The Writing Desk
The Raven Magazine
by David Johnson
8M ago
We launched The Raven two years ago to revive a literary form of philosophical writing that, we felt, had fallen out of favor in academic publications due to the professionalization of the field. We believed that others held this style of philosophy in equally high regard and would gravitate to our publication as contributors and readers. Our high hopes were confirmed by our first two issues. Source ..read more
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An Effort at Reconciliation
The Raven Magazine
by David Johnson
8M ago
The pioneer of the modern memoir, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, was a philosopher, and in the 250 years since his Confessions dropped, several other philosophers have followed his lead. Friedrich Nietzsche, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Stanley Cavell all produced excellent memoirs. But beyond such special cases, philosophy and autobiography have always been a tricky fit. Source ..read more
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Having Done Wrong
The Raven Magazine
by David Velleman
8M ago
Editors’ Note: This essay was written, edited, and prepared for publication before the October 7th attack on Israel. The decision to proceed with publication of it should not be interpreted as a response, by the author or the editors, to that event. About twenty years ago, I did some horrible things. I should not have done these things. I have not denied doing them nor did I resume my life as if I... Source ..read more
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Faith and World
The Raven Magazine
by David Johnson
8M ago
Lockdown arrived in a fidget of activity. I spent the day before helping in my daughters’ school, hoping to feel of use. The teachers were busy photocopying worksheets, trying to figure out what would be required of them in the coming days and weeks. I talked philosophy with the children, class after class, in the large and draughty hall. We talked about aliens who wore sofas on their heads and... Source ..read more
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The Real Fan: A Love Story
The Raven Magazine
by David Velleman
8M ago
Are you a real fan of your favorite sports team? A true fan? If you haven’t heard what it takes to be a real fan, well, then I have some exciting news: there are guidelines! Bill Simmons sets out twenty rules to being a true fan. If that sounds over the top, Paul Taylor at Bleacher Report offers you ten. Everyone seems to agree that suffering is involved. The real fan identifies with her team. Source ..read more
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Power to the People
The Raven Magazine
by David Johnson
8M ago
Identity politics gets a bad rap these days. Critics on the right portray it as grievance politics. Centrist critics worry that it serves to divide instead of to unify. Critics on the left claim that it misidentifies the real underlying cause of structural injustice: class-based oppression. Erstwhile comrades are pointing fingers across familiar battle lines. Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò’s Elite Capture... Source ..read more
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The Writing Desk
The Raven Magazine
by David Velleman
1y ago
The lead essay in this issue, “Rings & Books,” is a script prepared for BBC radio in the 1950s by the British philosopher Mary Midgley (1919-2018). Rejected by the editor as a “trivial, irrelevant intrusion of domestic matters into intellectual life,” it was never aired—or published in English—until now. It comes to us courtesy of the Midgley Estate and the research collaboration (Women) in... Source ..read more
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Rings & Books
The Raven Magazine
by David Velleman
1y ago
Practically all the great European philosophers have been bachelors. In case you doubt that, here are some figures Unmarried Plato Plotinus Bacon Descartes Spinoza Leibniz Hobbes Locke Berkeley Hume Kant Married Socrates Aristotle Hegel I do not cram the groaning scale with monks and friars, because there is always the chance that they had some other reason, besides philosophy... Source ..read more
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Drawing and Thinking
The Raven Magazine
by David Velleman
1y ago
How can one learn the truth by thinking? As one learns to see a face better if one draws it. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Zettel §255 This remark, like many of Wittgenstein’s, seems to arise from self-examination. The answer he gives suggests that he is concerned with learning just by thinking, and indeed with the particular kind of learning just by thinking that happens in philosophy (as opposed to, say... Source ..read more
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The Paradoxes of Nostalgia
The Raven Magazine
by james
1y ago
By now we are all acquainted with the pandemic’s pathology of feeling. We know about the loneliness, the hopelessness, and the grief. But there are other reactions, less prominent but not rare. In my case, the past two years have been accompanied by a curiously persistent case of nostalgia. I go on little quests of memory, in search of images tediously generic and blazingly specific. Source ..read more
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