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New Philosopher November 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
# 14 nature

“Contact with nature... is critical to the personal development of our children.”David Attenborough Of the myriad challenges we face, there is little doubt that the most urgent issue of our time is the destruction of Nature. What use are our gadgets if future generations can’t drink the water? What is the point of advances in medicine if the air is unfit to breathe? We are, in no uncertain terms, at war with the only planet we have. And unless we change tack swiftly, our descendants are certain to judge our actions – and our inaction – harshly. It is obvious we have a problem; acknowledging this is a start. The question is whether we’re willing to change our combative relationship with Nature – whether we’re prepared to make radical changes to our behaviour…

1 min
online at newphilosopher.com

A QUICK HEADS-UP In the opposition to trigger warnings, one idea predominates: real life does not offer them. Or, for a slogan: life is triggering. newphilosopher.com/articles/3418/ 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/ DUMB LUCK AND ENTITLEMENT There’s a certain disappointment – maybe there’s a word for it in German – that comes from realising a quote you like is actually made up. newphilosopher.com/articles/dumb-luck-and-entitlement/ THE AUTODIDACT As any university teacher knows, a passionate autodidact is worth a hundred mediocre students going through the motions of studying. newphilosopher.com/articles/the-autodidact 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. Up to 1,500 words of fiction or non-fiction, based around the theme ‘nature’. For more details and…

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. Andrea Wulf Andrea Wulf, the 2013 Eccles British Library Writer in Residence, is the author of five books and has written for the Guardian, Sunday Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Her latest book The Invention of Nature was a New York Times bestseller, and has won numerous awards and accolades…

1 min
following nature

Epicurus founded his philosophical school just outside Athens, locating it in a house with a garden; it was a private space amidst trees and plants where ideas could flourish under the guidance of nature. Aristotle’s Lyceum was characterised by large open spaces and a botanical garden. The idea that nature is to be “followed”, served, attended to, as a guide or leader, is not something we are familiar with today. Since the scientific revolution, nature has been explained, categorised, dissected, and mostly used for our own purposes; nature’s purpose is in what it can produce for us, rather than it being intrinsically meaningful in its own right. What do we lose by not serving, or following, nature? Does it mean, as Epicurus suggests, that we lose personal autonomy? Can our disconnectedness from…

1 min
extinction and the anthropocene

We are in the midst of a tidal wave of mass extinction. About 100 species go extinct on Earth every day. Conservation biologists are now predicting that up to 50 per cent of currently existing animal and plant species will be eliminated in what has been termed the planet’s sixth mass extinction event – the most destructive event since the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs. What’s causing this incredible loss of biodiversity? In 2000, atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen popularised the idea of the Anthropocene: a new geological age dating back to at least the 1800s, when the industrial revolution inaugurated the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere on such a large scale that humanity began to fundamentally reshape the planet’s environment. In Extinction: A Radical History, Professor Ashley Dawson…

2 min
the great pacific garbage patch

“We are living like drunken sailors, like the irresponsible heirs of a millionaire uncle... we are now squandering the capital of metallic ores and fossil fuels accumulated in the Earth’s crust during hundreds of millions of years. How long can this spending spree go on?”Aldous Huxley It’s arguably the greatest technological innovation we never bother to think about. That is, of course, its selling point. Waste management systems help us to forget what we’d rather forget – the enormous amounts of waste we produce every day. According to current estimates, the world produces 1.3 billion tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste a year, with nearly half of that produced by wealthy OECD countries – the same countries with the most advanced waste management systems. Africa and South Asia – places where people…