What do we want from art? A couple of weeks ago I was in
Madrid with my wife, visiting the city for the first time.
Like all committed culture vultures, we were determined to
tackle as many museums and galleries as we possibly...
It can come as something of a surprise to learn that western
religions are not much interested in immortality. Take
ancient Judaism, the Judaism of the Hebrew Bible.
Immortality is hardly mentioned. Humans are said to go to
‘sheol’, a shadowy subterranean abode, or...
One of the greatest preoccupations of humanity is how to
resist our mortality. But does our fantasy of living forever
in fact stop us living fully? Author of Immortality Stephen
Cave thinks so. Here he explores our desire to outwit death,
and gives us...
Havi Carel had everything going for her. At 35, she had
recently met the love of her life, she’d just brought out
her first book, and she was about to start her dream job,
teaching philosophy at the University of West England, in
For those of us who live in an urban setting, moonlight,
starlight and darkness itself are increasingly rare
commodities. What do we lose by living in a man-built
environment of perpetual day? This excerpt reveals the
powerful psychological effect the night sky can have...
It’s a sad truth that few of us, nowadays, write letters.
Indeed, it’s tempting to think of handwritten letters as
having been superseded by email in the same way that vinyl
records were supplanted by CDs. The problem with this tidy
progress narrative is...
Anyone wanting to damage their intellectual credentials at a
stroke need only do one simple thing: confess they read
There's no more ridiculed genre in the literary canon –
and you can see why. Most self-help books are written by
Americans of the...
It was around this time of year, just over a decade ago,
that I had a breakdown. During my three years at university,
my mental health had got worse and worse. It started with
panic attacks, that arose out of nowhere like tornadoes.
Within the last six weeks, I have moved from one end of
England to the other, changed my job from working in finance
to teaching, and my sister (who I am very close to) has
moved permanently to Australia. All of this happened...
It is, surely, a self-fulfilling prophecy that the more
confident you are the more you will enjoy sex. This is not
about arrogance - the assumption that one is God's gift will
be an instant turn-off, particularly to women, if only
because they know...
For centuries in the West, there was a figure in society who
fulfilled a function that is likely to sound very odd to
modern secular ears. He (there were no she's in the role)
didn't sell you anything or fulfill any material need,...