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New Philosopher May 2017

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
# 16 food

Throughout history people have gone hungry, unable to find enough calories to sustain themselves. Thanks to numerous advances, most of us no longer have to fight this daily battle for survival. We live in an age of abundance, boasting such a surplus that $100 billion worth of food is jettisoned each year. Waste aside, our ‘solution’ to the (Western) hunger problem has given birth to a weighty dilemma: instead of struggling to find calories, most people now struggle to avoid them. Today, the number of obese humans sits at a hefty 1.6 billion – almost double those who are malnourished. When it comes to production and consumption, it’s clear that greed is in the driver’s seat and gluttony is giving directions. Our challenge then in this time of plenty is to learn…

1 min
online at

newphilosopher.com Interview with Jane Goodall We are divorced from nature in a disastrous way, seeming not to realise that if we continue living like this we shall end up destroying ourselves. newphilosopher.com/articles/divorced-from-nature/ A new human era Earth has lost half of its wild animals in the last forty years. What does it mean to be philosophical about this? newphilosopher.com/articles/a-new-human-era/ New Philosopher online store Visit the online store for previous issues of New Philosopher magazine, subscriptions, posters, tea, and other gift ideas. newphilosopher.com/products-page/magazines/ Attention in a time of plenty How we direct attention is one of our most ethically-important decisions. Attention leads to awareness, and often to action. newphilosopher.com/articles/attention-plenty/ New Philosopher Writers’ Award Entries are open for the New Philosopher Writers’ Award. Enter now to win $1,000 and have your work featured in the magazine. 0pen to NP subscribers, Award XVI entries…

5 min

Will Self Will Self is the author of ten novels, five collections of shorter fiction, three novellas, and five collections of non-fiction writing. His work has been translated into 22 languages. Self ’s novel Umbrella was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012, he won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1991, and was awarded the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction in 1998. He is currently Professor of Contemporary Thought at Brunel University. 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, Warburton was previously Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the…

1 min
a daily ritual

“Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.”Shakespeare, As You Like It It’s a proven strategy to help you eat better and keep weight down, to limit depression and improve self-esteem; teenagers who engage in it regularly are less likely to smoke, drink, fall pregnant, and take drugs, and they’ll even improve their grades – with some studies noting a 40 per cent lift in teens receiving As and Bs if the activity is performed seven days a week. As for younger children, they’ll boost their vocabulary by participating each night – well beyond what they’d achieve from a night-time ritual of bedtime books; plus they’ll happily consume more fruit and vegetables, and much less fried and fatty food. It’s close to the secret to health and happiness, yet over the…

2 min
waste not, want not

“The inexperienced in wisdom and virtue, ever occupied with feasting and such, are carried downward, and there, as is fitting, they wander their whole life long, neither ever looking upward to the truth above them nor rising toward it, nor tasting pure and lasting pleasures. Like cattle, always looking downward with their heads bent toward the ground and the banquet tables, they feed, fatten, and fornicate. In order to increase their possessions they kick and butt with horns and hoofs of steel and kill each other, insatiable as they are.”Plato In the developed world, we all spend money on things we never use: fitness equipment that sits in the garage gathering dust, clothes that never get worn, books that are left unread. But the thing we waste most of all? Perfectly…

2 min
treating soil like dirt

“To eat is a behaviour that develops beyond its own ends, replacing, summing up, and signalising other behaviours, and it is precisely for these reasons that it is a sign. What are these other behaviours? ... activity, work, sports, effort, leisure, celebration – every one of these situations is expressed through food. We might almost say that this ‘polysemia’ of food characterises modernity; in the past, only festive occasions were signalised by food in any positive and organised manner.”Roland Barthes A handful of soil contains more microorganisms than the number of people who have ever lived on the planet. All those microorganisms recycle organic material and enable the soil to better hold water; some 95 per cent of our food is produced from soil. It’s a complex, living thing – generating…