What We Owe to the People Who Loved Us in Childhood

If we’re alive and more or less functioning, if we’re capable of taking joy in things occasionally, if we can be kind and grateful to others, if we’re not addicted or…

Criticism When You've Had a Bad Childhood

Criticism is never easy. To learn that others judge us to be foolish, perverse, ugly or unpleasant is one of the most challenging aspects of any life. However, the impact of…

The True and the False Self

One of the most surprising but powerful explanations for why we may, as adults, be in trouble mentally is that we were, in our earliest years, denied the opportunity to be…

Emotional Education: An Introduction

For most of history, the idea that the goal of our lives was to be happy would have sounded extremely odd. In the Christian story which dominated the Western imagination, unhappiness…

Philosophical Meditation

I: Self-Ignorance The Vagueness of the Mind The most striking feature of our minds is how little we understand them. Though we inhabit ourselves, we seldom manage to make sense of…

Emotional Identity

Introduction Our personalities can usefully be divided up into a range of different identities, each of which sheds light on a specific side of who we are: a political identity, a…