I would love there to be more practical philosophy in schools. At the moment, the teaching of ethics and philosophy in schools and universities is almost entirely theoretical. Students learn that philosophy is a matter of understanding and disputing concepts and theories, something that only involves the intellect, not your emotions, actions or life outside Read more…

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Here’s a conversation with John Lloyd, the TV producer behind Not the Nine O’Clock News, Blackadder, Spitting Image and QI, talking about how ancient philosophy helped him to get through five years of depression. How did you come across Stoic philosophy? I’d had 10 years of unalloyed success as a TV producer in the 1980s Read more…

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It’s been five years since the launch of the government’s flagship mental health programme, Improving Access for Psychological Therapies (IAPT). IAPT is the biggest expansion of mental health services anywhere in the world, ever. It has already trained 4,000 new therapists in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and 2,000 more therapists are being trained. It’s doubled the Read more…

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This week, I traveled to Durham to visit my godmother, who has just been made principal of one of the colleges of Durham University. She invited me to high table at one of their formal black-tie dinners, and then asked me to give a little after-dinner speech. It was somewhat nerve-racking, considering the calibre of Read more…

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I’ve just been at a three-day seminar at the Institute for Government, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to help academics learn how to influence public policy. The seminar brought together 15 academics in disciplines ranging from literary criticism to design and urban planning.The IFG arranged an impressive line-up of Westminster big-wigs to Read more…

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