Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
The future of science
We think science works because it is true. Yet the theories are different from a century ago and will be different a century hence. Could it be that science is powerful rather than true? Would this lead us to more radical theories or undermine the method that has delivered so many successes?
To the Ends of the Universe
Do we still need explorers?
Explorers have lost their appeal, tarred with the brush of colonialism and exploitation. Space travel is unfunded and unloved. Have we made a mistake? Should we regain our sense of adventure and seek new challenges, or is this a male fantasy best consigned to the dustbin of imperial history?
Morality, Hypocrisy and Health
Drugs and Western imperialism
Alcohol and tobacco, largely made in the West and exported to the rest of the world, kill 25 times as many people worldwide as all illegal drugs put together. Could it be that illegal drugs are not banned to protect our health but to protect the West's deadly exports? Under the guise of morality is the West pursuing an economic goal, or is the war...
Where is My Mind?
Dreams of the Universe
Is particle physics unscientific?
From string theory to the multiverse, the theories of modern physics look increasingly exotic and untestable. But while they may be good for selling books, are they bad science? Do we need a return to empirical experiment, or should imagination be allowed its playground?
The End of Aid
Does foreign aid maintain poverty?
We think aid saves lives. Yet the IMF warns there is no correlation between aid and growth. Might the UK's £11bn maintain the very cycles of poverty it seeks to abolish? Worse still, is aidjust another name for colonialism? Or would giving up on aid neglect our responsibility to the worlds poorest?