Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
The Rise and Fall of Democracy
What next for politics?
We see democracy as progress. Yet with the evidence of Chinese success, the Arab spring that turned to winter, and crisis in the Ukraine, its victory looks precarious. Might democracy be a temporary blip in world history? Or is this a heresy favoured only by tyrants and powermongers?
The Voice of Openness
Does social media aid democracy?
Social media had all the appearance of a democratic revolution, hailed after the Arab Spring as the power of the people. But there's now a growing army of government and corporate propagandists seeking to control and influence opinion. Has social media become a threat to democracy? Or is it still the voice of freedom?
The Banality of Evil
Nature versus nurture
We tend to believe in evil acts, but not evil people. But can we separate a person's actions from their nature? Would believing that some people are born evil help us to understand human nature, or is this a dangerous heresy that would eradicate freedom and responsibility?
The limits of understanding
From trees to houses, atoms to stars, we assume our senses and instruments reveal the truth about the world. But could our picture of reality be radically incomplete? Is this hocus pocus best reserved for fools and philosophers, or does it open a world of infinite potential?
Fads and fallacies in psychiatry
Medicating mental illness has never been more prevalent or more controversial. Is it too risky to abandon drugs in favour of softer treatments? Or is sanity itself the illusion?