Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
What divides us?
The nation, the tribe, the union, are all sources of strength. But they are also a means to entrench advantage and exclude others. Are borders and boundaries really about privilege? Should we strengthen them so we have greater power and status, or remove them to create a fairer world?
The Word and the World
What are the limits of language?
What are the limits of language
The power of words is a wonder, and language perhaps our greatest skill. Yet the gap between the sound of a bell and its description is huge. Are the limits to language so profound that the big questions of science and philosophy are beyond us? Or can everything be said if we try hard enough?
How to live your life
Fulfill your dreams and make the most of your life! So advocate headmasters, moralists and revolutionaries. Yet poet John Betjeman's principal regret was that he did not have more sex. Is life not about goals and ambition but about the moment of being? Or is making our dreams real the only way to fulfillment?
The Dark Side of Success
Catching Sight of Ourselves
Who looks back in the mirror?
Far flung destinations are often home to those seeking to 'find themselves'. Encouraged perhaps by Socrates’ maxim for an ethical life: 'know thyself'. But do any of us ever arrive? Is the self a real and stable enough 'thing' that it can be known? Or can we never catch sight of ourselves in the mirror?
Can we create fantasy worlds?
None of us believe Mr. Darcy or Oliver Twist are real, no matter how much we might wish it so. Yet fiction's most fantastical creations have a habit of leaping into reality. Does imagination create reality, and if so, do we need to conjure new visions of better worlds to relegate the darkness of the present?