The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed there was no newsletter last weekend. Apologies. The reason for this is I have journeyed deep into the warm, pulsating heart of the happiness movement. Last Thursday I took part in a conference on Positive Psychology at Wellington College (the pioneer of well-being classes), and then I went Read more…

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As regular readers know, I’m researching the rise of grassroots philosophy groups for a project called Philosophical Communities. This has got me thinking about the roles of groups and networks in the history of ideas, and I’d like to sketch out some initial thinking.  I hope the following isn’t too pretentious… The history of ideas Read more…

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There’s been an interesting bun-fight in the media recently between physicists and philosophers. As you know, physics and ethics were once conjoined in one subject: philosophy. The first philosophers, like Parmenides or Empedocles, were also physicists, searching for the unifying material elements of the universe much as CERN is now searching for the God Particle. Read more…

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I had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan Haidt on Monday at the RSA. Haidt, as you all know, wrote The Happiness Hypothesis, which really inspired me. I gave him a copy of my new book, so if you see it in a bin near the Strand, it’s yours! Haidt’s own new book is called The Read more…

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Last week was the tercentenary of the birth of David Hume, the great Enlightenment philosopher, whose most famous idea is that “reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions”. That’s an extraordinary statement, if you think about it, coming in the middle of the Age of Reason. Have we misnamed that Read more…

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