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July/Aug 2011 cover
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Philosophy Now is a bimonthly philosophy magazine sold from news-stands and book stores in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada; it is also available on digital devices, and online. It aims to appeal to the general educated public, as well as to students and philosophy teachers. It was established in 1991.
The magazine contains articles on most areas of philosophy. Most are written by academics, though some are by postgraduate students or by independent writers. Although it aims at a non-specialist audience, Philosophy Now has frequently attracted articles by well-known thinkers.
Philosophy Now also regularly features book reviews, fiction, cartoons, and readers' letters. Its regular columnists include Joel Marks (Ethical Episodes), Thomas Wartenberg (philosophy and film column), Raymond Tallis (Tallis in Wonderland), and Massimo Pigliucci, who writes on philosophy of science. There is also a philosophical agony-aunt column called Dear Socrates, allegedly written by a reincarnation of the Athenian sage. The magazine's contents are discussed in an online discussion forum.
Philosophy Now was established in May 1991 as a low-budget quarterly magazine by Rick Lewis. The first issue included an article on free will by then atheist philosopher Antony Flew, who remained an occasional contributor for many years.
The magazine was initially published in Lewis' home town of Ipswich (England). Peter Rickman soon became one of the most regular contributors. In 1997, a group of American philosophers including Raymond Pfeiffer and Charles Echelbarger lobbied the American Philosophical Association to start a similar magazine in the United States. The then APA executive director Eric Hoffman arranged a meeting in Philadelphia in 1997, to which Lewis was invited. At the meeting, it was decided that the American group should join forces with Lewis to further develop Philosophy Now. Since that time, the magazine has been produced jointly by two editorial boards, in the UK and US. The magazine is distributed in the US by the Philosophy Documentation Center.
In 2000 Philosophy Now increased its frequency to appear bimonthly. Lewis remains the overall editor, with Bora Dogan editing the digital edition.
Abstracting and indexing
The magazine is abstracted and indexed in:
Philosophy Now Festival
In 2011, the magazine organised a philosophy festival for the general public. The venue was Conway Hall in central London. The second Philosophy Now Festival was held in 2013. Each festival was a one-day event involving contributions from a number of philosophy organisations including Philosophy For All and the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
Against Stupidity Award
Also in 2011, the magazine launched an annual award, The Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity. Past winners have been: Mary Midgley (2011), Ben Goldacre (2012), Raymond Tallis (2013) and Noam Chomsky (2014). Each year there has been an award ceremony at Conway Hall, including an acceptance speech. In 2011 and 2013 this was part of the Philosophy Now Festival.
- Philosophy Now Discussion Forum, accessed 2014-01-29.
- Obituary Peter Rickman, 1918-2014, Philosophy Now, issue 2014, accessed 3 June 2014.
- We’re celebrating our hundredth issue by launching our very own app for iPad and iPhone, Philosophy Now, accessed 2014-01-29.
- "I Think, Therefore I Am Attending the Philosophy Now Festival". Time Out (London). 17 December 2011.
- "Philosophy Now Festival" PhilEvents accessed 2014-08-15.
- Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity, accessed 2014-08-16.
- "The World's Biggest Problem is Stupidity". Daily Telegraph (London). 15 December 2011.