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Book/Journal Article Reviews on Philosophy

Reviews of current and historical books and journal articles on philosophical issues

Below, you will find book reviews and journal article reviews of authors writing in the four major disciplines of philosophical thought; epistemology, metaphysics, ethics and logic.

Rational Realm welcomes contributions of book and journal article reviews for publication on our site. Please read our submission guidelines and contact us.

Metaphysics

  • Religion Is for Fools by Bill Medley

    In this book on Christian apologetics, professional comedian, Bill Medley, defends his faith from the most powerful arguments against the belief in an all-powerful, all-loving creator. Robert Bender critically examines each defence in turn, highlighting the deficiencies in Medley's examples and reasoning. From the historicity of the religious texts to the problem of pain and suffering to the sanity of Jesus, Bender covers all of Medley's defences with precision and flair.

Ethics

  • The Nun (La Religieuse) by Denis Diderot

    Denis Diderot's The Nun (La Religieuse) is a compelling story highlighting the abuse and persecution of unwanted daughters surrendered to Catholic convents in eighteenth century France. Robert Bender surveys and reflects on Diderot's harrowing account of convent life at the time and its lessons for today's institutions.

  • Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly by James E. McWilliams

    Robert Bender reviews the arguments developed in James E. McWilliams' controversial book, Just Food. McWilliams considers the ethics of eating locally, eliminating meat consumption and avoiding genetically modified foods. In the process, he explodes a number of myths surrounding the economics and environmental sustainability of food production.

  • The Other Side of Israel: My Journey Across the Jewish/Arab Divide by Susan Nathan

    This review of Susan Nathan's book, The Other Side of Israel, explores the tensions between Israel's Jews and the resident Arab population since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Living amongst the Palestinian community, the author uncovers stories of endemic discrimination and abuse.

  • The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer

    Would you save a child from drowning if you could? Of course you would. Using reason and straightforward philosophical argument, Peter Singer extends this scenario to argue that we are obligated to do much more in helping to eradicate extreme poverty in poor countries. In this review of Peter Singer's book, The Life You Can Save, Leslie Allan explores Singer's challenging case for giving up our luxuries to help impoverished people in faraway countries.

  • Blasphemy: A Memoir: Sentenced to Death Over a Cup of Water by Asia Bibi and Anne-Isabelle Tollet

    Blasphemy: A Memoir: Sentenced to Death Over a Cup of Water is a shocking case study of one Pakistani Catholic mother of five languishing in prison under sentence of death for purportedly insulting Mohammad. This book shines a spotlight on political corruption, the inhumanity of capital punishment and how blasphemy laws are abused to settle personal scores.

  • Degrees of Liberation: A Short History of Women in the University of Melbourne by Farley Kelly

    This review is a concise summary of Farley Kelly's comprehensive account in her Degrees of Liberation: A Short History of Women in the University of Melbourne of the struggle of women against the forces of religion, conservatism and discrimination throughout the history of one of Melbourne's greatest institutions.

  • Women in Cambridge: A Men's University - Though of a Mixed Type by Rita McWilliams

    Robert Bender reviews Rita McWilliams-Tullberg's book documenting the compelling story of women's fight in the University of Cambridge against the powerful conservative forces blocking their equal right to a university education and professional career. Her book covers the tumultuous period from the seventeenth century through to the late twentieth century.

  • Ether Day: the Strange Tale of America's Greatest Medical Discovery and the Haunted Men Who Made It by Julie M. Fenster

    In this review of Julie M. Fenster's account of the discovery of modern anaesthetics, Robert Bender introduces the cast of colourful characters involved. He maps the intriguing intersecting trajectories of their legal battles over patents and fights against religious authorities that promoted the glory of pain.

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