The Philosopher  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Philosopher is a learned, peer-reviewed journal that was established in 1923, in order to provide a forum for new ideas across the entire range of philosophical topics, in the clearest and plainest language. Its first issue proudly quoted A. S. Rappoport in A Primer of Philosophy(1904) that:

'There is a prevalent notion that philosophy is a pursuit to be followed only by expert thinkers on abstract subjects, that it deals with the pale ghosts of conceptions whose domain is abstract thought, but which have no application to real life. This is a mistake... Man sees the various phenomena of life and nature, forms conceptions and ideas, and then tries to reason and to find out the relation existing between these various facts and phenomena... When man acts in this way we say he philosophises.'

It has published more or less continually since then, with only a very slight reduction during the Second World War. As its website explains, its history was for many years entwined with that of the Philosophical Society of England, founded ten years earlier in 1913. The Society intended 'to promote the study of practical philosophy among the general public', to bring together professional philosophers and non-professionals, to bring philosophical ideas and problems to the public attention, and to encourage wider discussion of both traditional and topical philosophical issues and so it was to carry out this function, that the Society founded The Philosopher, as its own Journal, in addition to its local groups that hosted lectures and discussions, and its conferences. Over the years, the needs of the Society changed, as membership declined and the general public shifted to informal, web-based groups. In 2011, the Society formally separated the functions of the printed Journal, which became a members' newsletter, and the web edition, which had long been the key publication in terms of both submissions and readers, and made it fully autonomous.

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