Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
A Very British Disease
Bursting the property bubble
Yet another property bubble may be on the way. But in Germany and Japan, home ownership is of less consequence. Would we be more innovative and prosperous if property was not a national obsession? Or is it the key to our independence, our security and perhaps even our democracy?
This is Our Church
Science as religion
We believe science is rational. But, like the Church it once fought, it has its own establishment and theories to defend. Has it become the new church, with beliefs tended by the faithful and heretics excluded from publication? Or is this a travesty of an institution that has brought so much advance?
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?
Does it exist?
The modern metropolis emerged not to serve human needs but in response to the industrial revolution. Yet from Great Expectations to Brick Lane, art is ripe with stories of how urban living can transform our identities. Should we build cities to create better people? Or would this turn urban life into an Orwellian dystopia?
Is Descartes Irrelevant?
Should we still read philosophy dreamed up hundreds of years ago seriously? Moral philosopher Mary Midgley makes the case. “The UK’s foremost scourge of scientific pretention” Guardian
Theories, Mysteries and Mistakes
Contradictions in reality
We assume our theories about the world are gradually uncovering the way it really is. Yet from quantum mechanics to post-structuralism, the reality the theories describe is contradictory. Should we conclude that the world is essentially unintelligible? Or is it simply the theories that are mistaken?
Reality in flux
From everyday objects to the stars, the world of things appears stable and fixed. Yet for quantum physics and the ancient philosopher Heraclitus nothing remains the same. Rather than a framework of things might the world be essentially fluid?