Your thinking bits will thank you
Editor Zan Boag is confident that New Philosopher magazine, Australia's first philosophy magazine for the general public, will broaden debate and get Australians thinking. “You'll find philosophy magazines in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland and the UK, and now Australia is set to have its very own one,” he said. Despite all the gloom and doom, Mr Boag believes there’s a future for print, especially for well-designed magazines that are “more like a book to keep than a magazine to read and throw away.” Noam Chomsky is the major interviewee for the launch issue of New Philosopher, renowned Australian philosopher Peter Singer is writing on gross domestic happiness, one of Foreign Policy's top 100 intellectuals Howard Gardner is writing on good work and Roslyn Arnold on empathic intelligence. Meanwhile Katarzyna de Lazari is answering philosophical questions posed by children. The magazine has plenty of sections to entertain readers - there's an interview with New Yorker photographer Steve Pyke on his series of portraits of philosophers, a section showcasing Danish philosophical art, a philosopher's feast prepared by chef Nic Barratt, artwork from Leunig and an excerpt from the graphic novel adaptation of Franz Kafka's "The Trial". "In an increasingly inter-connected world, we believe that the trend is towards self-reflection and analysis of the world around us," says Boag.
"Philosophy gives people the tools to make their own mind up about what matters in life, who they should be, what they should think and how they should live." Boag says that while New Philosopher will be following in the footsteps of the popular European publications, it will have a real Australian flavour to it, looking at the link between pop culture, contemporary life in Australia and Western philosophy. "What a lot of people don't realise is that they already know a fair bit about philosophy," says Boag. "Take The Matrix for example - this was based almost entirely on the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato's story from 400BC. The same goes for Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, many of the ideas in these books stem from famous philosophers' ideas." Boag points out that there are scores of books written on philosophy and The Simpsons, philosophy and Seinfeld, philosophy and South Park, the list goes on. "Far from being boring, philosophy is about questioning everything in everyday life - why are we here? what should I do with my life?" New Philosopher magazine will cost just $9.95, for 132 pages printed on high-quality 104gsm matte paper.
It will be available at news agencies around Australia and New Zealand from August 5th. The publishers are taking early subscriptions to the magazine and are giving away tote bags and philosophy posters on crowd funding website Pozible.com. You can get behind the project here: http://www.pozible.com/project/22451