Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
A Philosophy of Confidence
Nietzsche famously said 'That which does not kill us makes us stronger', but how should we deal with failure? Author and Wired editor Rowland Manthorpe declares war on defeat.
A World Without Borders
Should we get rid of nation states?
From the Olympics to the UN we celebrate national identity and culture. Yet nations are typically the source of warfare and conflict. Would we be better to get rid of nations and borders in favour of a wider, ultimately global, community? Or are we less fearful of warfare than the tyranny of a peace imposed by a central government?
Brave New Horizon
Where will technology lead the human race?
Designer babies and human enhancement were once confined to fiction. Now biotechnology allows designer genetics, and many already choose the sex of their children. Where will this technology lead the human race? Should we be nervous of the ability to enhance ourselves or embrace an exciting new future for humankind?
A Goldilocks World
Is the universe finely tuned for life?
Copernicus and Darwin taught us to be skeptical of feeling we were special. Yet from the size of the electron to the cosmological constant our universe is strangely fine-tuned for life. Is this a spectacularly fortuitous accident? Has the universe been tailored for us or do the theories just make it look that way?
Metaphors of the Mind
Everything We Know Is Wrong
Can science alone uncover the truth?
At a time of uncertainty and doubt, we often suppose that science alone can uncover the truth. Yet a recent paper found that 90% of scientific studies are notreproducible. Should we see science as a flawed method and look elsewhere for our truths, or is it the only direct line to reality we’ve got?
Is narcissism a virtue that we need more of?
With more photos taken every two minutes than in the entire 19th century, the Selfie generation would make Narcissus blush. Yet from Napoleon to Steve Jobs, self-absorption is often a trait of leaders. Should we celebrate self-promotion to create a more confident outgoing culture, or is British understatement a treasure?