Samuelson explained economic theory to the postwar American public. Photo by retrofile/Getty

Essay/
Economics
The people’s economist

Paul Samuelson’s mathematical brilliance changed economics, but it was his popular touch that made him a household name

Roger Backhouse

Parallax (Candles) (1951). Courtesy the Estate of Berenice Abbott/Getty Images

Essay/
Philosophy of science
But is it science?

Theoretical physicists who say the multiverse exists set a dangerous precedent: science based on zero empirical evidence

Jim Baggott

Afro-Caribbean immigrants arrive at Waterloo station in London, England, in 1964. Photo by George Rodger/Magnum

Essay/
History of ideas
Against type

The existentialist philosophies of Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon offer important insights into the nature of prejudice

Jonathan Webber

Not a Vermeer. Christ and the Disciples at Emmaus (1937) by Han Van Meegeren. Photo courtesy Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen/Wikipedia

Essay/
Beauty and aesthetics
Whys of seeing

Experimental psychology is providing concrete answers to some of the great philosophical debates about art and its meaning

Ellen Winner

Civic bliss: a marriage ceremony in a French town hall. Photo by Godong/Getty

Essay/
Political philosophy
Against marriage

Marriage is what happens when the state gets involved in endorsing and regulating personal relationships. It’s a bad idea

Clare Chambers

‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing’. Photo by Gallery Stock

Essay/
Social psychology
The crisis of expertise

Experts are either derided or held up as all-seeing gurus. Time to reboot the relationship between expertise and democracy

Tom Nichols

Former South African president Nelson Mandela revisits his prison cell on Robben Island, in 1994. Photo by Jurgen Schadeberg/Getty Images

Essay/
Values and beliefs
Beyond anger

Anger is the emotion that has come to saturate our politics and culture. Philosophy can help us out of this dark vortex

Martha C Nussbaum

Virunga National Park, 2013 in Bukima, DR Congo. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty/WWF-Canon
Essay/
Religion
Is God a silverback?

Protective, omnipotent, scary and very territorial. The monotheistic God is modelled on a harem-keeping alpha male

David P Barash