We all liked to play connect the dots as children and it can be fun in the reviews section as well. Sometimes the lines between the items add up to something – there’s an underlying theme –but what is it this time? Jean Kazez defends Zoom teaching, making a connection to the iPad art of David Hockney. Teresa Burke writes on Land, a movie about grief. Kristen Andrews reviews Metazoa, Peter Godfrey-Smith’s new book on consciousness and sea life. Julian Baggini looks at Kathleen Stock’s book Material Girls and the controversy surrounding it. And Mihail Evans discusses John Gray’s latest book Feline Philosophy. If we squint and look at things from just the right angle, we can see a theme here, one about the raw and the cooked, the natural and the contrived.
Gray thinks we have something to learn from cats because their lives are so uncontrived. They never worry about vexing topics like ethics and death. Kathleen Stock thinks biological sex is raw, natural, uncontrived, and not to be displaced by gender. Godfrey-Smith sees consciousness as arising in the rawest, least evolved quarters of the animal world. The movie Land is about nature and wilderness as the place best suited to experiencing grief. But the natural isn’t celebrated by all of our authors. Responding to an article that elevates the world of things (raw?) over devices (cooked?), Jean Kazez defends cooking up art and philosophy classes using tools like iPads and Zoom.
Dots connected. And now for the reviews.