the grudge


Over the ages, philosophy has offered valuable guidance on profound questions of truth, beauty and existence, yet still unresolved is the conundrum of how to respond to a bad book review.

This neglect no doubt has helped contribute to a feud between the prominent philosophers Colin McGinn and Ted Honderich. That, and perhaps a slight to an ex-girlfriend 25 years ago, terror in the Middle East and, oh yes, a fundamental disagreement on the nature of consciousness.

The spat started in the summer, when Mr. McGinn, a British-born philosophy professor at the University of Miami, wrote a scathing review of Mr. Honderich’s book “On Consciousness” in the July 2007 issue of The Philosophical Review, a quarterly journal edited by the faculty of the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University.

more from the NY Times Book Review here.