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Read a selection of essays, interviews and reviews from the print version of The Philosopher. 

The Future of Humanism

Review of Seeing Ourselves: Reclaiming Humanity from God and Science by Raymond Tallis

Genre

Length

Keywords

Humanism, subjectivity, pessimism

5,000 words

Religion, Metaphysics, Secularism

Anthony Morgan (Bigg Books)

Be Kinder Than Necessary

Review of On Mercy (Princeton University Press, 2019) by Malcolm Bull.

Genre

Length

Keywords

Power, justice, mercy

800 words

Political Philosophy, Ethics

Chiara T. Ricciardone (Bard College)

Feminism, Marriage and Choice

"The fact that our preferences are shaped by our social context calls into question the extent to which choice is absolute."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Liberalism, choice, equality

2,750 words

Political philosophy, Feminist philosophy

Clare Chambers (University of Cambridge)

Bad Faith and the Buddha

Review of Why Buddhism is True, by Robert Wright.

Genre

Length

Keywords

Sartre, perception, essence, freedom

3,500 words

Existentialism, Buddhism, Phenomenology

Anthony Morgan (Bigg Books)

Being-Towards-Death

"Philosophy is constituted out of an oscillation between those two things: an impulse to get towards this God’s eye view and the realisation that it’s not just that you can’t do it, but that there may be no such thing to be done."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Heidegger, Kant, nothingness

6,000 words

Ontology, History of Philosophy

Stephen Mulhall (University of Oxford)

Bertrand Russell's Idleness

"He maintains that an egalitarian leisure can be at least as intellectually productive as its earlier socially stratified variety."

Genre

Length

Keywords

German Idealism, idleness, autonomy

2,600 words

Social Philosophy

Brian O'Connor (University College Dublin)

You Are Not An Algorithm

"We betray our real nature when we entertain the idea that algorithms are not just external crutches, but reflections of our true selves.”

Genre

Length

Keywords

Mind, technology, subjectivity

2,000 words

History of philosophy

Justin E.H. Smith (University of Paris)

Trump as Neoliberal Heretic

"At the heart of the neoliberal order is an ethos of endless competition."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Neoliberalism, choice, agency, identity

2,000 words

Social philosophy, Political philosophy

Adam Kotsko (Shimer Great Books School at North Central College)

Interrogating Lived Experience

"The world is 'already there' before reflection begins and this is the launching place of philosophy; philosophers are driven to understand the hidden structures of experience and the world."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Merleau-Ponty, perception, lived experience, embodiment

1,600 words

Phenomenology, Buddhist philosophy

Anya Daly (University of Melbourne)

Doing Philosophy

"Mathematics is a science, but not a natural science. Similarly, I suggest, philosophy is a science, but not a natural science."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Common sense, thought experiments, doing philosophy

7,500 words

Metaphysics, Epistemology

Timothy Williamson (University of Oxford) and Respondents

Finitude

"There is always room for novelty in philosophy in general, and in metaphysics in particular."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Kant, Hegel, finitude, free will

5,000 words

History of philosophy, metaphysics

A.W. Moore (University of Oxford)

Philosophy as a Vocation

"To my mind a real contribution to moral philosophy is not a one-liner, supposedly deduced from a set of acceptable premises."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Descartes, Kant, early modern philosophy, moral philosophy

1,00 words

Metaphysics, Moral Philosophy

Catherine Wilson (University of York)

Questioning the Questions

"At least part of the task of philosophy is to uncover the presuppositions in our thinking. One of the simplest ways to access these presuppositions is to look at the questions we ask and encounter and interrogate them."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Questions, doing philosophy, epistemology

1,350 words

Epistemology

Lani Watson (University of Edinburgh)

The Philosophy of Fascism

"If I am right, the view that fascism is an historically located concept is not just false, it is dangerously false."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Fascism, democracy, socialism, history

2,700 words

Political Philosophy, Social philosophy

Jason Stanley (Yale University)

The Weirdness of Matter

Review of The Incorporeal: Ontology, Ethics, and the Limits of Materialism by Elizabeth Grosz (Columbia University Press).

Genre

Length

Keywords

Materialism, dualism, mind, panpsychism, Nietzsche, Spinoza, Deleuze

1,350 words

Ontology, ethics

Elizabeth Robson

The Iron Cage and the Hamster Wheel

Review of Power, Pleasure, Profit: Insatiable Appetites from Machiavelli to Madison by David Wootton (Harvard University Press) and Idleness: A Philosophical Essay by Brian O’Connor (Princeton University Press)

Genre

Length

Keywords

Pleasure, capitalism, Weber, Kant, Machiavelli, the Enlightenment

3,000 words

Moral philosophy, Political philosophy

Anthony Morgan (Bigg Books)

Life is Easy

Review of The Pleasure Principle: Epicureanism: A Philosophy for Modern Living by Catherine Wilson (HarperCollins).

Genre

Length

Keywords

Epicureanism, ancient philosophy, ethics, pleasure, meaning

2,250 words

Ethics

Anthony Morgan (Bigg Books)

Kant's Legacy

"I think that philosophy has to be able to speak to the social and political present if it is not to wither away as an archaic or pointlessly abstract practice."

Genre

Length

Keywords

German Idealism, subjectivity, race

4,500 words

History of Philosophy, Metaphysics

Stella Sandford (Kingston University)

Finding Social Groups in Networks of Relations

“In seeking to understand identity, our options are not that identity groups are fictions or that they are biologically defined categories.”

Genre

Length

Keywords

Identity, social construction, ontology, groups

2,650 words

Social metaphysics

Katherine Ritchie (CUNY Graduate Centre)

Idol Talk: Are We Getting More Vicious?

Review of Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the Political by Quassim Cassam (Oxford University Press)

Genre

Length

Keywords

Epistemic vices, conspiracy theories,character, blame

2,650 words

Epistemology, Virtue Ethics

Pete Burgess (University of Greenwich)

Different but Equal

"How can democracies celebrate and cultivate diversity without undermining the commitment to equality? Is it even possible to describe differences without (re)inscribing hierarchies?"

Genre

Length

Keywords

Diversity, hierarchy, ancient philosophy, political philosophy

1,750 words

Political philosophy, social philosophy

Chiara T. Ricciardone (Bard College)

Transcendental Idealism

"Kant opens the Critique with a comparison between metaphysics, mathematics and physics; the comparison is not favourable to philosophy!"

Genre

Length

Keywords

Kant, idealism, realism, metaphysics

5,000 words

History of philosophy, metaphysics

Lucy Allais (University of the Witwatersrand, University of California - San Diego)

The Analytic of Finitude

"Critique, both of the historical tradition and of the self that belongs to the latter, is the tool whereby the self-awareness central to spiritual practices can be developed. ."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Kant, Foucault, critique

5,000 words

History of philosophy, metaphysics

Béatrice Han-Pile (University of Essex)

Reality is the Great Unifier

"Reality is where we stand, shoulder-to-shoulder, mind-to-mind, position-to-position. Our minds separate us. Reality is the great unifier."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Doing Philosophy, Mind, Reality

3,500 words

Metaphysics

Joel Yoeli

The Philosophic Voice

"Thoughts about the world both demand inclusion in the totality and make inclusion impossible."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Ontology, silence, Heidegger

2,750 words

Ontology

Michael Bavidge (Newcastle University)

Nietzsche and the Alt-Right

"That critique of decadence, egalitarianism and democracy is what draws Spencer and his Alt-Right ilk to Nietzsche’s work."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Political philosophy, ethics, identity, fascism

2,000 words

History of philosophy

Hugo Drochon (University of Nottingham)

Philosophy and Hope

"I'm not entirely sure why contemporary philosophers are so keen to appear hard-headed. They might be afraid that scientists will make fun of them."

Genre

Length

Keywords

Rationalism, early modern philosophy, scientism, Spinoza

1,500 words

Metaphysics, History of philosophy

Alexander Douglas (University of St. Andrews)