or in the cinema. Our life now comes with what we in the screenwriting business call inciting incidents, character arcs, plot beats and climaxes. We track the unfolding story agog, not knowing what tomorrow will bring, and that alone delivers a buzz of excitement to life. Add to that a very real dread as we contemplate the collapse of our safe world, and the stakes get high indeed. We all know how different it is when you’re ‘inside the story’, when you watch a drama about something [More]