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The Great Architects: Oscar Niemeyer

One of the most depressing aspects of travel is finding that the world often looks the same in many different places. The towers of downtown Tokyo are indistinguishable from those of Frankfurt or Seattle. That’s no coincidence. Modern architecture was founded on the idea...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
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The Great Anthropologists: Margaret Mead

When we use ‘modern’ to describe something, it’s usually a positive. We are very appreciative and even a little smug about the miracles of modern science, the benefits of modern technology, and even the superiority of modern viewpoints. But what if, in speeding towards...
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

Half-Price Afternoons: 60+ and Students

We're delighted to announce a new concessionary rate for afternoon classes, for over 60's and students. 14.00 - 17.00 Monday - Thursday £20 (usual price: £40) To book call us at +44 (0) 20 7833 1010 This offer is subject to availability, and you will be asked to...
Posted by The School of Life
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The Great Artists: Henri Matisse

The cultural elite gets nervous about cheerful or sweet art. They worry that pretty, happy works of art are in denial about how bad the state of the world is and how much suffering there is in almost every life. Look at this picture...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
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The Great Artists: Johannes Vermeer

We live in a world saturated with false glamour. In truth, the problem does not lie with glamour itself, but with the things we have collectively agreed to regard as glamorous. Progress wouldn’t be found in eradicating the whole idea of glamour from our...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
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The Great Artists: Caspar David Friedrich

One of the unexpectedly important things that art can do for us is teach us how to suffer. It can do so by evoking scenes that are dark, melancholy or painful, and that normalise and lend dignity to the suffering we may ourselves...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail

Travel as Therapy: Eastown Theatre, Detroit – for Perspective

It would be, today, unusual to find a travel agent recommending a sojourn in Detroit as the ideal vacation. The city, after all, is in decline. There are neighbourhoods full of derelict homes, there are shattered theatres and ruined office buildings that were thriving...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
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Travel as Therapy: Café de Zaak, Utrecht – for Sex Education

August is perfect for sitting outside at the Café de Zaak in the Korte Minrebroederstraat. The decent beers on tap, plus a generous bring-your-own-meal policy make this one of the nicest cafes in town. If one’s honest, there are really some very intriguing locals here....
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail

The Great Philosophers 15: La Rochefoucauld

There’s a belief that philosophy, when properly done, should sound dense, forbidding, a little confusing, as if it might have been awkwardly translated from the German. But at the dawn of the modern age lived a French philosopher who trusted in a very different...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail

The Great Philosophers 14: Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold was the most important educational reformer of the 19th century. He realised that, in the modern world, education would be one of the keys to a good society. But it had to be education of a special kind - and not...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail

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