Death. In one way or another, much of philosophy is about it, and so are several of the books and movies reviewed in this issue of The Philosophers’ Magazine. Should children be able to make medical decisions that will likely end their lives? Margaret Betz reviews The Children Act, a movie that explores the question. When we die, should we be able to pass on our wealth to our children, even if the result is increasing inequality? Jason Brennan reviews Daniel Halliday’s new book about inheritance.
Could there be something good about putting oneself close to death’s door? Jean Kazez discusses the movie Free Solo, about climbers who dispense with anchors and ropes, so that their skills make the difference between life and death. And speaking of mountains, Daniel Conway reviews John Kaag’s new book Hiking with Nietzsche. He really does mean hiking in the mountains, not dangling off cliffs without ropes, but Nietzsche had a few things to say about death.
OK, philosophy is not entirely about death. Who are we, when we are alive? Georgia Warnke reviews The Lies that Bind, a new book about identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah. And what on earth are we really doing, when we do philosophy? Probably not preparing for death, as Socrates claimed. Doing Philosophy, Timothy Williamson’s short introduction to the topic, is warmly reviewed by Justin Fisher.