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It turns out that many of the greatest philosophical ideas and systems were conceived in times of catastrophe, crisis and upheaval. This is true also for many great works of literature, art, etc. So while this is perhaps an act of shameless self-promotion, I therefore offer this link to my recent edited book, Catastrophe & Philosophy, which I hope some of your readers will find relevant:


Polaris Koi

Do you have tips for those of us who feel that we would have something to contribute but are inexperienced in public philosophy? For example, what would be good platforms for popular articles or blog posts on the topic?

Helen De Cruz

Hi Polaris! Yes. This is a thread I did on how to do public writing. It is essentially a write-up of a panel by religious studies scholars but a lot of this applies to philosophy too https://twitter.com/Helenreflects/status/1198284813901320192
Both The Conversation and Aeon are open to longer, reflective pieces and work with you (you can pitch them) if you have a timely (or timeless) piece with an original angle. If you have no patience for pitching and that sort of stuff, you could also just write your own blog (I recently got a wordpress account to do that. Their cheapest plan is not expensive).

Polaris Koi

Thank you Helen! That's very helpful. Have you come across resources on how to write a good pitch? Perhaps sample pitches even?

Polaris Koi

Addition to previous comment: also looking for tone basics -- e.g., do I start my pitch "Dear editors", or will that come across as stiff?

Bethany Laursen, Editorial Assistant, PPJ

The Public Philosophy Journal is currently accepting submissions related to philosophical issues and the pandemic: https://publicphilosophyjournal.org/full-record/?amplificationid=2120. Please email [email protected] with your pitch or your piece.

Bethany Laursen, Editorial Assistant, PPJ

In fact, we'd love to invite the author of this piece to submit to the PPJ!


"But the contemporary prejudice against the useless obscures the value of studying the useful just
as insidiously as it obscures the value of studying the useless ... So those who argue for more professional programs, those frogs in the swamp who equate education with vocational training, have missed the boat. If education does not focus on developing
the desire for the useless, then it cannot produce anything truly useful. Aristotle understood this. Why can’t we?"

- David Curry, "Uselessness: A Panegyric"


Helen De Cruz

Hi Polaris -- I'm probably not the best person to give advice on this as I have relatively few public philosophy pieces in vetted venues (I'm a long-time blogger and I just can't bring myself to jump through lots of hoops to pitch to venues, so I only have a piece in The Guardian, a couple of pieces in other outlets, a forthcoming piece in Aeon). With that limited info, I think that editors don't really care much about how formal you are but they just want as clear (and brief) as possible a pitch that shows why your piece is relevant now.


Thanks, Helen. This is a nice piece, a welcome perspective. Two cheers for the point about epistemic humility during a period of rapid decision-making under uncertainty. Thanks also for the point that if one's research was worthwhile before COVID-19, it's probably still worthwhile. If the crisis does reveal our work to be less important than it formerly appeared, reflecting on that fact might do many of us some good. Painful, but possibly liberating. Derailed or disoriented isn't always disempowered.

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