Editor Anthony Morgan
Editorial board Jana Bacevic, Darren Chetty, Alexander Douglas, Brian D. Earp, Adam Ferner, Moya Mapps, Alexis Papazoglou, Chiara Ricciardone, John Robinson, Andrés Saenz De Sicilia, Lauren Slater, Olúfémi O. Táíwò, Lani Watson, Peter West
Website, social media, and more Joanna Ciafone, Olive Richardson, Oliver Woolley
Design William Eckersley
Cover Nick Halliday (hallidaybooks.com)
Art consultant Joanna Borkowska
The Philosopher is the journal of the PSE philsoceng.uk
In her recent book Cartesian Poetics, Andrea Gadberry asks, “What is thinking? What does it feel like? What is it good for?” To these we might add, “Where does thinking come from? Which modalities of thinking have we overlooked?” If, as Martin Buber suggests, philosophical thinking begins with “the primary act of abstraction”, can it overcome its in-built distancing tendency? Is this “unfreezing” its primary task, as Hannah Arendt suggests? And, if so, how intimate can thinking be? Can forests think, as the anthropologist Eduardo Kohn has suggested, or is this a case of language “going on holiday” (to use Wittgenstein’s famous phrase)? Does non-human animals’ lack of language give us a good reason to think that they do not have any form of thought? Or does this anthropocentric attitude evidence one way that “thinking” can employ oppressive, colonialist, or violent logics? How, indeed, is thinking configured in relation to existing structures and habits of power – can thinking ever be liberatory? And are we still, as Heidegger suggested in the 1950s, “in flight from thinking”? This issue will address the process, value and significance of thinking itself.
Jeff Malpas questions the solitary and interiorized image of thinking of which philosophers are so fond, arguing that they have overlooked the extent to which their thinking originates in and is sustained by the spaces and places within which it occurs. Michael Marder raises similar questions about the site of thinking, expanding its locus beyond the head to the whole body, and beyond the human world to the sentient world, contrasting this expansive ecological vision with a thinking that contracts to a void, sucking us into its path of devastation. Andrea Gadberry explores a less wellknown lineage of thinking about thinking that acknowledges the messier subterranean elements of thinking, one that has been covered up by the dominant account of cold analytic reason, while Hanneke Grootenboer and Deric Carner both consider the relationship between thinking and art. For Grootenboer, works of art can be “pensive images” with the capacity to shape concepts in visual terms, while Carner describes the interplay of thinking and embodied praxis in his artistic works. Thomas Bartscherer and Grant Farred focus on two of the 20th century’s most prominent thinkers about thinking, Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger respectively, while Keren Lucy Bester asks how literally we are to take Friedrich Nietzsche’s claim that his genius lies in his nostrils. Finally, I explore what it might mean to think intimately, contrasting this with the “cold” thinking that has dominated philosophy to date.
Other highlights in this issue include: Elvira Basevich offers a personal and moving tribute to her friend and mentor Charles W. Mills who died last month at the age of 70; Dan Taylor takes us on a wonderful and unusual journey into the history of philosophy and chess; and Leo Zaibert and Gregg D. Caruso continue their intense and exhilarating debate over the status of punishment and retribution. I am grateful to Deric Carner for permission to use his images in this issue and to Michelle Levy for her commentary on the images.
Anthony Morgan, Editor