There’s often a call for philosophers to say something about the times we’re in, particularly when those times are confusing. So Quassim Cassam’s reflection on vice epistemology is not just timely, but a real help to anyone’s honest effort to make sense of contemporary politics. Philosophers have shed light on moral failings, but now an inquiry into intellectual vices like close-mindedness, arrogance, prejudice and wishful thinking is much needed, given the Trumps and the Johnsons of the world, and Cassam’s work makes for thought-provoking, if occasionally arresting reading.
Philosophers have had a lot to say about what it means to be mortal, but how is human life shaped by having not just an end, but a beginning too? Alison Stone brings a philosopher’s attention to the notion of being born. Devon Johnson, hip hop artist and philosopher of black existentialism, argues that a lot of art is existentially dope, and cashes out that notion with reflection on Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. What is it to take pleasure in a film so bad it’s good? John Dyck is here to help and quite possibly change the way you think about good-bad art. Should you let your child be stung by wasps? That’s a question very much on the mind of Fiona Woollard as she navigates the complicated terrain of maternal duty. And finally, around the 70th anniversary of the publication of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Alan Haworth shines a light on the philosophical ideas behind it.