Philosophy Now June - July 2021

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
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min
modern times

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.”Charlie Chaplin With this issue, we are celebrating Philosophy Now’s 30th birthday. Sometimes 1991 seems like an earlier age of the world. Recently the young whippersnapper who does most of the editorial work these days, Grant Bartley I think he’s called, disturbed my afternoon nap with the idea that we should move with the times and produce an issue focusing on what he called Modern Moral Problems. “Humbug, young man,” I shouted, waving my cane at him, “Philosophy is timeless and so are the problems with which it deals.” Yet maybe he had a point. When discussing practical ethics there are several routes that philosophers tend to take. The most notorious is to examine thought experiments – often far fetched ones…

1 min

Charlotte Curran is a current Master's student at the University of Manchester, specialising in the Philosophy of Psychiatry and a recent graduate from the University of Edinburgh. Charlotte is the owner and founder of ARTEMIS, a female run ecommerce business based in Manchester. Guto Dias is a Brazilian who decided to venture beyond the seas with his drawings. He is an illustrator, cartoonist and comic artist, who has been working professionally with drawing for over 25 years, in a wide variety of graphic areas. Frank Thermitus studied International Business and Economics at Hofstra University. He is a financial market veteran currently living between New York and South America where is working on a couple of entrepreneurial projects and a book. He is also working on a non-profit project to create an Afro-Diaspora network in the…

5 min

• Two Philosophers’ Prizes • Two Philosophers’ Deaths • One Philosopher’s Birthday A Prize for Béatrice Longuenesse Béatrice Longuenesse, Professor Emerita of Philosophy at New York University, has won this year’s Hegel Prize. This is one of the most prestigious philosophical awards, given every three years by the City of Stuttgart (Hegel’s home town) to a prominent academic who has made a special contribution to furthering the humanities. The jury commented that “in her work she succeeded in taking up and bringing into dialogue very diverse traditions, questions and cultural impulses.” Longuenesse was born in France, studied at the Sorbonne and held earlier professorships at various universities, including the Sorbonne and Princeton. She has written highly regarded texts on Kant and Hegel. Longuenesse has also worked on the nature of self-consciousness, and…

3 min
philosophers on sleeping

René Descartes (1596-1650) liked a good sleep-in. No wonder the sleepy Frenchman often reminisced about dreaming in his philosophy. For example, in his Discourse on Method he wrote that, “asleep we can in the same way imagine ourselves possessed of another body and that we see other stars and another earth, when there is nothing of the kind.” Alas, his employer Queen Christina of Sweden was an early-bird and demanded philosophy lessons at five in the morning. That killed the French rationalist, after he caught pneumonia from venturing out in the snowy Swedish dawn. Writing circa one hundred years later, David Hume was of the same mind as Descartes: “A man sound asleep”, he wrote in A Treatise of Human Nature, “is insensible of time” (p.84). Søren Kierkegaard too, another century…

5 min
recognition & protest

Throughout the last decade, social protest movements have filled our TV screens and newsfeeds. From Occupy and the Arab Spring, to the Yellow Vests, Extinction Rebellion, the Women’s Marches and Black Lives Matter, people power is as alive as ever. Sadly, it also remains as controversial as ever, as the media furore over the toppling of statues in the US and UK has shown. This highlights the poor appreciation by many commentators of what drives social protest. If we want mature responses to social movements, we must first consider the points-of-view of those doing the protesting. A philosophical account of social movements that does just this is Axel Honneth’s ‘recognition theory’, originally developed in the 1990s. Honneth (b.1949), a German social philosopher, was reacting against a previously academically-dominant Marxist explanation for social…

11 min
the ethics of fat shaming

Fat people are perhaps the most openly stigmatized individuals in our society: there is data which suggests that weight stigma is more pervasive and intense than even racism and sexism. There is certainly a well-documented social and cultural bias against fat people, particularly in the workplace, the medical sphere, and the media. In the workplace, discrimination exists with respect to hiring, wages, promotion, and termination. Workplace discrimination is examined in detail by John Cawley in his 2004 paper, ‘The Impact of Obesity on Wages’ (Journal of Human Resources vol. 39, issue 2). Cawley found that fat white females earn 11.2% less than their non-fat counterparts. In the medical sphere, fat oppression is also very much present: in one study, over 40% of physicians were found to have a negative reaction towards…