Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
Docs in the Dock
Medicine on trial
Despite the recent bad press, most of us still think doctor knows best. Yet with medical intervention now the third biggest killer after heart disease and cancer, is it time to call a halt to our trust? Should we end the monopoly on prescription? Would this give us ownership over our own health, or risk lives and return us to Victorian quackery?
The Mystery of Music
Explaining the transcendental
We feel music has an inexplicable even transcendental quality. Yet from Pythagorean accounts of harmony to contemporary musical theory we have found ways to make sense of it. Can we go further and explain it completely? Or is the notion that we can crack the code a scientific and philosophical fantasy?
The limits of understanding
From trees to houses, atoms to stars, we assume our senses and instruments reveal the truth about the world. But could our picture of reality be radically incomplete? Is this hocus pocus best reserved for fools and philosophers, or does it open a world of infinite potential?
Climate Change and Britain’s Future
Columnist and former cabinet minister for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne imagines the true impact of global warming on life in the UK. “Independent, fearless and forthright” Guardian
Is culture beyond genetics?
Everything from criminality to love of gossip is in our genes according to some biologists. Yet behaviour varies dramatically between cultures. Does this cultural variation mean that the theory of evolution is flawed? Can it be rescued with a new theory or is culture beyond genetics?
Owning the World
Examining ownership in today's society
Ownership is a keystone to our way of life. But companies now own forms of life and fewer people own more and more. Is it time to consider radical limits to ownership in search of a fairer, more equal society? Or would this threaten personal freedom and economic growth?
Beyond Good and Evil II
Is morality instinctual?
We think morality is unique to being human. Yet the animal kingdom has many examples of behaviour that appear moral, but which we describe as instinct. Might our own morality be instinct also? Does this extricate morality from religion, or condemn it to irrelevance?