Culture & Literature
Philosophy Now

Philosophy Now April/May 2016

Philosophy Now is a magazine for everyone interested in ideas. It isn't afraid to tackle all the major questions of life, the universe and everything. It tries to corrupt innocent citizens by convincing them that philosophy can be exciting, worthwhile and comprehensible, and also to provide some light and enjoyable reading matter for those already ensnared by the muse, such as philosophy students and academics. It contains articles on all aspects of philosophy, plus book reviews, film reviews, news, cartoons, and the occasional short story.

United Kingdom
Anja Publications Ltd
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$9.20(Incl. tax)
$33.75(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
keeping it real

Here at Philosophy Now we try to perform a whole set of disparate tasks, often simultaneously, rather like a seal juggling coloured balls while also honking a horn with its nose and riding a bicycle. We endeavour to present the best philosophy articles we can, for your edification and astonishment. We also delve into the history of philosophy, exploring the ideas of some of the most intriguing thinkers of the past 2,500 years, including the crazy ones. We also investigate some of the great philosophical problems such as the foundations of ethics, the nature of consciousness and – two months ago – the existence of free will. But on top of all of this, we keep a weather eye out for significant new trends and developments in philosophy, wherever they…

4 min.

Umberto Eco (5 Jan 1932 – 19 Feb 2016) Umberto Eco once wrote: “We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death.” This limit has now sadly caught up with the author of these words himself. Philosopher, semiotician, linguist and novelist Eco has died at the age of 84 of pancreatic cancer from which he had been suffering for two years. Eco first came to wide public attention for his 1980 novel The Name of the Rose, a medieval whodunnit whose plot centred on a lost work by Aristotle, and whose title connected it with Eco’s interests in philosophy of language. “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name does smell as sweet.” He followed this with the complex thriller Foucault’s Pendulum, packed full of hidden philosophical and literary…

22 min.
markus gabriel

I’m talking with Markus Gabriel, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bonn, in particular about his new book Why The World Does Not Exist. But first tell us a little about your background. How did you get interested in philosophy in the first place? At some point in school I felt frustrated because the questions that were raised there and the ways they were answered didn’t seem satisfying to me. The answers were somewhat unjustified and ungrounded, in pretty much all disciplines. Then I happened to break my ankle skateboarding and I had to stay at home over the summer, so I started reading some philosophy because a friend of mine who was much older gave me Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. So this is how it all started. Wow,…

8 min.
maurizio ferraris

Professor Ferraris, are there any keywords you’d like to give our readers to help them understand New Realism? I’ll give you seven, one for each day of the week: Individuals. Ontology (what there is) is only made up of individuals: this interview; a summer storm; the ant that runs across my table. Obviously, epistemology (what we know about what there is) speaks of ‘interviews’, ‘storms’, ‘ants’, using words and concepts that designate classes of things; but the classes to which these words refer do not exist except in thought. Unamendability. The fact that individuals exist independently of thought is proven by the fact that they cannot be amended or corrected with the power of thought. This is in distinct contrast to notions and concepts, that is, to what we know, which obviously can…

13 min.
an introduction to introduction to new realism

At the opening of his 1907 lecture series ‘Pragmatism’, William James commented on the growing disparity between academic philosophy and a philosophy whose relevance ordinary people would feel in their lives. This latter philosophy would be one which truly mattered to us, James claimed, because it would deal with “our individual way of just seeing and feeling the total push and pressure of the cosmos” (Pragmatism, 1907). Yet while technical philosophy is found to be wanting in this regard, James had no intention of presenting Pragmatism as sundered from it. Instead he proposes it as a middle road between the two demands, as the subtitle to the published lecture series indicates: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking. What James determined was new about Pragmatism was not the…

4 min.
sarah de sanctis

Your education was mainly focused on literature. How did you discover philosophy? To be honest, my training in philosophy dates back to high school. I also did a module in Aesthetics – Descartes, Kant and Husserl – during my BA, but that was it at university. I have been cultivating philosophy mainly because of my personal interest in the subject, but I have to say my high school teacher was absolutely exceptional – most people assume I have a degree in philosophy – they can’t tell! So thank you, Maria Teresa Cazzaniga. It’s been incredibly hard and challenging, but worth it! Do you feel like an academic philosopher? If not, what do you think about academia? That’s a tricky question. I do not consider myself an academic, even though I work in academia.…