“What after all, has maintained the human race on this old globe despite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic failings of mankind, if not faith in new possibilities, and courage to advocate them.” -Jane Addams
Readers and Contributors,
Despite an abnormal year that has intimately and emotionally challenged each of us, we are pleased with what we have been able to achieve as a community at Erraticus.
We want to express our deep appreciation for the support of our readers and contributing writers. We are grateful for the opportunity we have had to publish some truly thoughtful and impactful essays this year.
Erraticus was founded four years ago with an aim of taking complex ideas from the too frequently detached towers of academia and into “the town square,” hyper-focused on their practical consequences. We envisioned approaching ideas in a manner that contrasts with the typically rigid and abstract tenor that drains them of their vitality. We hoped to foster intellectual humility and champion a chaotic but fruitful pluralism that embraces the fleeting and fragmentary qualities of human experience.
Our endeavor is nascent, and your constant support and engagement continue to clarify our vision and nurture our desire to be better, to do more, to revel in the fluid messiness that is the business of living. There still remains no single, absolute ideal or ultimate end toward which we aim. Rather, we hope for melioration in our many human pursuits—social, political, moral, or religious—that we might offer some viewpoints worth trying out.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold our annual event in person this year, but we plan on seeing your brilliant, caring faces in 2021. Nonetheless, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished this past year.
Our readership has increased by 65 percent since 2019. In addition to our regular contributors, we have published essays and poems from 22 newly-minted Erraticus writers. We anticipate these trends will extend into 2021, and beyond, as we look to further collaborate with both established experts and scholars as well as new voices. We intend to continue providing support to emerging writers and thinkers who are interested in testing out their ideas within our community.
Our podcast, Damn the Absolute!, was launched in October to warm reception. As one reviewer put it, “There’s not much that needs to be said other than the fact that a podcast like this, one that combines intellectual humility, curiosity, and rigor, is much needed these days. Looking forward to a huge library of episodes in the future.” With episodes released bi-weekly, Damn the Absolute! provides an additional avenue for members of our community to engage with one another. We hope it will develop into a worthwhile platform for thinkers, writers, and activists to communicate their ideas.
As our eyes turn to the future, we share sentiments similar to those expressed by a recent Damn the Absolute! guest, Megan Craig: “For philosophy to resonate with both life and thought, it will have to extend beyond the bounds of cool analysis and the production of ever more static theories. This may require increasingly experimental, creative ways of thinking and writing and an openness to reason that refuses to conform to the dominant models of rationality.”
We aspire to such an invigorating view of how we ought to relate to ideas—and ultimately, to fellow members of our many communities. We hope that we can advance philosophies that breathe, prefer particularities over non-concrete universals, and accommodate the emotional and the personal.
To each of you who have become a part of the Erraticus community through your writing, your dedicated reading, and your ideas and support, we thank you for building with us over the last four years and particularly during 2020. With your ongoing contributions, we hope to engage more minds in meaningful and necessary conversations.
Consisting of the editors and leadership at Erraticus.