Culture & Literature
Philosophy Now

Philosophy Now April/May 2018

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.
the fight for the   soul of philosophy

“The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.” This quotation voices a frustration that many great thinkers have expressed in their own ways, from Heraclitus to Nietzsche and beyond. What makes this one special is that it comes from the most controversial of all philosophers, Martin Heidegger. That he was thinking is beyond doubt: he was one of the greatest philosophers the Western tradition has seen, more about that later. He was however, also one of the most flawed. Some of his central life decisions show him to be an opportunist without loyalty to his friends, his students and even his mentor, the great Husserl, not to speak of his wife. His private notebooks contain a few unambiguously anti-Semitic passages. He was a Nazi…

3 min.
the philosophy now festival 2018

Report by our Special Correspondent Outside it was a cold, damp January day in central London, but inside Conway Hall was warmth, fellowship, the buzz of conversation and the crackle of ideas. Children in facepaint headed for their own philosophy workshops (run by the Philosophy Foundation) or mingled with their elders in the hallways and café. The 4th Philosophy Now Festival on 20 January 2018 ran for the entire day from 10am to 10pm, and consisted of more than thirty separate philosophyrelated events – philosophy talks, workshops, debates, activities, panels discussions and games. The Festival is held every two years, and as usual we were the guests of Conway Hall in their magnificent building. Numerous organisations took part including Philosophy For All and Oxford University’s Uehiro Centre for Ethics, and the day…

17 min.
heidegger’s ways of being

“If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself.”Martin Heidegger This article considers aspects of the philosophy of the German phenomenologist/existentialist Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), finally applying them in the context of bereavement. As Heidegger’s writings are filled with many highly technical terms, I’ll provide some background to his thinking, drawing from two rather technical texts: Heidegger’s 1927 magnum opus Being and Time [Sein und Zeit] (Joan Stambaugh’s 1996 translation), and The Zollikon Seminars: Protocols, Conversations, Letters, edited by Medard Boss (1987). The formidable task that Heidegger sets himself in Being and Time is to respond to the question ‘What is Being’? This ‘Question…

12 min.
heidegger & faulkner against modern technology

In December 1941, William Faulkner mailed his New York publisher the fourth and final part of a forty-thousandword short story from his home in Mississippi. In a separate note, Faulkner apologized to the publisher for being late with the manuscript, but said “there was more meat in it than I thought.” ‘The Bear’ – soon to become the most famous of Faulkner’s short works – appeared seven months later as part of Go Down Moses And Other Stories, in May 1942. Eleven years later, in November 1953, Martin Heidegger stood before an audience of students and teachers at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and delivered a lecture he had reworked from a talk delivered four years previously to a group of businessmen in Bremen. Published the following year…

16 min.
hannah arendt   and the human duty to think

In 1964 German journalist Gunter Gaus interviewed Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) for his TV show Zur Person. The conversation began with a peculiar exchange: Gaus kept insisting on defining Arendt as a ‘philosopher’ while she kept gently pushing back the title. Gaus looked perplexed. Arendt no doubt came from the rich tradition of German philosophy, and was the direct student of giant philosophical minds such as Martin Heidegger and Carl Jaspers. She was the acclaimed author of major philosophical classics such as The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and The Human Condition (1958), and everything she had written had clearly been an intense dialogue with the ideas of Socrates and Kant, Hegel and Heidegger. So why would a thinker of such a high stature and depth deny being a part of the…

8 min.
the gift of becoming stranded

What do you want out of life? Happiness? Comfort? Security? Like many philosophers associated with existentialism, Martin Heidegger emphasizes the potential fruitfulness of varieties of experience quite contrary to these states, such as the discomfort and insecurity of becoming stranded. When we’re stranded, we’re stuck. We can’t just move on. We’re in a tough spot. Heidegger didn’t explicitly advocate seeking the experience. Having no interest in moralizing, he instead explained why he thinks we're usually not stranded, and what happens in the rare moments when we are; but it lends itself to ethical reflection. Being and Time, Heidegger’s seminal work, is, among many things, a book of social analysis. In it Heidegger describes what he sees as the ‘everyday’ way we usually exist and speak, which is as highly influenced by…