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WilliamTurnerLightandColourGoethesTheory 1

The Psychology of Colour

Alongside the notes of the musical keyboard and the letters of the alphabet, colours provide the building blocks of our emotions. It is not for nothing that we say we are ‘feeling blue’ or ‘seeing red’. Each colour is subtly connected to a web...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
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The Great Architects: Louis Kahn

Modern architecture produces truly innovative work: glittering, staggeringly tall buildings, opera houses that look like folded origami, even museums that look like spaceships. However, in turning towards everything new, architectural modernism also dogmatically left behind much of what makes buildings lovely. The best architects of...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
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The Great Artists: Christo and Jeanne-Claude

We tend to get pretty nervous around the idea of political art. Some terrible things have been done in its name: it’s encouraged fanaticism, demonised vulnerable groups and pumped out delusional propaganda. But despite our misgivings, our collective existence is very much in need...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
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The Great Philosophers: William Morris

The 19th-century designer, poet and entrepreneur William Morris is one of the best guides we have to the modern economy – despite the fact that he died in 1896 (while Queen Victoria was still on the throne), never made a telephone call and would...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail

The Great Artists: Cy Twombly

Abstract art continues to provoke annoyance and confusion in equal measure. You know the kind of thing: a large empty white canvas, with a solitary deep black line down the middle. A splodge of purple paint against a yellow background. Ten steel beams arranged...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
what stands in the way blog

Use Obstacles Against Themselves

Wise men are able to make a fitting use even of their enmities. —Plutarch I recently did an event at the School of Life titled What Stands in the Way becomes the Way. The event focused on how to channel Stoic principles into modern life,...
Posted by Ryan Holiday
david baker

A Summer School Rebellion

There’s something very special about the five-day intensive Summer School, something that makes it much more than a week of some very good The School of Life classes. And, when I teach it, both here in the UK and, as we have been doing...
Posted by David Baker

Why you should stop taking pictures on your phone – and learn to draw

Whenever something looks interesting or beautiful, there’s a natural impulse to want to capture and preserve it – which means, in this day and age, that we’re likely to reach for our phones to take a picture. Though this would seem to be an...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
Natalie Merchant

Natalie Merchant - Ladybird

Next Thursday 15 May we are thrilled to be joined by Natalie Merchant, in an evening of music and conversation with Alain de Botton.  Natalie's career began when, as a college student, she joined the seminal alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs. She left the group in...
Posted by The School of Life
mary anne

Mary Anne Hobbs' Playlist for Life

To celebrate her upcoming Sunday Sermon 'A DJ Saved My Life', we asked Mary Anne Hobbs to give us a playlist of the songs that shaped her. It shows off her eclectic tastes, covering everything from hip hop to techno to jazz.  Click here...
Posted by Mary Anne Hobbs

Five Things I Learnt from John Peel

1. Respond honestly to what you really love When punk emerged in the mid-70s, the whole fabric of John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 programme changed overnight. He abandoned epic 25-minute Prog-Rock overtures made by men in embroidered capes, and gave over all of his...
Posted by Mary Anne Hobbs

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