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Posts tagged ‘Public Philosophy Journal’

Curating for the Public Philosophy Journal

This week I was the guest curator-at-large for the Public Philosophy Journal.  The Public Philosophy Journal is a website and blog that aims to facilitate public philosophy in the many ways that term could be understood.  One way we understand public philosophy is that public issues and concerns can be served by philosophy’s input and analysis.  Part of that work is bringing content of note to the attention of both philosophers and public servants or others who are working on these issues. I understood such content to concern public issues that philosophy can and does address such as an article in The Globe and Mail about a new study that locates the causes of anorexia nervosa in the passions and suggests a passion-based cure.  The Greeks were themselves very interested in how the care of self was a matter of fostering the passions in the right way, so this convergence of old philosophical ideas and health seemed a good example of public philosophy.  This content also includes references to issues or events that have had influence on philosophy, like Alison Bechdel winning a MacArthur genius award for the Bechdel Test  she invented as a standard to expose how films rarely depict women as characters in themselves unrelated to the men their roles support.  Not only was that important in its own right as a provocative strategy for raising feminist concerns, but Bechdel also influenced the field of philosophy itself, prompting Helen de Cruz to suggest a Bechdel test for philosophy papers.  Another kind of notable content includes philosophers and theorists discussing public issues, such as Avi Alpert’s interview with Gabe Rockhill and Nato Thompson about art and politics and Lisa Guenther on television discussing protests against prisons and the death penalty in Tennessee.  Finally, there is the discussion of public issues within the field of philosophy, issues like being differently-abled in the field or the persistence of rape culture in philosophy departments.  Sometimes public philosophy can even be philosophers taking their work to more public arenas or philosophers being discussed in those arenas, as when Gregory Fried wrote about Heidegger’s Black Notebooks in the LA Times.  I wasn’t focusing on any one of these in particular, but all of them together. Read more