This issue’s central essays are a welcome break from reflection on the way things are now – they were commissioned and written before things changed.
So, pause for breath and consider the work of William Irwin, whose reflections on parenting, informed by Siddhartha, build on timeless thoughts about fathers and sons. Douglas Edwards takes up professional wrestling and finds unsettling inspiration about how to think about professional philosophy: are philosophers “working” the crowd by pretending to have bold views, just to get noticed? Julia Minarik discovers equally fascinating possibilities in the practice of tattooing, which might change the way you think about the meaning of art. Does the same image on two different bodies mean different things, because of whose tattoos they are?
We shift gears a little with Ryan Patrick Hanley’s views on Adam Smith and the role of wisdom and virtue in his thoughts about capitalism – thoughts we’d do well to have again. Robert B. Talisse asks, what’s democracy good for, and if he’s right we have a lot to do to make it work for us. Finally, Elijah Millgram wonders not about the meaning of life full stop, but who that meaning is for, and why that might matter. And Deborah Boyle looks back at Mary Shepherd, and the ways in which music, mathematics, and metaphysics figured into her thinking.
Think again about philosophy and the ideas we have of our children, our jobs and authenticity, our bodies and our politics. Don’t talk yourself into thinking it’s all from a different time – we’re still people, and we still have to think our way through the smaller things, the human things, the things that will always matter to us.