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21
Aug
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Travel as Therapy: Corner shop, Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama – for Shyness

On the first day, it was difficult. You went into the corner shop just off the main Motomachi shopping street to buy a prepaid mobile card. You pointed at your phone, you pretended to make a call. It was useless. Mr Nishimura couldn’t understand...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
18
Aug
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The Great Philosophers 15: La Rochefoucauld

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...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
13
Aug
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The Great Psychoanalysts 2: Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein (1882-1960) was a highly creative and original Viennese Jewish psychoanalyst who discovered the work of Freud at the age of 26 and devoted her life to enriching and nuancing it in intriguing and valuable ways. She is perhaps best remembered today for...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
12
Aug
fishing

The Great Psychoanalysts 1: Donald Winnicott

How do you build a better world? There are so many well-known, urgent places you might start: malaria, carbon emissions, tax evasion, the drug trade, soil erosion, water pollution… Donald Winnicott deserves his place in history because of the dramatic simplicity of his approach. He...
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
24
Jul
iloveyou

Utopia series: the wedding of the future

Modern societies are deeply invested in the idea of big, glamorous weddings. We have evolved highly detailed collective ideas about what a proper wedding is supposed to be like, down to the specialised floral arrangements, seat covers, presents for bridesmaids and the correct order...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
04
Jul
marriage

How we end up marrying the wrong people

Anyone we could marry would, of course, be a little wrong for us. It is wise to be appropriately pessimistic here. Perfection is not on the cards. Unhappiness is a constant. Nevertheless, one encounters some couples of such primal, grinding mismatch, such deep-seated incompatibility,...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
03
Jul
loveimage

Why you are so annoyed by what you once admired

One of the things that makes us fall in love with people is realising they can do something we can't. We get attracted to people who seem capable and at ease with parts of life in which we struggle. Perhaps they are very...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
01
Jul
bride2

Why might one still bother with marriage?

It’s tempting to think of marriage as old fashioned. Why not just live with someone and be done with it? What need for a public ceremony? Why the weird traditions that people normally keep away from: all those churches, temples, hymns, vows and prayers?...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
30
Jun
houseofcards

If it wasn't for you…

There are many nice things we want, but are somehow a little scared of getting, because they are bound up with risks and subtle inner complications we don't quite have a handle on: we may - at some deep level - be scared...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
29
Jun
wires

Why the fear of rejection never goes away – even when you are in a committed relationship

There are sweet moments – early on in relationships – when one person can’t quite work up the courage to let another know just how much they like them. They’d love to touch the other’s hand and find a place in their life;...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail

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