International Society for Philosophers

International Society for Philosophers

Wisdom begins with wonder

PHILOSOPHY PATHWAYS                   ISSN 2043-0728


Issue number 181 11th December 2013


I. Introducing three Pathways Editors: Erwin Laya, Martin Jenkins and Sharon Kaye

II. 'Call for Papers: What's Wrong with Childhood Today?' by Sharon Kaye (2nd Call)

III. and the StudyPartners Blog

IV. Philosophy and Photography



In September (Issue 178) I announced my resignation as Editor of Philosophy Pathways. I also said that issues would still appear 'as and when the need or opportunity arises'. This is one of those occasions.

This issue 181 of Philosophy Pathways is devoted to news, which is one of the original functions envisaged for the (then titled) 'Pathways News' e-journal back in 2001 when it was first launched.

The most important news item is that we now have three new Editors for Philosophy Pathways: Erwin Laya, Martin Jenkins and Sharon Kaye. Erwin Laya was the Editor for Issue 179. Martin Jenkins edited issue 180. Issue 182 will be edited by Sharon Kaye.

Editors will take turns in preparing issues for publication. In principle, there is no limit to the number of Pathways Editors, but I envisage that the post of Editor will be more or less permanent, so that each Editor gets the chance to produce several issues of the e-journal, or indeed as many as they like.

In stark contrast with Wikipedia, Pathways Editors are free to produce their own issues without interference from other Editors. My role as List Manager is to appoint suitable Editors and send out the issues of the e-journal. It is a strictly hands-off approach. I will continue to manage the subscriber list, post issues on the Pathways web site, and copy edit issues before sending them out to the list.

Other items of Pathways news are Sharon Kaye's call for papers on the topic of childhood and the good life, 'What's Wrong With Childhood Today?', an update on and the new StudyPartners Blog at http:--- plus a bonus feature on philosophy and photography.

My best wishes for the festive season and the New Year!

Geoffrey Klempner



I am delighted to report that three persons have responded to the call for Pathways Editors. Two have already edited their own issue of the e-journal, and a third issue is due to appear some time early in the New Year.

The following is taken from the page on the Philosophy Pathways web site which contains brief bios/ CVs of the Pathways Editors:


     Erwin Laya
     Editor of Issue 179
     Professor Erwin Bello Laya graduated with a Bachelor of
     Arts degree major in Philosophy and Mass Communication at
     Saint Paul Seminary in Cavite City, Philippines. He earned
     his Master of Arts in Theology major in Religious Education
     from Ignatian Institute of Religious Education Foundation
     (Holy Cross of Davao College) in Davao City, Philippines.
     He has completed all the academic requirements for the
     degree in Doctor of Philosophy also at the same
     institution. Since 2002 up to the present, he has been
     teaching Philosophy, particularly in Logic, Ethics,
     Philosophy of Man, Social Philosophy, Rizal, and Sociology
     at Brokenshire College, Philippines; and Theology such as
     Christology and Christian Morality at University of
     Immaculate Conception and San Pedro College as a part time
     Professor Laya is the module developer of the two
     instructional materials at Brokenshire College, Module in
     Philosophy of the Human Person and Module in Logic and
     Correct Thinking. In 1997-1998, he was a magazine editor of
     Alitaptap, a scholastic magazine of Diwa Scholastic Press,
     Philippines. He was a contributor of the local newspaper in
     Cotabato City, Philippines, The Mindanao Cross, and
     currently a contributor of the Pathways e-journals. He is
     married to Mona Labial Laya with two sons: Paul Benedict
     and Joseph Lorenzo.

     Martin Jenkins
     Editor of Issue 180
     Martin Jenkins gained a BA in Philosophy from the
     University of Bolton followed by a MA from the University
     of Liverpool and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education.
     He has taught Adult Education courses in Philosophy and is
     currently a mentor at Pathways to Philosophy, a panel
     member of Ask a Philosopher, as well as contributing
     articles to the Philosophy Pathways e-journal.
     In 2009, Martin received the Fellowship Award from the
     International Society for Philosophers for his dissertation
     'Aristocratic Radicalism or Anarchy? An Examination of
     Friedrich Nietzsche's Doctrine of Will to Power'.
     Sharon Kaye
     Editor of forthcoming Issue 182
     Sharon Kaye is Professor of Philosophy at John Carroll
     University in Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa
     with a BA in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin,
     Madison. After receiving her PhD in 1997 from the
     University of Toronto, she was a Killam postdoctoral fellow
     at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her
     original interest lay with medieval philosophy and William
     of Ockham in particular, but she now works primarily on
     philosophical topics in popular culture.
     Some of her books are: Philosophy for Teens Volumes I and
with Paul Thomson (2006, 2007), Medieval Philosophy
     (2008), Black Market Truth, Book One of The Aristotle
     Quest: A Dana McCarter Trilogy
(2008), Critical Thinking
     (2009), and Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2013). She
     also edited The Onion and Philosophy (2010), The Ultimate
     Lost and Philosophy
(2011), What Philosophy Can Tell You
     about Your Lover
Do feel free to contact any of the above if you have an idea for an article you would like to write, or if you have an article you have already written which is ready for publication.

Or you can contact Geoffrey Klempner at if you think that you might like the chance to be an Editor yourself!

(c) Geoffrey Klempner 2013




It sucks to be a kid these days, or so my own kids tell me. I suppose it has always has. Or has it? And does it have to? What might we be doing wrong?

Psychologists barrage us every day with new theories about how we should be raising our children -- as though they have human happiness all figured out. But wait a minute! Happiness is the purview of philosophers, not psychologists, and statistics don't tell us a damn thing about it.

How to live the good life is perhaps the greatest philosophical question ever posed. The answer may be elusive, but one thing is sure: it starts young, really young. What do kids need to be doing (or not doing) in order to maximize their chance of living well, now and into the future?

You know you have an idea. Now make an argument and find a famous philosopher to back you up.

Philosophy Pathways Electronic Journal wants to publish your article. Its length can be anywhere between 800--4000 words. The target length is 2500 words.

Submit your article by email to me, Guest Editor Sharon Kaye, Professor of Philosophy, John Carroll University, Submissions are due by Monday, December 23, 2013

I will also consider submissions of philosophical fiction and philosophical drawings relevant to the theme.

Philosophy Pathways is published by the International Society for Philosophers https:--- and distributed by email via the University of Sheffield http:--- list server. Authors grant the publisher non-exclusive right to publish the material by e-mail or on any of the Pathways web sites. Submitted material remains the copyright of the author.

Philosophy Pathways is an open access journal, as defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative http:---.


Sharon Kaye John Carroll University Ohio, USA

(c) Sharon Kaye 2013





     http:--- 'a new (old) way to talk' was first announced in June 2011 (Issue 163). Like many ideas that seemed too good to pass, but difficult to put in practice, has been through a number of more or less awkward transformations before reaching its present, and I hope final state.

'It's all about your mind.' Cyberspace contains a bewildering range of opportunities for people to meet up and talk, exchange jokes, images and videos. But the one thing you need as a student struggling with a subject seems to be missing: just one person -- there doesn't need to be more -- who is studying the same subject as you are and willing to share his or her thoughts with you. An old-fashioned study partner.

If you look at the web site, under 'Profiles' you will find a simple online card index system where students can say a little about themselves and the kind of study partner they would like, plus the URL of their Facebook or other social media web page. There is also a search box where you can search for profiles for a particular college subject. There are no email addresses, so no worries about spamming. The only contact information on your Profile card is already in the public domain.

So simple -- why hasn't anyone though of this before? Apparently not. Your Facebook page may be up there but how is anyone going to find you amongst the hundreds of millions of Facebook pages? Of course, there are apps on Facebook, but nothing that connects together all the different social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

At the time of writing the number of profiles is comparatively modest, in the mere hundreds, but there is a good chance you will find a compatible study partner. All the more if you register and add your own profile. The original idea that this would be for students with an interest in philosophy is still there. As the web links to are from the Pathways to Philosophy web sites, many of the Profiles will be students who have philosophy as one of their interests, even if it is not the subject they are taking at college or university.

The new addition to is the StudyPartners Blog. The latest post is from Louise Rebecca Chapman, our 2013 University of London 'star student' (see https:---) who has written on the topic, 'Small differences that can make a big difference to your grades.' Sadly (for us!) Louise transferred to King's College London, where she is having a wonderful time. We wish the best for her. You can follow Lou's exploits on her YouTube page http:---.

If you have some study tips to share, especially as they relate to the study of philosophy, or thoughts about what it is like to be a student, why not write something for the StudyPartners Blog? Just send an email to and I will do the rest.

(c) Geoffrey Klempner 2013




This is a bonus feature and not strictly Pathways 'news', but as it's the end of the year, I hope you will indulge me.

In Issue 178 of Philosophy Pathways there is a feature about my five YouTube videos. I've since made a sixth, the longest to date (at nearly 36 minutes) 'Metaphysics and ultimate reality':


The original title was, 'Metaphysics, alchemy, ultimate reality and analytic philosophy', but I soon realized that you can't use the term 'Alchemy' on YouTube without being immediately branded as a brain dead New Ager.

However, the videos have been put on hold while I pursue another interest, which predates my interest in philosophy: creative photography.

Here are some URLs:

     Metaphysics of the photograph

     Camera Dreamer

On I have photographs going back to my first exploits with the camera, over 40 years ago, together with more recent work shot over the last 2 years.

Photography was my second love. The first was Chemistry (which I talk about in my 'Metaphysics and ultimate reality' video). I started my Philosophy BA course at Birkbeck College London in 1972 with the main purpose of giving myself more time to do photography. So philosophy is in fact my third love, albeit the one that has continued the longest. From a photographic standpoint, my production has admittedly been minuscule, although I would hate to be described as a dilettante.

Two notable philosophers have expressed a strong interest in photography. Derek Parfit is a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford and the author of Reasons and Persons (OUP 1984) and On What Matters Vols I and II (OUP 2011). He also likes to take architectural photographs of Oxford and Venice, and has a couple of books of architectural photographs coming out soon. Nigel Warburton has written a number of popular books on philosophy including Philosophy: The Basics (Routledge, 5th Edition 2012) which is possibly his best known. He has also written on photography. Nigel gave a paper on the Philosophy of Photography at Sheffield University a while back where he talked about the photographs of Bill Brandt and the New York photographer Weegee.

I am interested in the theory of photography, such as it is, but more in the practice of taking photographs, which I regard as not so much as an art form but rather a way of doing philosophy. As I argue in 'Metaphysics of the Photograph', Photography teaches us that all seeing is 'seeing as'. Nothing is 'given'. Everything that we 'see', everything that is 'out there', is a meaning that we ourselves have constructed. The photograph makes us see this in the most vivid way, by forcing familiar things into new, previously unthought of relationships.

I would like to hear from Pathways readers, or Pathways students, who have an interest in creative photography. Possibly with a view to having a page of links to photography web sites. I know of one student who enrolled recently, Nilo Merino Recalde who has done some excellent work in photography. See his web site http:---. I am sure there must be more. Why don't you write to me?

(c) Geoffrey Klempner 2013


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