Philosophy Now

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Philosophy Now
Aug/Sept 2017 cover
EditorRick Lewis, Grant Bartley
Founded1991; 33 years ago (1991)
CompanyAnja Publications
CountryUnited Kingdom / United States
Based inLondon

Philosophy Now is a bimonthly philosophy magazine sold from news-stands and book stores in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and Canada; it is also available on digital devices, and online. It aims to appeal to the wider public, as well as to students and philosophy teachers. It was established in 1991 and was the first general philosophy magazine.[1][2]


Philosophy Now was established in May 1991 as a 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.[1][3]

The magazine was initially published in Lewis' home town of Ipswich (England). Peter Rickman soon became one of the most regular contributors.[4] 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.[5] The then APA executive director Eric Hoffman arranged a meeting in Philadelphia in 1997, to which Lewis was invited.[5] 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.[6] The magazine is distributed in the US by the Philosophy Documentation Center.

In 2000 Philosophy Now increased its frequency to appear bimonthly. Lewis is now the Editor in Chief, while Grant Bartley is Editor of the print edition and Bora Dogan edits the digital editions.[6][7]

Philosophy Now won the Bertrand Russell Society Award for 2016.[8] Rick Lewis also translated and publish the Philosophy Now in Persian for the first time with AmirAli Maleki,[9] the founder and editor of Praxis Publication.[10]


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, interviews, fiction, a film column, cartoons, and readers' letters. Its regular columnists include Raymond Tallis (Tallis in Wonderland) and Peter Adamson (Philosophy Then). For some years there was 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.[11]

Scoops and controversies[edit]

The philosophy Professor Antony Flew, noted for his arguments in favour of atheism, published a letter in Philosophy Now's August/September 2004 issue in which he first indicated that his position regarding God's existence had changed.[12] The news of Flew's change-of-mind was carried in many newspapers worldwide, most of them referencing Flew's Philosophy Now letter.[13][14][15]

A Philosophy Now interview with the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor in 2009[16] created controversy in Canadian newspapers because of Taylor's dismissive remarks about an atheist poster campaign on buses.[17][18][undue weight? ]

Abstracting and indexing[edit]

The magazine is abstracted and indexed in:

Philosophy Now Festival[edit]

In 2011, the magazine organised a philosophy festival for the general public.[19] The venue was Conway Hall in central London.[20] Since then the Philosophy Now Festival has become a regular biannual event. The second Philosophy Now Festival was held in 2013,[21] the third in 2015 and the fourth in January 2018. Each festival was a one-day event involving contributions from a large number of philosophy organisations including Philosophy For All and the Royal Institute of Philosophy. The next festival will be held on 18 January 2020.

Against Stupidity Award[edit]

Also in 2011, the magazine launched an annual award, the Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity.[22][23] The first winner was the philosopher Mary Midgley. Each year since, there has been an award ceremony at Conway Hall, including an acceptance speech. In 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2018 this was part of the Philosophy Now Festival.

In October 2015 Philosophy Now announced that the 2015 Award would for the first time be given to a children's author, Cressida Cowell.[24][25] The full list of winners is:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Glenn, Joshua (2 October 2011). "Philosophy Hits The Newsstands". HiLobrow. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  2. ^ "The creation of Philosophy Now magazine". The Boar. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Philosophy Now Issue 1". Philosophy Now. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  4. ^ Obituary Peter Rickman, 1918–2014, Philosophy Now, issue 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b Pfeiffer Raymond. "Philosophy Goes Public". The Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 17 June 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Philosophy Now About". Philosophy Now. Philosophy Now. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  7. ^ "A Century Not Out", Philosophy Now. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  8. ^ Bertrand Russell Society Award Recipients. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Philosophy Now Discussion Forum. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Letter from Antony Flew | Philosophy Now". Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  13. ^ "There is a God, leading atheist concludes". NBC News. Associated Press. 9 December 2004. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  14. ^ Smith, Laura (11 December 2004). "Atheist finds 'God' after 50 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  15. ^ Beverley, James (8 April 2005). "Thinking Straighter". Christianity Today. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Interview with Charles Taylor | Philosophy Now". Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  17. ^ "Charles Taylor Prize for Humourlessness". Ottawa Citizen. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Defending Atheist Bus Ads". National Post. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  19. ^ "I Think, Therefore I Am Attending the Philosophy Now Festival". Time Out. London. 17 December 2011.
  20. ^ "Philosophy Now Festival" PhilEvents. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  21. ^ "Philosophy Now Festival 2013 | Philosophy Now". Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity". Philosophy Now. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  23. ^ Lewis, Rick (15 December 2011). "The World's Biggest Problem is Stupidity". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  24. ^ Flood, Alison (22 October 2015). "Children's author Cressida Cowell scoops philosophers' award for fight against stupidity". The Guardian. London.
  25. ^ Blumson, Amy (22 October 2015). "Cressida Cowell wins award for 'combating stupidity'". The Daily Telegraph. London.

External links[edit]