Should liberal governments try to cultivate certain emotional states in their citizens? In Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice, University of Chicago philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum argues that liberal political philosophers, from John Locke to John Rawls, have dangerously ignored ‘the political cultivation of emotion’, failing to explore how governments can encourage pro-social emotions Read more…

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We had a good meeting of the London Philosophy Club last night. The guest speaker was Galen Strawson, talking about pan-psychism, which is the theory that all matter is conscious. Pretty mind-blowing (or matter-blowing) stuff. Strawson’s basic argument is that either you’re a dualist or you think everything is made of the same ‘stuff’. If Read more…

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A few weeks ago, I woke up at 3am, for no particular reason, and lay in my bed listening to the city sleeping. My middle-class street in Tufnell Park was placid and at rest. Then I heard a woman sobbing, as she walked down the street. It was such a strange, piercing sound:  in the Read more…

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Next week, I’m off to Wales. First, I’m going to Cwmbran, where something is happening called ‘the Welsh Outpouring’. In April, when a young pastor called Richard Taylor was preaching, the congregation felt filled with the Holy Spirit, there were tears, shouts, groans, and this started to happen every evening. Word got out, congregations swelled, Read more…

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Last month I interviewed the philosopher Roger Scruton – the interview is on YouTube, above. If you want to download it as an MP3 just copy the URL and take it here. The interview was inspired by this interesting article which Roger wrote for Aeon Magazine, in which he warned that modern culture was being Read more…

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