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New Philosopher Issue 31 - February/April 2021

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
R 217,13
R 651,39
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min

Humans, curious creatures that we are, can’t help but explore. After millennia of mapping and crossing and occupying Earth, last century we turned our attention to space. The final frontier. For many, there was hope that we might find another habitable planet – somewhere we could move when we had exhausted poor planet Earth.To date, there is just one possible contender: the Red Planet, a water-free wasteland that boasts no life, an average temperature of -60°C, and less than one per cent of the atmospheric pressure on Earth. Undeterred, several bored billionaires have plans to colonise Mars, despite the many and varied challenges, not least of which is the fact that “we are not going to survive in deep space in our current biological form”, according to neurophilosopher and geostrategist Nayef…

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. Seeing the good Moral theory might insist we should act impartially, yet trying to come up with reasons to justify this man’s choice is to think “one thought too many”. Entrenched perceptions The firehose of falsehood is designed to destroy democracy, and the consumer model isn’t so good for democracy, either. New Philosopher online store Visit the online store for previous issues of New Philosopher magazine, subscriptions, and also gift ideas. Desert island thinking The world is a frighteningly complex place. Subtle forces beneath our notice exert disproportionate effects on the phenomena that surround us.…

6 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. 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,…

1 min
look at the dot

“The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that…

2 min
ad astra

Homo sapiens have always been on the move. About 80,000 years ago, it was the great migration out of what is today called Africa. From there, Homo sapiens colonised the world, extinguishing rivals like the Neanderthals and Homo erectus along the way. In the millennia that followed, humanity – or at least, select portions of humanity – continued on these colonising migrations. The aim was always the same: to get more. More space, more minerals, more trade, more spices. This process was turbocharged when European advances in technology were matched by an ideology that saw the world as the rightful domain of Christian monarchs – setting off a rapacious cycle in which European economies, gorged on the riches of the colonies, required new ‘outsides’ through which they could continue to…

1 min
space invaders

On 24 June 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold saw nine crescent-shaped objects flying near Mount Rainier in Washington State. He described the objects as moving like a saucer being skipped across water – and thus the Flying Saucer was born. Seventy years on, we might now call them ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’ or ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’ instead, but the saucers, at least according to many of those who call themselves ufologists, are still with us. Strange things in the skies weren’t an entirely new thing, however. Phantom airships haunted the US in the 1890s, while WWII pilots found themselves dogged by mysterious ‘Foo Fighters’. So why did the idea of visiting craft from beyond Earth only grab the public’s imagination from the late 1940s? One explanation that has been suggested is that declining religious…