philosophy

“The general idea of this little book is to understand and explain why Marx will still be read in the twenty-first century, not only as a monument of the past, but as a contemporary author — contemporary both because of the questions he poses for philosophy and because of the concepts he offers it,” French philosopher Etienne Balibar writes in The Philosophy of Marx.

With some reservations, I feel he achieves this goal. It is a thought-provoking book, but it may disappoint readers who seek either an introduction to Marx’s philosophy or a straightforward account of how Marx’s ideas can inspire focused political action in the 21st century.

The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas about Living Ethically
By Peter Singer
Yale University Press, 2015
272 pages

Living up to his moral philosophical tradition of utilitarianism, with its “greatest good” principle, Australian philosopher Peter Singer's latest instalment is The Most Good You Can Do.

The book — endorsed by software monopolists and corporate philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates — is based on Singer's “Castle Lecture” at Yale University in 2013.

Christianity, Islam and Atheism: reflections on Religion, Society and Politics
By Micheal Cooke
Resistance Books 2014
124 pages, paperback, $15

For a time I stopped referring to myself as an atheist in public. I was intensely embarrassed by seeing ads on buses promoting atheism around the time of the World Atheist Conference in Melbourne.

For a while I simply became “not religious” for public purposes. I found it embarrassing because public evangelism is the one thing that particularly galls me about religion.

Subscribe to philosophy