The Philosopher

Archived since Spring 2012 Modern Archive Biannually
32 issues
The Philosopher is the journal of the PSE (Philosophical Society of England), a charitable organisation founded in 1913 to provide an alternative to the formal university-based discipline. You can find out more about the history of the PSE here. As of 2018, The Philosopher is edited by Anthony Morgan and is published twice a year, both in print and digitally.

The aim of The Philosopher is to publish philosophy that is emotionally intelligent, formally innovative, and socially just. Our understanding of what constitutes “philosophy” is broad and extends beyond the narrow confines typically set by the academy. We take seriously the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary philosophy, encouraging contributions from historians, cultural theorists, geographers, psychologists, classicists, activists, artists, and more.

In addition to the journal, we host:
  • The "On Philosophy" series of digital dialogues that has so far attracted over 12,000 people from over 100 countries. Video recordings of these events can be watched here.
  • "The Philosopher and the News" podcast in partnership with Alexis Papazoglou. "The Philosopher and the News" was ranked #2 in a recent list of the UK’s top 15 philosophy podcasts.
Latest issue
For centuries, philosophers have reflected on the idea of punishment and its role in shaping moral and legal standards within communities. At the intersection of retribution and deterrence, punishment seeks to address wrongdoing and promote social stability. However, its effectiveness and ethical foundations remain heavily debated, sparking ongoing (and often heated) philosophical discussions. These debates aim to uncover fundamental truths about human behaviour, the interconnectedness of societies, and the desire for equality and integrity. In this issue, we are excited to explore philosophical discussions on punishment with a rather unconventional set of essays. 

The opening piece is a collection of essays written by the “Reimagining Re-entry Public Philosophy Group”. They look at the concepts of displacement and isolation, as experienced both by individuals who have been incarcerated, as well as philosophers Drew Leder and Kym Maclaren, who have taught in prisons. Omid Tofighian and Elahe Zivardar then bring us to one of the most isolated refugee detention camps in the world, in the Republic of Nauru, where they describe how shared philosophical activity empowered individuals to resist state border violence. Accompanying this essay is a series of images and paintings by Zivardar, who reconstructed the images of the detention centre for the outside world since no photographers or journalists were allowed to enter. By centring her essay around Zivardar’s painting, “Nameless”, Ronya Ramrath brings attention to the pervasive issue of gendered violence in these immigration detention centres. Henrique Carvalho and Anastasia Chamberlen unsettle the idea that there is something commonsensical, necessary and unavoidable about punitive justice, while Luke Russell questions the relationship between punishment and forgiveness. Andy West concludes our main section with two brilliant conversations with Tommie Shelby and Jason Warr, helping us gain a clearer sense of what is at stake in the raw and heavily politicised debate between prison reformers and abolitionists. 

Subjects: Philosophy, Religion And Philosophy, Theology

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  • First Issue: Spring 2012
  • Latest Issue: Spring 2024
  • Issue Count: 32
  • Published: Biannually