Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
Is the age of reason dead?
Many assume Enlightenment values will triumph over violence and prejudice. But in the wake of ISIS and Charlie Hebdo, victory seems less inevitable and the age of reason less secure. Might history not be on our side after all? Do we need more passion to combat zealotry's allure or will reason alone win in the end?
The Best is to Come
What is the future of art?
"Everything has been written. Everything has been done." So feared Pascal. Yet from perspective to the evolution of cinema, artists have outdone their masters. In art and philosophy is the best yet to come, or as Eliot said "is there only the fight to recover what has been lost and found and lost again?"
Everything and Nothing
Some claim it created the universe. Sartre argued it was central to our Being. Yet Nothing turns out to be strangely elusive. Scientists can't find it or describe it. Bertrand Russell argued it was just a logical mistake. Is Nothing an illusion, a fictitious error? Or is it a vital key to our understanding of the universe and who we are?
The King's Will
Mystery and Death in the House of Tudor
Why is Henry VIII's death still mired in scandal? Broadcaster and historian Suzannah Lipscomb uncovers a strange and mysterious truth from the house of Tudor. "Fascinating" Hilary Mantel
The Fall of the Alpha Leader
Modern life is too fast and complex for powerful individuals to save the day. For CEO and author of Wilful Blindness Margaret Heffernan, poster child leaders are fantasy jobs. "A polemic against the dangers of groupthink" FT
The Self and the Selfless
Does true altruism exist?
From personal acts of kindness to charitable gifts to strangers, altruism is seen as a high point of moral virtue. Yet studies suggest altruism is driven by self-interest and personal satisfaction. Does true altruism exist? Is altruism an evolved behavior shared with animals, or can it be pure and transcendental? In association with The Big Issue.
Visions of Apocalypse
Is the end always nigh?
The horsemen of the apocalypse held sway for much of Western history. Now from superbugs, to climate change and nuclear war, alternatives have taken their place. Are we entranced by the fantasy of apocalypse? Or at some point will the doomsday clock inevitably strike midnight and end it all?