I went to the book-launch of a new book on well-being policy yesterday, which brought together some leading figures in this nascent movement – including David Halpern of the government’s ‘nudge unit’, Canadian economist John Helliwell, psychologist Maurren O’Hara, and Juliet Michaelson of the new economics foundation. The book – Well-being and Beyond – is Read more…

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This year I got some funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to teach a course in practical philosophy with three partner organizations – Manor Gardens, a mental health charity in North London; Low Moss prison in Glasgow; and Saracens rugby club. The courses teach practical ideas from various wisdom traditions, and how they’ve Read more…

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I would love there to be more practical philosophy in schools. At the moment, the teaching of ethics and philosophy in schools and universities is almost entirely theoretical. Students learn that philosophy is a matter of understanding and disputing concepts and theories, something that only involves the intellect, not your emotions, actions or life outside Read more…

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Dominic Cummings, Michael Gove’s special advisor, has penned a 237-page Jerry Maguire-style memo, a few weeks before leaving office, which outlines his vision for England and Wales to become a sort of ‘school to the world’, much as Pericles suggested Athens should be. I’m impressed by Cummings’ cognitive surplus, and the sheer range of his Read more…

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I’ve just been at a three-day seminar at the Institute for Government, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to help academics learn how to influence public policy. The seminar brought together 15 academics in disciplines ranging from literary criticism to design and urban planning.The IFG arranged an impressive line-up of Westminster big-wigs to Read more…

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