Philosophy

How Seneca got to sleep

9 April 2016 9:00 am

As if we did not have enough to cause us sleepless nights, the Royal Society for Public Health has demanded…

‘I hope you don’t mind these letters that just go on and on’

Iris Murdoch’s letters just go on and on — as she herself was the first to admit

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Iris Murdoch’s emotionally hectic novels have been enjoying a comeback lately, with an excellent Radio 4 dramatisation of The Sea,…

Socrates and Galen on the Great British Bake Off

17 October 2015 8:00 am

As the national girth expands by the second, Auntie, never backward about lecturing us on the topic, continues to glory…

Suffer the children: they know they can say what they likeSuffer the children: they know they can say what they like

My life as an RE teacher

19 September 2015 9:00 am

Pity the poor RE teacher, writes Lauren Nicholson-Ward. It’s richly rewarding, but a complete juggling act of a job

Does Labour need a new name? Let’s ask Plato

8 August 2015 9:00 am

In order to make a sensible choice of new leader, the Labour party is trying to work out what its…

What Aristotle would have made of Cambridge’s Lego-sponsored professor

20 June 2015 9:00 am

So Cambridge University has accepted £4 million from the makers of Lego (snort) to fund a Lego chair (Argos sells…

Flamboyant intellectuals: René Descartes (main picture) and Bernard-Henri Lévy (below), in 1978

Liberty, philosophy and 246 types of cheese

20 June 2015 9:00 am

The French have always favoured grand, elegant abstractions about the human condition, says Ruth Scurr. It’s part of their national identity

It’s amazing how many different subjects Sir Thomas Browne’s latest biographer doesn’t care about

20 June 2015 9:00 am

On the evening of 10 March 1804, Samuel Taylor Coleridge settled at a desk in an effort to articulate what…

How to vote like Hercules

11 April 2015 9:00 am

To judge from elections, the purpose of politics is to win power by promising to make people better off. Plato,…

Tom Stoppard’s The Hard Problem review: too clever by half

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Big event. A new play from Sir Tom. And he tackles one of philosophy’s oldest and crunchiest issues, which varsity…

King Louis IX embarks for the Crusades

The forgotten flowering of the medieval mind

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Sean McGlynn is delighted by a cultural journey through the Middle Ages, replete with philosophy, heresy and mysticism

Existential threat: the birth of a cliché

24 January 2015 9:00 am

In the endless game of word association that governs vocabulary, the current favourite as a partner of existential is threat.…

This ex-priest’s history of the gospels could unsettle the most faithful churchgoer

13 December 2014 9:00 am

When James Carroll was a boy, lying on the floor watching television, he would glance up at his mother and…

A book about human nature that makes your head spin – in a good way

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Vincent Deary is a therapist, and this book is the first part of a trilogy. How We Are is about…

Humans hunger for the sacred. Why can’t the new atheists understand that?

31 May 2014 9:00 am

Atheists are blind to a fundamental human need

Socrates on Maria Miller

12 April 2014 9:00 am

Our former culture secretary, Maria Miller, is still apparently baffled at the fuss created by her fighting to the last…

‘Harmony and order were what Jane Austen sought in her life and work’. Chawton House, in Hampshire (above), was inherited by Jane’s brother, Edward.

Brains with green fingers

5 April 2014 9:00 am

‘Life is bristling with thorns,’ Voltaire observed in 1769, ‘and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one’s garden.’…

Caught between a New Age rock and a theory junkie hard place

22 March 2014 9:00 am

Siri Hustvedt’s new novel isn’t exactly an easy read — but the casual bookshop browser should be reassured that it’s…

Why I've started my own Mail Online

15 February 2014 9:00 am

Media moguls aren’t philosophers. So it’s time for philosophers to become media moguls

Edmund Burke (left) and Thomas Paine, caricatured by Gillray and Cruickshank respectively

Where did the Right and the Left come from? 

15 February 2014 9:00 am

What is the origin of left and right in politics? The traditional answer is that these ideas derive from the…

Reflections on a Metaphysical Flaneur, by Raymond Tallis - review

10 August 2013 9:00 am

There are books we read for pleasure and there are books we are paid to review. However enjoyable the books…

A Slap in the Face, by William B. irvine - review

3 August 2013 9:00 am

A friend of mine who works for the NHS has been told recently by a superior that his ‘attention to…

Diary

9 March 2013 9:00 am

My friend and colleague Roy Brown has just sent me the draft of a statement he will submit to the…

Femmes du monde

4 May 2012 11:00 pm

At the end of Dreaming in French, in ‘A Note on Sources’, Alice Kaplan terms her narrative ‘this pièce montée’,…

Special providence …

31 March 2012 10:00 am

When Ed Smith became a full-time professional cricketer for Kent in 1999 the county side was preparing for the new…