For the griefs of love, he may be the finest among
He was surely also one of the most pessimistic. Arthur
Schopenhauer was born in Danzig in 1788. In later years, he
looked back on the event with regret: "Human existence must
We’re particularly down on people we call ‘defensive’.
They blame others for what’s probably their own fault.
They hear reasonable criticism as a cruel attack. They deny
they have a problem when they clearly do.
But, of course, we must be doing this ourselves...
Among our deepest and seemingly most natural aspirations is
the longing to form stable, satisfying relationships: to
thrive in partnerships that are good for both people. It
doesn’t seem much to ask. A lot of people are looking for
roughly the same thing. But...
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...
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
To their enemies, key words are mere jargon, but jargon has
its advantages: it allows us swiftly to...
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
*1. We’re dependent creatures*
It’s easy to play it...
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
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
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...
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...
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
Donald Winnicott deserves his place in history because of
the dramatic simplicity of his approach. He...