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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

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

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
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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
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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...
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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
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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
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

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