Welcome to The Sophist, a new Politic platform for content relating strictly or loosely to philosophy.
Fake news and “post-truth politics” lend the practice of philosophy new urgency and relevance. Old questions have been revived and new ones have emerged. Truth, knowledge, justice, identity, authenticity—some of philosophy’s oldest interests—have taken on new meanings. Sometimes, interpretative divides coincide with political divides; often, they align with communicative ones.
That is why The Sophist mobilizes philosophical interpretation and journalistic communication to produce arguments that are rigorous, accurate, and accessible. The Sophist is greater than the sum of its parts: the section puts forward a more comprehensive picture of the relations between culture, politics, and philosophy than all the articles considered separately could.
The Sophist draws much of its inspiration from The Stone, the online philosophy series of The New York Times. But unlike The Stone, which publishes opinion-like pieces, we aim to diversify our forms. The articles published in our inaugural release range from film criticism to feminist epistemology. Collectively, their subjects span thousands of years, starting in roughly 600 B.C.E. with Thales of Miletus and ending in 2060 C.E. with computers more powerful than the combined processing power of every human brain.
Many thanks go to the founding contributors—Sana Aslam, Kishore Chundi, Katie Coyne, Simon Custer, Jason Huishen Lu, Josh van Biema, and Eric Wallach—for their thoughtful and diverse work; to Holly Zhao for designing the webpage; and to Artistic Director Itai Almor, the hand and mind behind all of the art.
Our name does not aim to deceive, and neither do we. We hope it will serve as a reminder to be skeptical of the single truth-teller—a reminder to us, as writers, and to you, as readers. These days, sophistry can be hard to pin down.
Lily Moore-Eissenberg ’20 is a sophomore in Saybrook College.