I like this passage from Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty of the Good: The psyche is a historically determined individual relentlessly looking after itself. In some ways it resembles a machine – in order to operate it needs sources of energy, and is predisposed to certain patterns of activity. One of its main pastimes is daydreaming. Read more…

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I want to explore the idea of Greek philosophy as a meeting-point between various humanisms, including Christian humanism, atheist or agnostic humanism, Islamic humanism and Jewish humanism. These days, I would describe myself as a Christian humanist. I mean ‘humanist’ in the Renaissance sense – someone who loves and wants to revive ancient philosophy and 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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Angie Hobbs came and spoke at the London Philosophy Club earlier this month. She’s an expert on Plato, and in her talk she used Platonism as a way of making sense of last year’s riots. She noted that many media commentators called the rioters ‘shameless’. This wasn’t true at all, she said. The rioters had 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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