I’m a great fan of Professor Jerome Kagan, the eminent Harvard psychologist, who has done important work on the role of the amygdala in emotional disorders like social anxiety. I admire his humane appreciation for both the sciences and the humanities, and his awareness of psychology and psychiatry’s dangerous tendency to ignore the role of Read more…

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My book is finally being published next Thursday, which is very exciting. I’ve now gone through the ‘this is all so weird’ phase of feeling a bit self-conscious on the public stage, and am getting more used to it. You adjust to the weirdness. This week, for example, a commenter on an article of mine Read more…

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Alain de Botton keeps coming up with new projects for his religion for atheists, and I admire his energy and willingness to put his ideas into practice. It’s refreshing. His latest plan takes very concrete form: he wants to build temples for atheists, and is starting off with a pillar in London to give people Read more…

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[This is a piece I wrote four years ago when I lived in Moscow, for a Russian think-tank called Eurasian Home. I had a wonderful editor there, Tanya, who was very tolerant as my subject matters veered ever further away from Russian politics and towards philosophy and well-being. Thanks for being such a great editor, Read more…

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Here’s a new animation in which Matthew Taylor, former head of the Institute of Public Policy Research and now president of the RSA, sets out what he wants the Royal Society to do. He’s clearly very interested in the politics of well-being, and in what moral and political insights we can draw from new research Read more…

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