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17
Nov
how to speak money

How to Speak Money

Many of us feel we kind-of understand how the economy works, roughly know what it means when interest rates rise, when the budget deficit has been reduced. But this kind of semi-knowledge has meant that we have left the details, the decisions to the...
Posted by John Lanchester
14
Nov
RogerFry VirginiaWoolf 2

The Great Writers: Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf is an icon with a shaky reputation. She is known as depressed—a novelist who, at age 59, drowned herself in the River Ouse outside her weekend home. She also stands as that prototypical female figure whose face we put on mugs, t-shirts,...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
12
Nov
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On Irritability

Irritability is the tendency to get upset for reasons that seem – to other people – to be pretty minor. Your partner asks you how work went and the way they ask makes you feel intensely agitated. Your partner is putting knives and forks...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
12
Nov
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On Self-pity

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon; you were nine years old. Your parents wouldn’t let you have any ice cream if you didn’t do your maths homework. It was achingly unfair. Every other child in the world was playing football or watching television. No...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
07
Nov
SigmundFreudLIFE

The Great Psychologists: Sigmund Freud

He described himself as an obsessional neurotic. For although the father of modern psychology told us so much about our inner lives, he was touchingly vulnerable himself.  Sigmund Schlomo Freud was born to a middle-class Jewish family in 1856, in what is now the Czech...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
07
Nov
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The Great Novelists: Jane Austen

Jane Austen is loved mainly as a charming guide to fashionable life in the Regency period. She is admired for portraying a world of elegant houses, dances, servants and fashionable young men driving barouches. But her own vision of her task was radically different....
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
07
Nov
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The Great Novelists: Leo Tolstoy

Imagining the inner lives of other people is a core human capacity. But we don’t automatically or naturally do this very well. We are prey to a range of cognitive biases: without being aware that we are doing so, we might assume that other...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
30
Oct
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The Great Philosophers: Henry David Thoreau

Most of the time, successful modern life involves lots of technology, constantly being connected with other people, working very hard for as much money as possible, and doing what we are told. These elements are almost a conventional prescription for success. So it may...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
26
Oct
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The Great Philosophers: Arthur Schopenhauer

For the griefs of love, he may be the finest among philosophers. He was surely also one of the most pessimistic. Arthur Schopenhauer was born in Danzig in 1788. In later years, he looked back on the event with regret: "Human existence must be a...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
24
Oct
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The Great Philosophers: Michel de Montaigne

We generally think that philosophers should be proud of their big brains, and be fans of thinking, self-reflection and rational analysis. But there’s one philosopher, born in France in 1533, with a refreshingly different take. Michel de Montaigne was an intellectual who spent his writing...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
23
Oct
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The Great Philosophers: Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Modern life is, in many ways, founded around the idea of progress: the notion that as we know more (especially about science and technology), and as economies grow larger, we’re bound to end up happier. Particularly in the eighteenth century, as European societies and...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail

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