Our reviews in this issue showcase books that go beyond the usual boundaries of philosophy or argue for an expansionist view of the field. Frances Howard-Snyder reviews a philosophical novel set in snowy Norway. Christine Vitrano reviews a work of self-help – a philosophical guide to getting older. Though Black is Beautiful is a work of aesthetics, it takes us to new places; our reviewer, Luvell Anderson, leads with recent controversies about the movie Black Panther and the music of Bruno Mars. (Speaking of the movie, we’ve got that covered. Timothy Brown gives it a glowing review.)
Julian Baggini writes about the most “meta” of the books. In Taking Back Philosophy, Bryan W. Van Norden argues that philosophy departments in the English-speaking world should be renamed “Departments of European and American Philosophy”, considering their remit. Why do they limit themselves so? Van Norden argues that the so-called “wisdom literature” produced around the world addresses the same set of questions and can’t justifiably be walled off in the usual way. He compares the intellectual wall that’s been built by Anglo-European philosophy to The Wall and says philosophers are positively Trumpian for wanting to preserve it. Are they? Readers are sure to find the analogy both troubling and thought-provoking.