Jul 21

Volume 18 of Pensées Canadiennes Published and Now Available

Copied below is the preface I wrote for the 18th edition of Pensées Canadiennes. You can read the published version here.

This issue marks the 20th anniversary of Pensées Canadiennes. The masthead undergoes a rotation every year, and this way has allowed the journal to grow as an entity of its own, intersubjectively dependent on generations of undergraduate students. This means that our journal has also witnessed many events both within and outside the philosophy community over the past twenty years. Among these events include September 11 2001, the emergence of social media and the spring of technology, two large-scale financial recessions, the Idle No More Rights Movement, advancements in the acceptance of human sexualities (such as the legalization of same sex marriage in Canada in 2005), and space exploration. These are just to name a few. The list is long, but needless to say history and the world have been a constant source of inspiration for the philosophical community. In this same amount of time, students and professors who contributed to P.C. have also experienced what might have felt, at times, like a finger snap or an insanely slow symphony that is analogous to the two decades they endured. Despite the facts, events, news, announcements, or happenings dropping into their lives at different speeds, the questionings and philosophical practices from this side of the globe have remained lively throughout the years, echoing different trends and different ways of thinking. But these “happenings” are usually thought to be structured by beginnings, middles, and endings. The defining moment of Pensees Canadiennes is undoubtedly this pondering that began from its inception to its latest publication. In other words, 20 years later we still feel the defining moments experienced by the first team of editors, and every year we look at the future of the journal with the same anxieties and excitements that the first team had. These sensations of time are even stronger as we pass the torch to the new Editors-in-Chief and look towards the journal’s future with so much excitement. We can only hope that it continues to project itself into a future that unfolds at various speeds and in various subjectivities and through doubts and interrogations that emerge in the now.

As Editors-in-Chief, we can confidently state that time has been an ever “de-structuralized” experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time these lines are being written, we are patiently watching as our social norms and social epistemologies transform before our own eyes. Like Daseins who barely finished completing a minimal grasp onto our everyday lives and our upcoming projections into the world of post-graduation, our temporality caught us off guard. Yet, we are reassured to see that Canadian philosophy continues to flourish and to be performed so communally during these uncertain times. Our ability to think critically and to philosophize have never been more important. For some, this may be an escape from the chaotic world, and for others it may be the answer to its resolution. Contrary to a certain German philosopher of the 18th century (1), Canadian philosophy students are still very much awake – night and day – continuously pondering about and dwelling over endless threads of questions. We must graciously thank all the professors and provincial academic curriculums that push the youth’s intellectual throttle to its farthest. It is also necessary to acknowledge and celebrate the devotion that we, as philosophy students and philosophy enthusiasts, have for this field. Thus, we hope that these few pages of undergraduate philosophy can speak to some degree about the level of excellence and originality that is sustained in Canada beyond language barriers and human-made identities.

Pensées Canadiennes is now 20 years old, and just like the creators and the current writers featured in our journal, we look forward to many more years of philosophy and intellectual innovations! To paraphrase Henri Bergson’s thought, we hope the journal can speak to the unfolding of past ponderings into an accumulation of present answers with the aim of leading towards an open-ended future full of wistful enjoyments.

(1) Reference to Immanuel Kant’s “dogmatic slumber” in Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics.

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