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17
Jul
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The Great Philosophers 8: Theodor Adorno

Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was born in Frankfurt in 1903 into a wealthy and cultured family. His father, a wine merchant, was of Jewish origin but had converted to Protestantism at university. Teddy (as his closest friends called him) was an extremely fine pianist from...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
16
Jul
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The Great Philosophers 7: Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre was born in 1905. His father, a navy captain, died when he was a baby – and he grew up extremely close to his mother until she remarried, much to his regret, when he was twelve. Sartre spent most of his life...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
15
Jul
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The Great Philosophers 6: Hegel

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born in Stuttgart in 1770. He had a very middle-class life. He was obsessed by his career path. He was a newspaper editor and then a headmaster before becoming an academic professor. He fretted all his life about his...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
14
Jul
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The Great Philosophers 5: Adam Smith

Adam Smith is our guide to perhaps the most pressing dilemma of our time: how to make a capitalist economy more humane and more meaningful. He was born in Scotland in Kirkcaldy – a small manufacturing town – near Edinburgh in 1723. He was...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
11
Jul
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The Great Philosophers 4: Nietzsche

The challenge begins with how to pronounce his name. The first bit should sound like ‘Knee’, the second like ‘cher’: Knee – cher. Friedrich Nietzsche was born in 1844 in a quiet village in the eastern part of Germany, where – for generations – his...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
10
Jul
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The Great Philosophers 3: Epicurus

The Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus was born in 341 BC, on the island of Samos, a few miles off the coast of modern Turkey. He had an unusually long beard, wrote over three hundred books and was one of the most famous philosophers...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
09
Jul
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The Great Philosophers 2: The Stoics

‘Stoicism’ was a philosophy that flourished for some 400 years in Ancient Greece and Rome, gaining widespread support among all classes of society. It had one overwhelming and highly practical ambition: to teach people how to be calm and brave in the face of...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
08
Jul
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The Great Philosophers 1: Plato

Athens, 2400 years ago. It’s a compact place: around 250,000 people live here. There are fine baths, theatres, temples, shopping arcades and gymnasiums. Art is flourishing, and science too. You can pick up excellent fish down at the harbour in Piraeus. It’s warm for...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
26
Jun
therapy

Why you need to go and see a therapist

In almost all countries and communities around the world, there is one central (usually unvoiced) suspicion that arises whenever someone lets slip that they are ‘having therapy’: they are crazy. Getting therapeutic help should – ideally – be an ordinary and wholly unsurprising thing, like...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
24
Jun
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Wisdom - a short guide

It’s one of the grandest and oddest words out there, so lofty, it doesn’t sound like something one could ever consciously strive to be - unlike say, being cultured, or kind. Others could perhaps compliment you on being it, but it wouldn’t be something...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
13
Jun
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What is Philosophy – and what is it for?

People are understandably confused about what philosophy is. From a distance, it seems weird, irrelevant, boring and yet also – just a little – intriguing. But it’s hard to put a finger on what the interest really is. What are philosophers? What do they...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail

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