Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s latest book is Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away. She is a recipient of this year’s National Humanities Medal and will be a Visiting Professor at New York ­University in 2016.
 (December 2015)

IN THE REVIEW

How Good Can You Be?

Larissa MacFarquhar, Brooklyn, 2015

Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help

by Larissa MacFarquhar
In Strangers Drowning, Larissa MacFarquhar focuses on extreme behavior of a particular kind, that of what one might call moral outliers. These are people who are motivated to act in extraordinary ways to alleviate the suffering of others with whom they otherwise have no ties. It’s a normal human response …

What Philosophers Really Know

Bertrand Russell, 1962

Philosophy of Language: The Classics Explained

by Colin McGinn
Academic philosophy often draws ire. The complaints are twofold and not altogether consistent with each other. The first is that philosophers can’t seem to agree on anything, with dissension descending to such basic questions as the nature of the field itself, both its subject matter and its methodology. The lack …