• Blog Read more good ideas from our faculty
blogbanner

Blog

14
Nov
RogerFry VirginiaWoolf 2

The Great Writers: Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf is an icon with a shaky reputation. She is known as depressed—a novelist who, at age 59, drowned herself in the River Ouse outside her weekend home. She also stands as that prototypical female figure whose face we put on mugs, t-shirts,...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
07
Nov
698px CassandraAusten JaneAustenc.1810hires 1

The Great Novelists: Jane Austen

Jane Austen is loved mainly as a charming guide to fashionable life in the Regency period. She is admired for portraying a world of elegant houses, dances, servants and fashionable young men driving barouches. But her own vision of her task was radically different....
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
07
Nov
IlyaRepin LeoTolstoyBarefoot GoogleArtProject

The Great Novelists: Leo Tolstoy

Imagining the inner lives of other people is a core human capacity. But we don’t automatically or naturally do this very well. We are prey to a range of cognitive biases: without being aware that we are doing so, we might assume that other...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
24
Oct
MicheldeMontaigne1 1

The Great Philosophers: Michel de Montaigne

We generally think that philosophers should be proud of their big brains, and be fans of thinking, self-reflection and rational analysis. But there’s one philosopher, born in France in 1533, with a refreshingly different take. Michel de Montaigne was an intellectual who spent his writing...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
23
Oct
738px AllanRamsay Jean JacquesRousseau1712 1778 GoogleArtProject

The Great Philosophers: Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Modern life is, in many ways, founded around the idea of progress: the notion that as we know more (especially about science and technology), and as economies grow larger, we’re bound to end up happier. Particularly in the eighteenth century, as European societies and...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
15
Oct
LewisHinePowerhousemechanicworkingonsteampump

The Great Philosophers: Alexis de Tocqueville

Democracy was achieved by such a long, arduous and heroic struggle that it can feel embarrassing – even shameful – to feel a little disappointed by it. We know that at key historical moments people have made profound sacrifices so that we can, every...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
08
Oct
1200px Iimapanoramacomplex

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
05
Oct
christo miami islands 02

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
05
Oct
860px WilliamMorrisdesignforTrelliswallpaper1862

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
26
Sep
1200px TeahouseatKoishikawa.Themorningafterasnowfall

The Great Eastern Philosophers: Sen no Rikyu

In the West, philosophers write long non-fiction books, often using incomprehensible words and limit their involvement with the world to lectures and committee meetings. In the East, and especially in the Zen tradition, philosophers write poems, rake gravel, go on pilgrimages, practice archery, write aphorisms...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
19
Sep
431345543170eece5220b

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

1 2 3 4 512

Browse by author