End of year letter from the editor
As the year begins to draw to a close, I want to reflect on the many exciting developments we've had at The Philosopher, despite the obvious tumult and uncertainty that characterised the year. I realise many readers will be continuing to face strange, isolating or difficult circumstances. My first hope is that 2021 ushers in greater ease and security for everyone.
We have published four new issues.
Themes were “The Other Animals”, “Questioning Power”, “Bodies”, and “What is We?”, with original essays by world-renowned thinkers including Avital Ronell, Cary Wolfe, Christine Korsgaard, Dan Zahavi, Havi Carel, Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, and Steven Nadler. In 2021, we will be back with four more: “Nothing”, “Authority and Knowledge”, “Concept and Reality”, and “Actions and Passions”, featuring essays from Amie Thomasson, Bret Davis, Graham Priest, Mladen Dolar, Myisha Cherry, Tommy Curry, and many others.
We ran a highly successful series of “digital dialogues”.
After our regular in-person events in Newcastle upon Tyne, London, and Edinburgh were cancelled due to the pandemic, we decided to go online with a series of 25 digital events. Attended by people in 61 countries, I have been delighted both by the quality of the events and the positive feedback from attendees. I hope that the events went some way towards combating the isolation and instability that this year has generated for so many.
There are still a few events running until the middle of December, so do tune in! We will be back in spring for another series, with speakers including Gregg Caruso, Manon Garcia, Raymond Tallis, and Robert Zaretsky (many more to be confirmed).
We have expanded our editorial board.
I have always wanted The Philosopher to represent philosophy as it is happening, wherever it is happening, and whoever is doing it. Furthermore, I take seriously the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary philosophy, encouraging contributions from historians, cultural theorists, geographers, psychologists, classicists, activists, artists, and more. Finally, I am keen to celebrate philosophy that is happening in schools, prisons, pubs, on walks, in monasteries, and so on. So I am delighted that our editorial board has expanded this year to ensure that the journal can continue to expand its scope and ambition.
Projects for 2021.
We have a number of exciting projects taking shape for 2021. Alexis Papazoglou, a contributor to The Philosopher and member of our editorial board, will be launching a podcast series that aims to provide philosophically informed analyses of current affairs, putting philosophy and the news cycle in dialogue. Inspired by Ciaran Cummins’ ongoing column, “The Public Philosopher”, I am also working with one of our wonderful volunteers, Oliver Woolley, to expand the representation of philosophy being undertaken outside of academia. Part of this will involve collaborations with two prominent high school philosophy events: the John Stuart Mill Cup and the Irish Young Philosopher Awards.
Supporting The Philosopher.
It is probably generally the case that philosophers are bad at running businesses. It is certainly true in my case. For example, although the journal is run entirely by volunteers, I take seriously the idea of paying our contributors. Generally we don’t pay senior academics who write for us in order to free up enough funds to pay those who are precariously employed within academia or are working freelance. However, as I am also keen on producing high quality journals, printing costs are high. Then there are postage costs, Paypal fees, Mailchimp fees, Zoom fees, website fees, and so on. In short, money has always been very tight at The Philosopher HQ!
I only just found out that something called “Giving Tuesday” exists, but if you have enjoyed the journal this year, read some of our free online content, tuned into one of our events, or just want to support some of our projects in 2021, a donation to The Philosopher would be hugely appreciated. This could involve taking out a print or digital subscription to The Philosopher or just offering a one-off donation.
Thank you for reading this. Keep safe, keep well, and let’s hope for a better 2021!