From Plato on, philosophy has had an uneasy relationship with expressive arts such as narrative, poetry, drama, music, painting, and now film. If philosophy today can learn from science, can it learn from the arts as well– or even instead? If so, what can it learn?
Does expressive art access truths, particularly ethical truths, that cannot be expressed any other way? If it does, what can ethicists and other philosophers say about these truths? If it does not, what differentiates expressive from merely decorative art?
Some philosophers insist with Wittgenstein that “whatever can be said at all can be said clearly”. In that case, are artistic uses of language such as metaphor and imagery just “colour”, as Frege called it – just ways of dressing up thoughts that philosophers, by contrast, should consider in their plainest possible form?
The first issue of The Philosophical Quarterly was published in October 1950. In the sixty years since, the PQ has established itself as one of the world’s leading general philosophy journals. We continue to publish across the full spectrum of academic philosophy, and welcome original research in all areas of philosophy and its history.
Our aim in compiling this virtual issue was not to select the ‘best’ articles published in the PQ, but rather to produce a representative sample of the last sixty years. Limiting ourselves to two articles for each decade, we sought to give readers a taste of the variety of topics discussed in the journal, and the range of philosophical approaches taken to those issues. As we find every week, when deciding which articles to publish today, the final choice was not easy.
Many wonderful articles missed out. We could, of course, have included more. (The joy of a virtual issue is that there is no restriction on pages.) But we wanted the virtual issue to be as close as possible to a real issue. Our hope is that our selection will whet the readers’ appetites – encouraging them to search back through the PQ archive and discover hidden riches for themselves.
The virtual issue opens with the editor’s introduction from the first issue, and with a brief piece by Malcolm Knox.
Have you remembered Father’s Day? Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. It is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in many countries and on other days elsewhere.
Check out this free article from The Philosophical Quarterly about things that we ought to do for our parents – do any of these theories apply to you?