Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
Markets, Monopolies and Freedom
The new economies
The internet has democratised knowledge and transformed our lives. But from Microsoft to Apple, it is rampant with monopolies. Should we break up the corporations or, like China, build firewalls to keep them out? Would this nurture the prosperity of the West?
Blowing in the Wind
From Miley Cyrus to Pussy Riot, musicians promote themselves as heretics. Yet for all the taboo-smashing, outrageous misbehaviour and radical political advocacy, famous musicians live lifestyles of wealth and privilege. Is popular music a hypocritical and conservative force? Or does rock'n'roll have the power to change the world?
The Evolution of Desire
Explaining human desire
From our mating habits to our territorial disputes, sociobiologists claim that natural selection explains human nature. But is this real insight or a reductionist pseudoscience? Should we seek broader, deeper answers to social questions, or will genetics soon be able to give a complete account of what it means to be human?
When is it misguided to treat mental illness with drugs? Clinical psychologist and author of Madness Explained and Doctoring the Mind, Richard Bentall envisions bold new alternatives to the psychiatric-industrial complex. "Full of insight and humanity” Times
Memory and the Self
It's an Immaterial World
Does matter exist?
We think we understand what the world is made of. Atoms and, we are now told, bosons, quarks and leptons. Yet our theory of matter does not explain thought. Do we need a radically new model to explain how material things and immaterial thought are connected?
Is evidence an illusion?
We think evidence decides the matter. Yet even suicide bombers think they have evidence to support their cause. Should we see independent evidence as an illusion? Would this lead to a chaotic world without foundations or constraint? Or open us to the richness of reality?