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Spring 2022: Society (The New Basics series)

Spring 2022: Society (The New Basics series)

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Publication Date: 12th May 2022

148 Pages


While Margaret Thatcher famously insisted that there is “no such thing as society”, only “individual men and women”, philosophers appear to demur. Their traditional individualistic brain-in-a-vat search for universal, ahistorical truths seems to be collapsing under the weight of the social and historical forces from which their ideas were presumed to be exempt. The “New Basics” keywords in this issue finally do justice to the social and to the transformation of the philosophical world that this entails.  


  • Rima Basu asks: “What are we to believe when our beliefs answer not just to ourselves, but to others?”
  • Robin Celikates asks: “What would it mean to reorient our political practice and theory around the potentialities that migration and border struggles open up?”
  • William Davies asks: “How does feeling challenge the dominant forms of representation and knowledge that modern societies have privileged for hundreds of years?”
  • Reiland Rabaka asks: “What were the roots of intersectionality prior to its global popularization by Kimberlé Crenshaw in the late 1980s?” 
  • Lani Watson asks: “What has the individualistic focus of epistemology served to overlook when it comes to questions of knowledge?”
  • Jessica Whyte asks: “What is a market if markets can override the democratic political process and determine the priorities to which nations must conform?”
  • Briana Toole asks: “If objectivity is little more than a shield to protect the interests of the powerful, then what does this mean for the pursuit of truth?”
  • Jana Bacevic asks: “If we believe in reality, what is it that we believe in?”
  • Maeve McKeown asks: “What conception of responsibility is required in our highly-interdependent, globalised world?”
  • Michelle Bastian asks: “Why have philosophers overlooked the question of how societies should tell the time?” 
  • Yarran Hominh asks: “What does it mean to begin our inquiry from unfreedom, rather than freedom?” 
  • Eraldo Souza dos Santos asks: “Is all violence political and all politics violent?” 


In the next section, Darren Chetty and Adam Ferner guest-edit a selection of essays and interviews in honour of the great political philosopher Charles W. Mills who died last year. Contributions are from Zara Bain, Linda Martín Alcoff, George YancyLaurencia Sáenz Benavides and Adam Ferner as well as a previously unpublished interview with Charles W. Mills himself. 


Elsewhere, Christopher Belshaw asks whether it is good for wild animals to come into being and then live out their lives; Sophie Grace Chappell generously allowed us to publish her translation of the opening canto of Dante’s Divina Commedia along with an essay exploring themes of transformation and immortality in Dante’s work; Sean D. Kelly offers a tantalizing preview of themes from his forthcoming book The Proper Dignity of Human Being; Tim Crane and Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes offer critical reviews of recent books by David Chalmers and Chris Letheby respectively; Chiara Ricciardone raises an extraordinarily rich set of questions related to the interaction of fiction and Artificial Intelligence, and Adam Ferner and Moya Mapps close the issue with the first instalment of their short, experimental series on co-authorship. 


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