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16
Sep
3Samoangirls 1902

The Great Anthropologists: Margaret Mead

When we use ‘modern’ to describe something, it’s usually a positive. We are very appreciative and even a little smug about the miracles of modern science, the benefits of modern technology, and even the superiority of modern viewpoints. But what if, in speeding towards...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
05
Sep
1200px UneleoncliniquelaSalptrire

A Short Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

All subjects have their specialised vocabularies; a set of words that initially sound unusual, even a touch frightening, but that can also prove oddly beautiful and beguiling. To their enemies, key words are mere jargon, but jargon has its advantages: it allows us swiftly to...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
05
Sep
MaryCassatt TheChildsBath GoogleArtProject 1

What babies can teach us

We expect – of course – for it to be the other way around: we teaching them. But they have a host of important lessons for us too, if we dare to pay close enough attention. *1. We’re dependent creatures* It’s easy to play it...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
22
Aug
Utrecht cafe

Travel as Therapy: Café de Zaak, Utrecht – for Sex Education

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 locals here....
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
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

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