Philosophy In The News, Weekly: November 10 to 16, 2018

The best of the philosophical internet from Wired, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aeon, New Statesman, BBC, CNN, The Telegraph, Boston Review, The New York Times and The Guardian.

“It turns out that not only do Aristotle’s ideas about force and motion make sense, they are very common ideas held by very normal people.” The only problem is that his physics was dead wrong. | Wired

“The academy is largely itself responsible for its own peril. The retreat of humanists from public life has had enormous consequences for the prestige of humanistic ways of knowing and understanding the world.” Jill Lepore on the state of the humanities in her new history of America. | The Chronicle of Higher Education

History should be the antidote to short-term thinking, but most professional historians are merely micro-specialists without a voice in the public sphere. | Aeon

“Trained all his life to pursue knowledge, [Giacomo] Leopardi’s simple intuition was that, once found, knowledge did not help you to live. On the contrary, it brought despair. And once learned, it could not be unlearned.” Tim Parks on why the 19th-century Italian philosopher and essayist remains essential reading. | Aeon

“If we no longer seek virtue and salvation, we should blame the triumvirate of Machiavelli, Hobbes and Adam Smith.” John Gray critiques David Wooton’s new book Power, Pleasure and Profit. | New Statesman

George Eaton on Rosa Luxemburg’s enduring insight that without democratic freedoms socialism invariably turns into bureaucratic tyranny. | New Statesman

“There are no big answers; there are only small answers in the now, such as the joys of food and friendship.” On the Christian, existentialist, humanist, feminist, anti-racist and deflationist philosophy of the Peanuts comic strip. | BBC

“Ikigai” is the term in Japanese philosophy for finding happiness via the pursuit of an activity that holds meaning and purpose. | CNN

To circumvent self-censorship and suppression of dissenting views, as well as career suicide (or death by stoning for uttering “wicked and unspeakable ideas”) an academic journal has sprung up to voice controversial ideas under pseudonyms. What was the point of tenure, again?| The Telegraph

“What we most stand to gain from existential Marxism today is a revitalized conception of freedom.” Ronald Aronson on Jean-Paul Sartre’s theoretical contribution to the critique of capitalism. | Boston Review

Aldous Huxley alone accurately predicted our strange, post-sexual-revolution way of life: celibate libertines adrift in a sea of digital pornography. | The New York Times

“[N]othing can surpass the strange beauty of reality if a photographer knows where to look.” On Diane Arbus’ marvelous powers of observation. | The New York Times

“[P]rogramming is on the verge of redefining creativity.” Author Robin Sloan is writing his latest book with the help of software that completes his sentences in unexpected and strikingly original ways. Will human-driven creativity become a thing of the past? | The New York Times

On the limits of Western philosophy, written by Julian Baggini, read by Andrew McGregor. | The Guardian




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