ZINIO logo

New Philosopher Issue 30 - No.4/2020

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.

Read More
United States
The Bull Media Company
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min

“What perception is, every one will know better by reflecting on what he does himself ... than by any discourse of mine.”John Locke It wasn’t until I was 12 years old that my parents figured out I was almost as blind as a bat. Like Thomas Nagel, I was unable to imagine what it was like to be a bat, let alone how others could see, so blind I had remained. A world sharply in focus suddenly appeared and, growing up in a metropolis, there was much to see. The catch: clear-sighted, I was now constantly distracted, caught up in people’s faces, fast-moving objects, billboards, and crowds. My eyes were in focus; my mind was a blur. In H.G. Wells’s short story The Country of the Blind, after stumbling across blind villagers living…

1 min
online at newphilosopher.com

newphilosopher.com is an online portal for exploring philosophical ideas on ways to live a more fulfilling life. Read the articles, join in discussions, and watch free online documentaries. Does purpose make you happy? Now more than ever I want to cling to the idea that finding happiness bears some connection to purpose, or even duty. newphilosopher.com/articles/does-having-a-purpose-in-life-make-us-happy/ On purpose In my book, I develop and defend what I believe is the most promising, humane, and justified alternative: the public health-quarantine model. newphilosopher.com/articles/on-purpose/ New Philosopher online store Visit the online store for previous issues of New Philosopher magazine, subscriptions as well as gift ideas. newphilosopher.com/products-page/magazines/ 13 questions Your favourite word? “Mudita” (Sanskrit): the experience of joy – the opposite of resentment and schadenfreude – on hearing of someone else’s good fortune. newphilosopher.com/articles/13-questions-andres-roemer/ New Philosopher Writers’ Award Entries are open for the New Philosopher Prize for Philosophical…

6 min

Susanna Siegel Susanna Siegel is Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. Siegel currently works on topics in the philosophy of mind and epistemology and has written two books: The Contents of Visual Experience (2010), and The Rationality of Perception (2017). Siegel is past President, American Society for the Scientific Study of Consciousness; and upcoming President, Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Nigel Warburton Nigel Warburton is a freelance philosopher, podcaster, writer, and the Editor-at-large of New Philosopher. Described as “one of the most-read popular philosophers of our time”, his books include A Little History of Philosophy, Thinking from A to Z, and Philosophy: The Classics. The interviewer for the Philosophy Bites podcast, which has been downloaded over 20 million times, Warburton is one of the founding faculty of the LIS. Myisha Cherry Myisha…

2 min
to be is to be perceived

Unsurprisingly for a man who argued for the nonexistence of matter, Bishop Berkeley didn’t have much time for common sense. In Principles of Human Knowledge, he complained about the “opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers… have an existence natural or real, distinct from being perceived”. Indeed, such a view is not only misguided, it’s a “manifest contradiction”. According to Berkeley, there are three kinds of ideas: ideas imprinted on our senses, ideas perceived through the passions and operations of the mind, and ideas formed by the help of memory and imagination. So-called ordinary objects – houses, mountains, and rivers – are really collections of ideas that we call by a single name. A house is at least a collection of ideas formed by our senses, our mental reflection, and…

2 min
pierre is not here

In his masterwork Being and Nothingness, written during the Nazi occupation of France, Jean-Paul Sartre asks us to imagine a scene from everyday life: You walk into a café. You’re meeting your friend Pierre there, but you are running late. You look around the café for Pierre, and you see that he is not there. But what is it to see that someone is not there? You see plenty of things, sure enough: chairs, tables, cups, saucers, patrons. But all the café gives you is positive sense-data: sights, sounds, smells, and so on. There is no visible, tangible Pierre-shaped hole floating in space. Yet Pierre’s absence haunts it nonetheless, and we see this right away. As you look at each face, each empty chair, it sinks back into the background as…

2 min
like riding a bike

We talk about ‘knowing’ how to type, or how to ride a bicycle. But what kind of knowing is this? Descartes, who introduced the mind-body split, would break down those actions into distinct phases. First, we sense the keyboard, or the bicycle and the road, then we form a mental representation of it. Once we’ve formed that cognitive picture of the object and the environment, we form an intention towards the object – I’m going to type out this word on the keyboard, or pedal the bike in that direction – and act upon it. For Descartes, knowledge is held in the mind. But this just isn’t a very accurate description of what we do when we type or ride a bike. Once the activity has been learned, we don’t keep…