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30
Jul
news

Utopia series: the news of the future

The news is the most powerful and prestigious force in contemporary society, replacing religion as the touchstone of authority and meaning. It is usually the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we consult at night. What are we searching...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
29
Jul
temple

Utopia series: cathedrals of the future

In the developed, more secular parts of the world, it is common, even among unbelievers, to lament the passing of the great days of religious architecture.  It is common to hear those who have no interest in the doctrines of religion admit to a...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
28
Jul
lighbulb

Utopia series: the schools of the future

It is almost universally agreed that education is hugely important. But we are not particularly sure what we want from it. Our large commitment to there being good schools ironically has not been matched by concern about what they are for. The aim of education...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
25
Jul
flags

Utopia series: the national festivals of the future

We’re used to the idea that a year should be punctuated by a sequence of special public days: Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, some kind of national day, May Day, the August Bank holiday etc.  But we’re not – collectively – very ambitious about the...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
23
Jul
cinema glasses2

Utopia series: the cinema of the future

Cinema is the most prestigious cultural activity in the modern world. It is for us what theatre was in the age of Shakespeare or painting was in the days of Leonardo da Vinci: the art form with the biggest impact, the largest budgets, the...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
18
Jul
5

Why we need new and better moments of collective pride now the World Cup is over

For the average citizen of a developed nation, the World Cup generated a deeply unusual emotion. For a few weeks (depending on the fortunes of one’s team), we were allowed to feel happy, perhaps very happy, about something other than ‘me’. This is weird, for...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
17
Jul
glasses

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
capitalism2

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
703px CasparDavidFriedrich Wandererabovetheseaoffog 2

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

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