At the end of Philosophy for Life, I asked what the Socratic-Stoic tradition of philosophy misses out, and suggested there is an alternate approach to life and to emotional healing, which I called the Dionysiac tradition: The virtues of the Socratic tradition are self-control, rationality, self-consciousness and measure. The Socratic tradition typically puts forward a Read more…

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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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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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It’s gratifying and heartening when the Chief Rabbi of your country writes a column responding to your book, and says some kind things about it – so thanks are in order to Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks for using my book as a springboard for his discussion in The Times on the deficiencies of Stoicism as Read more…

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In the Guardian this week, Giles Fraser meets Martha Nussbaum, the great philosopher of vulnerability and of emotions, and was apparently somewhat put off by how controlled and, well, frosty she seemed. He writes: She emanates detached academic cool – fully in command of herself and her material. From someone who has spent a distinguished Read more…

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