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Life and Death

Philippa Foot, 7 August 1986

The End of Life 
by James Rachels.
Oxford, 196 pp., £12.95, January 1986, 9780192177469
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Voluntary Euthanasia 
edited by A.B. Downing and Barbara Smoker.
Peter Owen, 303 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 7206 0651 9
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Moral Dilemmas in Modern Medicine 
edited by Michael Lockwood.
Oxford, 250 pp., £12.95, January 1986, 0 19 217743 5
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... Most professional philosophers think of themselves primarily as scholars, as hunters and gatherers in the field of understanding with no particular commitment to serve society in any other role. Yet some philosophers have lately found to their delight that they can be useful: indeed that their advice is actually sought by those who have to take decisions of policy or practice ...

As Astonishing as Elvis

Jenny Turner: Ayn Rand, 1 December 2005

Ayn Rand 
by Jeff Britting.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £12.99, February 2005, 0 7156 3269 8
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... Blumenthal was a 19-year-old psychology student at UCLA when he and his philosophy student friend Barbara Weidman started to visit the O’Connors in 1950: both had read The Fountainhead at high school, and both were besotted by it. Quickly, very quickly, these star-struck, good-looking youngsters became Rand’s best friends, surrogate children, protégés ...

Little was expected of Annie

Dinah Birch: The Story of an English Family, 19 October 2006

Faith, Duty and the Power of Mind: The Cloughs and Their Circle 1820-1960 
by Gillian Sutherland.
Cambridge, 262 pp., £40, March 2006, 0 521 86155 1
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... widow allowed Annie to mix with women of radical ideas and public ambition: Florence Nightingale, Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, Bessie Rayner Parkes, Emily Davies. Her feminist instincts took shape in such company. She began to take a part in public affairs, presenting evidence on the education of girls to the Taunton Commission, established in 1864 to ...

Kitty still pines for his dearest Dub

Andrew O’Hagan: Gossip, 6 February 2014

Becoming a Londoner: A Diary 
by David Plante.
Bloomsbury, 534 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 1 4088 3975 1
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The Animals: Love Letters between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy 
edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 481 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 0 7011 8678 4
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... ironically in Daniel Deronda. But she also meant it. ‘It proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker.’ Cough, cough, splutter. But surely a bit of relief lies in the notion that one doesn’t necessarily have the last (or even the first) say on how one appears. That’s the gossip’s privilege, and damnable as it might be, it can’t be much worse than ...

My Heroin Christmas

Terry Castle: Art Pepper and Me, 18 December 2003

... At least on 101 you get to drive next to the ocean for longer and at one point pass through Santa Barbara. I’ve always liked Santa Barbara: even if it’s mainly 1920s fake-Spanish, it reminds me of how California used to be when I was a kid, before my parents split up. You also go up the western rather than eastern side ...

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