Philosophy In The News, Weekly: January 27 – February 4, 2019

Athens - Sculptured Heads, &c., Found in the Acropolis. Albumen silver print by Frank Mason Good (1869–1871) | The J. Paul Getty Museum

The best of the philosophical internet featuring John Stuart Mill’s fixes to Facebook; Nietzsche as the perfect gentleman; AI’s prescriptions for how to live; and a reading list for ‘everyday philosophy.’

News

“It’s hard to solve the problem of democracy. Who is the ‘we’ that’s making decisions?” Astra Taylor on her new documentary which attempts to answer a vexing question: What Is Democracy? | The Nation

Ideas

“Mill seemed to believe that an open, free debate meant the truth would usually prevail, whereas under censorship, truth could end up being accidentally suppressed, along with falsehood. It’s a view that seems a bit archaic in the age of an online marketplace of memes and clickbait, where false stories tend to spread faster and wider than their true counterpoints.” On what John Stuart Mill would do to fix Facebook. | The New Republic

“Athens is a magical city, for this is where what we still recognize as philosophia really began.” Practicing the art of memory, Simon Critchley thinks about the surprising connections between memory and place. | The New York Times

Books

“A new biography reveals Nietzsche to be a perfect gentleman—shy, attentive, and a little whimsical.” A review of I Am Dynamite!: A Life of Nietzsche by Sue Prideaux. | Prospect Magazine

“In the future, AI will advise us how to structure our days for the most fulfilling life. It will literally tell us what to do for optimal living.” A forthcoming book titled, Time Bubble: The Art and Science of Routine, warns that artificial intelligence will soon tell us how to live. To avoid this scenario, “we need to carve out mental space for ourselves away from the madding hubbub to bring order to our lives.” | Forbes

“While Freud remained firmly committed to positivist ideals, his thought was permeated with other aspects of German philosophy.” A new book depicts the father of psychoanalysis as a “reluctant philosopher.” | Arab News

“[John T.] Lysaker is attempting something very difficult, maybe impossible, in philosophy: a revitalization of the discipline by returning to its most vibrant (but also most confusing) expressions – fragments, aphorisms, quotations, confessions, essays, ironies, rhetorical questions.” Nietzschean hiker John Kaag reviews Lysaker’s Philosophy, Writing, and the Character of Thought. \ Los Angeles Review of Books

“Philosophical thought can also be applied to our daily lives, helping us ponder why and how we do what we do.” A reading list for everyday philosophy. | Boston Review