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  • Thought Magicians

Call for Papers - What is Today's problem?

"As if we would not remain slaves so long as we do not possess a right to the problems, to a participation in and management of the problems"

- Gilles Deleuze, Différence et répétition (1968)

Today’s society is riddled by a seemingly infinite stream of problems. These problems often appear to us as practical puzzles demanding to be ‘fixed’, like shortages of housing or inadequate funding for healthcare. While these problems should be taken seriously by political scientists, policy makers, and activists, they are not very interesting from a philosophical perspective. Philosophers are interested in a different set of problems. Not the problems that need fixing right now, but the problems to which contemporary society is itself a response. For philosophy, the interesting question is not: ‘how can this problem be solved?’ but rather: ‘what kind of problem can allow X or Y to appear? or, ‘to which problem is X or Y a response?’ This is a reading of society as a set of symptoms which find their origin far below the surface, at the intersection of history, technology, literature, politics, culture, art and philosophy. One can think here of questions such as:

- To which problem (s) is our desire for ‘kicks’ and ‘highs’ a response?

- To which problem (s) is lifestyle/self-help a response?

- To which problem (s) are drugs like XTC and cocaine (uppers) a response?

- To which problem (s) is our faith in science a response?

- To which problem (s) is modern literature a response?

- To which problem (s) is philosophy a response?

- To which problem (s) are modern forms of insanity/psychosis a response?

- To which problem (s) is violence a response?

- To which problem (s) is populism a response?

We are interested in creating an online publication in which we compile a series of texts all dealing with this topic. All submitted texts will be reviewed and – if suitable – published on the platform as part of an integral series. Texts can be any length, as long as they are original and actively engage with the subject matter. The deadline for submission is 01/02/2024, and can be send to contactmagicians@gmail.com.



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