Ernest Dempsey — Philosophy Now is tagged a magazine of ideas. It is a platform for exploration of and solution to key issues relating meaningful existence in this universe. Each issue of this bimonthly (one issue every two months) is special; so is Issue 88 (January/February 2012), with the theme of “Sustainability”.
In this issue, a number of articles and essays lead the reader to the theme, focusing on environment and sustainability, via various angles and viewpoints. Tim Delaney’s The Five Horrorists serves as a savory appetizer for the reader to plunge deeper in the feast of the issue’s contents. Though before midway into this edition, the topics start shifting toward the system of scientific knowledge than environmental or other modes of sustainability, the views remain relevant to the broader realm of knowledge whereon the awareness of sustainability is founded. Russell Berg’s Beyond the Laws of Nature masterfully epitomizes the system of scientific theorizing through history.
However, it is toward the end—after the letters from readers and reviews of books and films—that the issue presents articles raising big questions from our everyday life. Raymond Tallis, while responding to a previous issue’s essay, in his essay A Conversation with my Neighbor challenges the ever-rising cry for stopping the use of animals in science labs. Joel Mark’s Advance Directive then draws attention to the need for special thanatological services to assist in dying of one’s own will after life loses all meaning and hope in hospice. The issue ends on a light note with Peter Colbourne’s The Bottle, a tale of three philosophers lost during a plane crash and finding themselves on a desolate island.
The articles and essays in this issue are thoughtful and well-written, and most of them are expressed smoothly with little or no philosophical jargon. The Letters section, Question of the Month, and the Crossword Corner make this journal an interactive publication that involves readers in speaking their mind and testing it on questions in philosophy. This issue of the journal is wonderful for personal reading as well as offering as gift to one’s avid reader friend or family member.
To read more about the journal and order back issues, visit the website http://www.philosophynow.org/.