Thomas Nagel is University Professor Emeritus at NYU. He is the author of The View from Nowhere, Mortal Questions, and Mind and ­Cosmos, among other books. (September 2017)

IN THE REVIEW

A Gruesome Ghost Dance

Jews in the camp-ghetto of Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, January 1944

Theresienstadt 1941–1945: The Face of a Coerced Community

by H. G. Adler, translated from the German by Belinda Cooper, with an afterword by Jeremy Adler
Theresienstadt, the concentration camp about forty miles north of Prague, held a unique place in the Nazis’ campaign of extermination. While its main purpose was to gather Jews from Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Germany for deportation to the death camps in Poland, it was presented to the outside world as a …

Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Daniel Dennett at the Centro Cultural de la Ciencia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 2016

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

by Daniel C. Dennett
For fifty years the philosopher Daniel Dennett has been engaged in a grand project of disenchantment of the human world, using science to free us from what he deems illusions—illusions that are difficult to dislodge because they are so natural. In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, his eighteenth book, Dennett presents a valuable and typically lucid synthesis of his worldview.

How They Wrestled with the New

The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy

by Anthony Gottlieb
Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume lived in a historical period dominated by dramatic developments and conflicts in three areas—science, religion, and politics—and their thoughts and writings were dominated by the need to respond to those developments, and to understand the relations among them.

Listening to Reason

Being Realistic about Reasons

by T.M. Scanlon
Edward Gorey Charitable Trust Philosophy has always been concerned with the largest questions of what exists and what is the case. Not specific questions like “Is there extraterrestrial life?” or “What is the speed of light in a vacuum?” but maximally general questions about what kinds of things …

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