Why do philosophers ask “why”? Because they want to know. Because they love knowledge. Taken literally, philosophy is nothing more (nor less) than the love (philo) of wisdom (sophia)—and who doesn’t love wisdom? All human societies have developed systems of knowledge to help them understand our place in the universe and to satisfy our distinctively human curiosity. However, while standard histories of philosophy tend to focus on canonical figures and their “big ideas,” ideas don’t spontaneously come into existence in isolation from a context. They occur in relation to other ideas, had by other people. This book emphasizes the collaborative nature of philosophy, showcasing the way that thinkers’ thoughts become intertwined, and focuses on how philosophy—even in its most abstract form—intersects with everyday concerns, integrating older philosophical discussions with newer debates.
Adam Ferner has worked in academic philosophy in France and the UK, as well as in schools, youth centres and other alternative learning spaces. He has written three books – Organisms and Personal Identity (Routledge, 2016), Think Differently (White Lion Publishing, 2018) and, with Nadia Mehdi and Zara Bain, Crash Course: Philosophy (Ivy, 2019) – and has been published widely in philosophical and popular journals. Adam is an associate editor of the Forum’s Essays, and a member of the Changelings, a North London fiction collaboration.