The madeleine effect
Why is the smell and taste of some foods so evocative of the past? I spent a day eating childhood favourites to find out
Back on the islands of my childhood, I’m clinging to sobriety, searching for a rare bird that’s also on the brink
Talk with me
Philosophy should be conversation, not dogma – face-to-face talk about our place in the cosmos and how we should live
The meanings of life
Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?
If human history turns on the tilt of the multiverse, can we still trust our ideas of achievement, progress and morality?
The death of my father
When someone close to you dies, the very fabric of your life is ripped to shreds. Is philosophy any consolation?
Does life have a purpose?
Nobody expects atoms and molecules to have purposes, so why do we still think of living things in this way?
The wisdom of gardens
Gardens expand our thinking. At times of crisis they console, school us in emotional generosity, and show us that life goes on
Their good life
Governments are now providing free psychotherapy to their citizens. Is there a limit to state-sponsored happiness?