Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
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?
Spacetime and the Structure of Reality
Founder of loop quantum gravity Carlo Rovelli heads behind the curtain of spacetime to reveal deeper and more mysterious structures of reality. “A deeply original thinker” Lee Smolin
Are psychiatric diagnoses real?
From depression to bipolar disorder, we think psychiatric diagnoses are real. Yet many now argue that categories of mental illness have little basis in nature. Is it time to abandon psychiatry and its classifications? Would this usher in a new era of effective health care or cause widespread harm?
What can MRI scans of brains in orgasm tell us? Erotic Review founder Rowan Pelling reveals how the science of la petite mort might might hold the key to abolishing pain. "Very sexy, very clever, and very knowledgeable" Financial Times
Does being cool teach us how to live?
Like Roman stoicism and Japanese bushido, modern-day ‘cool’ is sleek, capable and unfazed by fortune. Is it simply a product of consumer capitalism, or, in our relativistic age, might cool be a value that we should take seriously, and which could even teach us how to live?
Secrets of the Mind
Can science explain consciousness?
We have no explanation of consciousness. Yet from the origins of life to the workings of the atom, science has provided answers when none were thought possible. Might we be about to crack consciousness as well? An impossible fantasy or an exciting adventure for mankind?
The Crisis of Masculinity