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
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...
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...
John Ruskin (1819-1900) was one of the most ambitious and
impassioned English social reformers of the 19th century. He
was also - at first sight - a deeply improbable reformer,
because he seemed to care mostly about one thing - beauty -
Augustine was a Christian philosopher who lived in the early
5th century AD on the fringes of the rapidly declining Roman
Empire, in the North African town of Hippo (present day
Annaba, in Algeria). He served as Bishop for over thirty
years, proving popular...
Emile Durkheim is the philosopher who can best help us to
understand why Capitalism makes us richer and yet frequently
more miserable; even – far too often – suicidal.
He was born in 1858 in the little French town of Epinal,
near the German...
The field is not without other distinguished contestants,
but in the competitive history of incomprehensible German
philosophers, Martin Heidegger must by any reckoning emerge
as the overall victor. Nothing quite rivals the prose of his
masterpiece Being and Time (1927) in terms of contortions
Max Weber is one of the three philosophers best able to
explain to us the peculiar economic system we live within
called Capitalism (Karl Marx and Adam Smith are the other
Born in Erfurt in Germany in 1864, Weber grew up to see...
We generally hold culture – by which we understand art,
museums, cinema, literature and the study of history – in
extremely high regard. But, equally, we tend not to look
very closely at why culture has such prestige. In fact, we
are encouraged to...
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...
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...