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New Philosopher August 2018

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

“Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.” Seneca Whether it’s using, seeking, circumventing, benefiting from, being subjected to, or railing against it, it’s impossible to deny the influence of power on our lives. We are born powerless, into a structure that demands that we rely on the benevolence of those around us – our parents, our family, our society, our government – and submit to the systems of power in place when and where we’re born. However, how much power we have, or can potentially have, is more often than not simply a matter of luck. Gender, race, language, preferences – you name it, there are myriad factors out of our control that will determine who holds power, and who does not. Whether you’re powerful or powerless, there is…

1 min
online at newphilosopher.com

Let the kids out If you go to the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London, you will find that it has been transformed into a gigantic playground. newphilosopher.com/articles/let-the-kids-out/ Just a game? In the 18th and 19th centuries, moralists fretted that novels would leave readers sexually inflamed, disconnected from reality, and prone to vice. newphilosopher.com/articles/just-a-game/ 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/ The promise of play The mistake we make, maintains the author and game designer Ian Bogost is in thinking that play involves a turning away from ‘real life’. newphilosopher.com/articles/the-promise-of-play/ New Philosopher Writing Prize Entries are open for the New Philosopher Prize for Philosophical Writing. Enter now to win $1,000 and have your work featured in the magazine. Open to NP subscribers, award XXI entries close…

6 min

Keith Dowding Keith Dowding is Professor of Political Science at ANU, with a special interest in power, freedom, and politics. Formerly Professor of Political Science at London School of Economics, Dowding received a degree in Philosophy and Politics from Keele University and a DPhil from Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and edited the Journal of Theoretical Politics from 1996 to 2014. Since 2014 he has been Associate editor of Research and Politics. Oliver Burkeman Oliver Burkeman is a writer based in New York. The winner of the Foreign Press Association’s Young Journalist of the Year, Burkeman was also shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2006. His books include HELP! How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done and The Antidote: Happiness for…

7 min
power struggle

It’s not often that you’re likely to be faced with a line of military vehicles bearing down on you, as was the case for ‘Tank Man’ in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The unidentified protestor was one of tens of thousands of students who made a stand against the Chinese government. In this instance, people power was ineffective in the face of State power. Tank Man’s fate is unknown. The kind of power you’ll probably face will be slightly more subtle: the power of cultural norms, which are fed to you minute-by-minute through the world’s mainstream media. What should we discuss? The news has the answer. How should I feel? Flick on the TV. What is the meaning of life? Hollywood knows. Where are we going? DJ, spin that wheel. When it comes…

2 min
power shifts

“There is nothing which power cannot believe of itself, when it is praised as equal to the gods.” 756 The Donation of Pepin provided a legal basis for the erection of the Papal States, which bestowed political and secular authority to the Popes beyond the duchy of Rome. Pepin the Short (the Frankish King and father of Charlemagne) granted this to Pope Stephen II. 1150 The Knights Templar effectively set up the first private credit banking system. A pilgrim or crusader could deposit money or valuables within a Templar stronghold and receive an official credit letter describing what they had. The letter would then be used to receive the written sum in any stronghold of the Templars. 1397 Founded by Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici in Florence, the Medici bank became one of the most prosperous…

6 min
strategically incompetent

There are certain secrets for getting ahead in life that only work because they remain secret: as with magic tricks, they cease to be effective once everyone knows how they’re done. So I probably shouldn’t be using the pages of this magazine to spread the word about “strategic incompetence”, one of the sneakiest methods for getting your own way at work or at home. Nevertheless, here goes: if there are tedious and effortful tasks you’d prefer to avoid… simply pretend you can’t do them. Aggravated that it’s your turn to organise an after-work event for you and your office colleagues? Screw it up – while giving every appearance of doing your best, obviously – and it’ll never be your turn again. The same applies to dishwasher-stacking, garden-raking, photocopier-paper-jam-resolving – even…