“There is a prevalent notion that philosophy is a pursuit to be followed only by expert thinkers on abstract subjects, that it deals with the pale ghosts of conceptions whose domain is abstract thought, but which have no application to real life. This is a mistake. Man sees the various phenomena of life and nature, forms conceptions and ideas, and then tries to reason and to find out the relation existing between these various facts and phenomena... When man acts in this way we say he philosophises.”
(A.S. Rappaport, from the first edition of The Philosopher, 1923)
One of our editors Anthony Morgan has recently taken over as editor of The Philosopher, the oldest public philosophy journal in the UK (founded in 1923). And we are delighted to have established a new relationship with the Philosophical Society of England (PSE), a charitable organization founded ten years earlier than the journal in 1913 (see www.philsoceng.uk) The Philosopher is the official journal of the PSE, and we have taken over publication. The first edition under our stewardship will be published this Autumn, and in 2019 the journal will be published quarterly.
The Philosopher is a journal built around the belief that anything can be made clear to the interested reader. Articles are considered without discrimination as to subject matter or author; the only criterion is that it must be philosophical in method. Contributors over the years have ranged from John Dewey and G.K. Chesterton to contemporary thinkers like Daniel Hutto, Mary Midgley, and Stephen Mumford. The lead article for our Autumn 2018 edition will be by top Oxford philosophy professor, Timothy Williamson.
The Philosopher can be contacted through emailing Anthony: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions are welcome from professional and amateur philosophers of all kinds, with the proviso that articles maintain a high standard of readability and transparency, more in line with classical discussions than with the quite different aims and rationales of many contemporary journals catering for the academic market.
Articles should not exceed 3000 words, and are preferably considerably shorter. We try to make a preliminary assessment of publication potential within three months of receipt. However, in a typical year we receive many enquiries, and being a not-for-profit organisation, we sometimes struggle to keep up! All submissions must be sent to the Editor: email@example.com
Please keep these to an absolute minimum, and preferably have none at all. If you do wish to include notes, please gather them into a Notes section at the end of the article. Further unreferenced works which might be helpful to the reader should be indicated in the main text.
The Reviews Editor encourages new reviewers for the Journal. Review articles can be up to 1500 words long, but short reviews of less than 700 words are preferred. If you would be interested in joining the Reviews team, please contact the Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do philosophy? What is it that philosophers are trying to achieve? And what, if anything, is distinctive about philosophical ways of thinking? These are the kinds of questions that are addressed in this issue.
The Philosopher has always been a journal in which dialogue between academic and public philosophy is taken seriously, so in this spirit Timothy Williamson opens by offering an overview of his recent book Doing Philosophy followed by responses to four essays written by non-academic philosophers about different themes raised in his book: common sense, the nature of philosophical disputation, thought experiments, and the Enlightenment. This is then followed by extremely wide-ranging answers to the question of what it is to do philosophy from a number of academic philosophers. In these accounts, philosophy is a vocation to which the philosopher is inexorably drawn; it is motivated by hope; it is built around the art of questioning; it is constituted out of an oscillation between a desire for a God’s eye view of things and an acceptance of the necessary limits that it must face; it is both rigorous and elemental; it is broad in scope but narrow in practice. Finally, Socratic philosopher Joel Yoeli offers a handful of aphoristic insights into the central questions that motivate him as a philosopher, most of which could not be more different than those that motivate Timothy Williamson. And therein lies the drama (and beauty) of doing philosophy.
This issue will be available in early December.
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