Yesterday I finished a pilot course in practical philosophy at Low Moss prison. It’s an eight-session course that introduces people to the ideas and life-philosophies of various ancient philosophers, including Socrates, the Stoics, Plato, Rumi, the Buddha, Jesus and Lao Tzu. I’ve been running it in partnership with New College Lanarkshire, which runs the learning Read more…

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Dominic Cummings, Michael Gove’s special advisor, has penned a 237-page Jerry Maguire-style memo, a few weeks before leaving office, which outlines his vision for England and Wales to become a sort of ‘school to the world’, much as Pericles suggested Athens should be. I’m impressed by Cummings’ cognitive surplus, and the sheer range of his Read more…

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I’ll admit it, I was slightly nervous. I’d been invited to give a philosophy workshop in HMP Dumfries, a prison in west Scotland. Plummy-voiced and puny-framed Englishman that I am, I wasn’t sure what they’d make of me. Mincemeat, maybe. Anyway, I figured it was a low-security prison, otherwise they wouldn’t be inviting philosophers to Read more…

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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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Five years ago, the British government launched a mental health initiative called Improving Access for Psychological Therapy (IAPT), which hugely expanded the provision of talking therapies within the National Health Service, with the aim of getting therapy for depression and anxiety to just under one million adults a year. It is the biggest expansion of Read more…

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