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New Philosopher Issue 24 - No.2/2019

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

“Evermore in the world is this marvellous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats.”Ralph Waldo Emerson On a balmy morning in August 1974, a young man walked on a steel cable between the Twin Towers in New York. For three-quarters of an hour Philippe Petit stunned onlookers as he performed this feat 400 metres off the ground, defying fear, gravity, and a stiff breeze. “There is no why,”Petit replied when asked about the motivation for his balancing act. But I suspect there was: to create order within disorder; harmony amongst discord. Life is, whether we like it or not, out of balance most of the time. We seek ways to rebalance and, once there, we try to maintain an equilibrium. Sleep more, work less. Laugh more, stress less. Listen more, talk…

1 min
online at

newphilosopher.com is an online portal for exploring philosophical ideas on ways to live a more fulfilling life. Read the articles, join in discussions, watch free online documentaries, and plan your trip to the next festival near you. What is it to be human? Many of the problems in the world today, when one reflects upon them, call for an answer to an ancient question: What is it to be human? Caught in the web In an age defined by increasing levels of hyper-connectivity, the question remains: is our technology truly bringing us closer together, or are we simply getting caught in the web? The death of ‘death’ With advances in medical science and technology comes the allure of defying death – and the ‘life extension’ movement is gaining momentum across the globe. New Philosopher online store Visit the…

6 min

Michael Puett Michael Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History and Anthropology, as well as the Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion, at Harvard University. His interests are focused on the inter-relations between philosophy, anthropology, history, and religion, with the hope of bringing the study of China into larger historical and comparative frameworks. He is the author of The Ambivalence of Creation, To Become a God, and The Path. Mariana Alessandri Mariana Alessandri is Assistant Professor of Continental Philosophy, Existentialism, Philosophy of Religion, and Spanish-language Philosophy at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. She has written for The New York Times, Philosophy Today, Womankind magazine, Times Higher Education, Chronicle of Higher Education and many academic journals. Her teaching interests include Existentialism and Mexican-American Philosophy. Tim Dean Tim Dean holds…

2 min
balancing your selves

Few political or social debates get very far now without someone invoking the spectre of ‘identity politics’. More often than not, this language signals a clash between two competing views of what humans are. Are we self-directed individuals responsible for our own choices, or beings shaped and constrained by the labels and roles society and history give us? The language may be new, but the problem is ancient and persistent. It was also a major flashpoint in 20th century French philosophy. Existentialists like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir insisted each of us is radically free and thus entirely responsible for our actions. Our backgrounds certainly matter to us, but can never determine us. The generation of French thinkers that followed thought the Existentialists naïve: our thoughts, words, and deeds, they…

2 min
the world’s 26 biggest hoarders

Last year, the world’s richest 26 people owned as much wealth as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. The richest of those 26, Jeff Bezos – founder and CEO of Amazon – has a net worth somewhere north of $112 billion. According to Oxfam, just one per cent of that is equivalent to the health budget of Ethiopia. So, what does the world’s richest man do with all that money? Start a space tourism company, of course. Why? Because, says Bezos, he can’t think of a better way to spend that much money: only space travel will be “expensive enough to be able to use that fortune”. At first glance, the world’s second-richest person, Bill Gates, is spending his money very differently. The Bill and Melinda…

1 min
world out of balance

There’s a popular piece of graffiti that says: “The Earth would be better off without us.” It’s easy to sympathise. Our species is guilty of throwing our planet’s biosphere into disarray in only a few short centuries, and is likely to disrupt it even more in the coming millennia. Not only have we triggered the sixth mass extinction event in our planet’s history, we may have precipitated our own demise by disrupting the very ecosystems that sustain us. The graffiti artist’s conception of ‘better’ was likely informed by the state of the world just prior to the emergence of human industry. This was a world of untrammelled forests, happy dodos, and 280 parts per million of carbon dioxide – a better world than one where bees are extinct, seas are swallowing…