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New Philosopher August 2016

New Philosopher is for curious people seeking solutions to the fundamental problems faced by humankind. New Philosopher is devoted to exploring philosophical ideas from past and present thinkers on ways to live a more fulfilling life, and to seek to find solutions to the most pressing problems faced by humans in contemporary society.

United States
The Bull Media Company
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min
#13 luck

“The important problems in life usually require a comparison of the odds.”Warren Weaver You make your own luck. You’ve got to be in it to win it. She has all the luck. Don’t jinx yourself ! Odds are that… The language of luck pervades all aspects of our lives: our draw in the genetic lottery; our friends, family, and lovers; the time, place, and socio-economic situation in which we live. Though some may quibble over a definition, it’s clear that Fortuna rules with a iron hand in a velvet glove – holding the power to cast one person into despair, another into raptures of joy. But can we exert control over the quality and degree of fortune we experience? Be it good luck or bad, the short answer is: not really. ‘Control’ is but…

1 min
online at newphilosopher.com

WHY SCHOOL MUST CHANGE What are we passing down to the next generation? Are we passing down our cultural wealth? Or are we passing down our liabilities? newphilosopher.com/articles/why-school-must-change/ NEW PHILOSOPHER ONLINE STORE Visit the online store for previous issues of New Philosopher magazine, subscriptions, and other gift ideas. newphilosopher.com/products-page/magazines/ NP Writing Prize Entries are open for the NP Prize for Philosophical Writing. Enter now to win $1,000 and have your work featured in the mag. OPEN TO NP SUBSCRIBERS, AWARD XIII ENTRIES CLOSE 30 NOVEMBER 2016 Up to 1,500 words of fiction or non-fiction, based around the theme ‘luck’. For more details and to enter online visit: newphilosopher.com/prize THE THREE PILLARS OF MEDIA EDUCATION How important is formal education for a child’s development? A lot, if you consider the amount spent on sending children to private schools. newphilosopher.com/articles/the-three-pillars-of-media-education/ THE MACHINE STOPS “Who is it?”…

5 min

DBC Pierre DBC Pierre won the Booker Prize for his debut novel Vernon God Little, which was also awarded the Whitbread First Novel Award in 2003 – the first time the two awards had been granted to the same book. Pierre is also the author of Ludmilla’s Broken English, Lights out in Wonderland, a book of short stories, and a novella, Breakfast with the Borgias. He was awarded the James Joyce Award from the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin. Patrick Stokes Patrick Stokes is a lecturer in philosophy at Deakin University, Melbourne. He specialises in 19th and 20th century European philosophy, personal identity, narrative selfhood, moral psychology, and death and remembrance. A particular focus is bringing Kierkegaard into dialogue with contemporary analytic philosophy of personal identity and moral psychology. Stokes…

1 min
flouting fortune

When bad things happen, it’s nice to know why. And in medieval times we had a range of explanations for why things went wrong – for example, we could blame the black cat that crossed our path, the mirror we shattered, or the cursed appearance of bats overhead. Or we could blame the number 13. In 1882, a group of 13 men decided to dine together on Friday the 13th, at the hour of 8.13, whereupon they ate a 13 course meal, paying 13 cents each. After passing under a ladder to get to their seats at the dinner table – over which a banner read, “Morituri te Salutamus”, or “we who are about to die salute you” – each man lit a wax candle and listened to a band of…

2 min
the odds of flying and dying

“No individual can be in full control of his fate — our strengths come significantly from our history, our experiences largely from the vagaries of chance. But by seizing the opportunity to leverage and frame these experiences, we gain agency over them. And this heightened agency, in turn, places us in a stronger position to deal with future experiences, even as it may alter our own sense of strengths and possibilities.”Howard Gardner The odds of dying in an air accident in the next year are about 1 in 440,951. That’s far more unlikely than dying in a car accident (1 in 18,585) or drowning in a natural body of water (1 in 217,314). From that perspective, British philosopher Bertrand Russell was quite unlucky to be one of the 45 people on…

2 min
the democratic lottery

“Many things would be changed for Americans if they would only admit that there is ill-luck in this world and that misfortune is not a priori a crime.”Simone de Beauvoir Across the Western world, faith in democracy is plummeting. In Australia, just 60 per cent of voters prefer democracy over other forms of rule. A slim majority – 53 per cent – prefer a good democracy over a strong economy. In the US, less than one in five Americans trust their government. And in Europe, voters in Greece, Spain, France, and the UK have turned away from the traditional parties and switched their votes to formerly fringe, anti-establishment groups. Plato wouldn’t be surprised. He thought that elected democracy would mean that those who were good at winning elections – and not particularly good…