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?
Puff or Propaganda
The Gathering Storm
Russia, China and the New World Order
China may be on the way to replacing the US as the world's dominant economic power, but with Russia also growing its reach, could the future be more dangerous still? Do we face an uncontainable multipolar world with many nations vying for power? Or should we applaud a break from US global dominance and look forward to a more equal future?
Escaping The Moral Maze
Is morality a figleaf for prejudice?
Despite the decline in religion, most of us remain attached to morality. Yet as the Moral Maze attests and suicide bombers confirm, there are an unlimited number of contradictory 'moral' outlooks. Should we recognise morality as a figleaf for prejudice? Or is this to give up on a capacity that makes us human?
Life and the Universe
Are we alone in the cosmos?
Copernicus and Darwin taught us that we are not the centre of the universe. But fifty years have passed since we began listening for life in the cosmos. A billion radio channels have scanned the sky. No extra terrestrial intelligence has been found. Is it once again time to think we may be alone, and to reassess what it is to be human?