Archive for March, 2013

March 27th – Utopias – Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

Atwood The Handmaid Tale

“OfFred was a normal everyday woman with a career, a name, a life like all women have come to expect and take for granted in this age. When the Religious Right came into power, they began to put into practice their insane beliefs which strip women of their identity, their rights, their body, their very name. Women are to be called Of (whatever asshat they belong to), instead of, say Beatrix. Reproduction is an issue because all the toxins in the environment have rendered many women infertile. But if you are fertile, woe to you, you get to be a baby factory against your will, get promised to some jerk you don’t love or even like because someone deemed him important enough to breed. Oh, come on!

This book was written in 1986…” – Review by Stephanie on GoodReads, February 10th, 2012.

While the genre of the book is open to debate (Valerie Martin in the introduction of the 2006 Everyman’s Library edition, suggests it is political satire, allegory, and even “reconstructed post-print novel”), I would argue that The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood can be seen to firmly fit within the genre of science fiction, often called “speculative fiction”. This is an attempt by writers using their imagination to project themselves into a possible future.

Corporations and zygotes are not conceptually related, but, nonetheless, the extension of personhood rights to corporations may pave the way for the extension of personhood rights to zygotes. The latter action would, of course, limit the autonomy and reproductive rights of real persons, namely women. – Protect Zygotes and Corporations; Piss on Women, CFI, by Ronald A. Lindsay.

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March 23rd – 365 Days Of Philosophy Podcast – Lecture By A.C Grayling On Rights

AC Grayling 365

Welcome to the third episode of the 365 Days of Philosophy podcast, hosted by Kylie Sturgess. This episode is for March, 2013. This is a Professor AC Grayling lecture recorded a few years back at ChristChurch Grammar school, Perth, on the concept of rights.

Professor Grayling has lectured in philosophy at St Anne’s College, Oxford, before taking up a post in 1991 at Birkbeck, University of London, where in 1998 he became reader in philosophy, and in 2005 professor. He resigned from Birkbeck in June 2011 to found and become the first master of New College of the Humanities, an independent undergraduate college in London. He is a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. He writes the Thinking Read column for the Barnes and Noble Review in New York, is the Editor of Online Review London, and a Contributing Editor of Prospect magazine.

Thanks again to Christ Church Grammar School and the Philosophy Department, for making this available. The music you heard is “Pale Blue Dot” and “Walking In Snow With Russians” by Ice Core Scientist, whose self-titled album is available on iTunes. You can find episodes and an RSS feed at You can also subscribe via iTunes, where you can help out the show by leaving positive comments and ratings. Thanks for listening.

March 22nd – John Locke

John Locke – Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy

Locke’s moral philosophy by Patricia Sheridan – Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
Locke’s philosophy of science by Hylane Kochiras – Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
Locke’s political thought by Alex Tuckness – Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy

John Locke and Thomas Hobbes: Social Contract Theory, Its Roots in Natural Law and Effect on the U.S. Public Administration by Matt Charles.

A Guide to John Locke’s Essay concerning Human Understanding

John Locke: Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property – The Freeman