Imagine, if you will, the scene. The Enlightenment has defeated Religion, and its various champions meet to carve up the vanquished enemy’s territories. Philosophy takes the chair: ‘Right then, settle down everyone. Thank you. Now, let’s see…Religion used to offer ethics and laws. We’ll split that with jurisprudence. It also used to offer divination and Read more…

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Simon Critchley, an English philosopher at the New School in New York, has suggested that all philosophy is an attempt to deal with two disappointments: religious disappointment, or the loss of faith; and political disappointment, or the search for justice. In his most recent book, Faith of the Faithless: Experiments in Political Theology, he attempts Read more…

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To talk about David Bowie, first we need to talk about Thomas Carlyle, a philosopher who, near the beginning of the 19th century, recognised that rationalism was undermining the mythical foundation of society – Christianity – without putting any new myths in its place. In Sartor Resartus, his unusual and wonderful book of 1830, he Read more…

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Angie Hobbs came and spoke at the London Philosophy Club earlier this month. She’s an expert on Plato, and in her talk she used Platonism as a way of making sense of last year’s riots. She noted that many media commentators called the rioters ‘shameless’. This wasn’t true at all, she said. The rioters had Read more…

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There’s a cognitive bias which supposedly causes emotional disorders, whereby you minimize your own achievements while maximizing those of other people. I feel the authors of Britannia Unchained, a new book about how to save the UK from national decline, suffer from this bias. They are far too pessimistic about the UK’s achievements, while seeing Read more…

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