Autumn 2022: Philosophy (The New Basics)
Publication Date: 19th December 2022
When it comes to philosophy, it seems as if everything is currently up for grabs. Many of its aims and goals (e.g. to generate complete systems of knowledge) have been brought into question; many of its key concepts – truth, reality, objectivity etc. – are now contested in a way that would have (probably) seemed unthinkable a hundred years ago. Furthermore, its disciplinary norms have also radically changed: philosophy is no longer simply white men engaging in pugilistic intellectual stand-offs, each one vying for the “killer touch”; rather the demographics of philosophy have changed, as have the range of topics considered “truly philosophical”.
Across the previous three issues of this year on “Planet”, “Society”, and “Person”, the “New Basics” series has tried to capture something of the shape of philosophy’s present: socially and politically engaged, radical, interdisciplinary, provocative. This final installment turns its focus on philosophy itself.
In the opening essay, Moritz Gansen, Hannah Wallenfels, and Lilja Walliser ask a series of questions about the nature of authorship and authority; Chi Rainer Bornfree explores philosophy’s ambivalent relationship with the idea of contradiction; Sally Haslanger considers how disciplines structure our search for knowledge and whether we need disciplines at all; Yoko Arisaka wonders how our non-global conception of philosophy managed to establish itself as the history of philosophy; Jason Blakely turns to the hermeneutic tradition to recover a philosophically defensible conception of ideology; Amy Kind offers a strong defence of the role of imagination in doing philosophy; Dan Taylor looks to causality, metaphor, and struggle in his attempt to identify philosophy’s distinctive method; Emmalon Davis explores philosophy’s “novelty problem” and asks whether novelty can be reconfigured; William M. Paris asks how a philosophy that aims to be critical should relate to the category of possibility; and, finally, Ian Olasov examines the push and pull between philosophy’s public-facing and scholastic tendencies. As for the images scattered throughout this opening section, “Some Meetings” is an artwork by Liam Gillick in the form of a series of black and white photographs first exhibited in Paris in 2016.
Other highlights include: a fascinating inquiry into the nature of solidarity by Savannah Pearlman; a rich examination of the role of the political philosopher by Andrew Stewart; two conversations with Lee McBride (on insurrectionist ethics) and Helen Morgan (on psychoanalysis and whiteness); two lengthy reviews by Peter Wolfendale (of William MacAskill) and Alexandre Leskanich (of Costica Bradatan); the latest installment of the “Philosophy in the Real World” column by Adam Ferner and Moya Mapps; as well as me trying to get you to donate some money to The Philosopher.
Anthony Morgan, Editor
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