In this issue we have a look the early history of philosophy, some of the first rumblings of questions about what exists, who we are, what’s right, and what’s good. A worry which arises quickly, and no doubt for good reasons, concerns that previously nearly innocuous word, “philosophy”.
Whose are we talking about? There have been a lot of attempts to answer philosophical questions. Do we mean the whole wide world’s various intellectual struggles to get at the nature of things? Who did that first and shouldn’t we look there if we intend to get at the early history of the thing? Why focus on the Greeks? And why just Greek men? What do you have against the I Ching or the Vedas?
Good questions. Look, we’ve had symposia on other traditions, even a close look at comparative philosophy itself, and it’s fascinating. Dig into our digital archive. Our intention here is not to elevate one tradition above another or argue that the canon should be this or that, or that the Greeks had a monopoly on philosophy and started it all. Honestly, we’re just keen to think about something other than viruses for a minute, and we fled to the familiar names and remarkable ideas of what can seem like old allies, even friends, in these unsteady times: Thales, Heraclitus, Zeno, Socrates, Plato, Diogenes and Aristotle. It feels better just typing that. They’re not going to mention R numbers or hand gel.
Sincere thanks to our contributors for taking part.