Why do 20% of American soldiers develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and only 3-5% of British soldiers? It’s one of the great conundrums of contemporary psychology / psychiatry – and one of the most contentious, touching as it does on sensitive issues of our countries’ moral characters, and how well our governments care for their Read more…

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Earlier this week I went to see a talk by Tony Hsieh, CEO of the billion-dollar shoe company Zappos. I’m not particularly interested in shoes, but Zappos is no ordinary shoe-seller. Hsieh has built a unique corporate culture, which puts a big emphasis on shared values such as positivity and creativity. He’s an evangelist for Read more…

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I’ve noticed, during the research for my upcoming book on how people use ancient philosophy in modern life, how many of the Stoics I interviewed were or are soldiers (or cops, or firemen). Why is that? I asked Nancy Sherman, professor of ethics at Georgetown University and the author of Stoic Warriors, which looks at Read more…

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In my last newsletter, I wrote a somewhat scathing piece about Martin Seligman, the man behind the US Army’s $140 million resilience training course, in which I argued that Seligman’s model of the good life shirked any clear concept of moral goodness. I was amazed by his suggestion that Osama bin Laden lived a ‘flourishing Read more…

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The Roman philosopher Epictetus declared we should “enjoy the great festival of life”, and that’s exactly the direction philosophy is moving these days: back to its roots in outdoor events, street performance, multi-media mash-ups and, yes, festivals. The best known philosophy festival in the UK is How The Light Gets In, run by the Institute Read more…

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