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Philosophy

Essays and videos on philosophy, the history of ideas, ethics and life’s big questions
A sepia photo of a shirtless man, a woman, and a child sitting on a beach; the child and woman wear shell necklaces.
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Thinkers and theories

A man beyond categories

Paul Tillich was a religious socialist and a profoundly subtle theologian who placed doubt at the centre of his thought

Ted Farris

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Thinkers and theories

On knowing who he was

Alan Watts, for all his faults, was a wildly imaginative and provocative thinker who reimagined religion in a secular age

Christopher Harding

Ancient adobe village atop a hill at dusk, overlooking vast plains with a few people walking and animals grazing in the foreground.
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Metaphysics

Purposeful universe

Neither atheism nor theism adequately explains reality. That is why we must consider the middle ground between the two

Philip Goff

A black and white photo showing a group of men in traditional Middle Eastern attire, with two men seated in the foreground and several standing behind.
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Religion

Praying in shoes

The Sunni movement of Salafism was born at the beginning of the 20th century, with the goal of modelling life on the 7th

Aaron Rock-Singer

Medieval manuscript illustration of a man gesturing towards two red and black snakes, with Greek text above and below the images, on a faded parchment background.
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Stories and literature

Vergil’s secret message

Long derided as mere coincidences, acrostics in ancient poetry are finally being taken seriously – with astonishing results

Julia Hejduk

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Philosophy of religion

Who was Duns Scotus?

His name is now the byword for a fool, yet his proof for the existence of God was the most rigorous of the medieval period

Thomas M Ward

Elderly woman with short hair, wearing a black jacket and white shirt, speaking inside a room with large windows and blurred background.
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Philosophy of religion

How a devout Catholic philosopher approaches the problem of evil

8 minutes

A Buddha statue sitting on rocks with a burnt-out car and leafless trees in the background, indicating a scene of destruction.
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Philosophy of religion

Reckoning with compassion

After an abuse scandal destroyed my Buddhist community, I had to reconsider what it means to live an ethically attuned life

Jessica Locke

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Philosophy of religion

A new paganism

Now is the time to revitalise our relationship with nature and immerse ourselves in the little wonders of the universe

Ed Simon

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Philosophy of religion

A God beyond logic

The history of natural theology shows that Intelligent Design and New Atheism both got it wrong, in strangely similar ways

Adam R Shapiro

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Philosophy of religion

What Zen Buddhist riddles reveal about knowledge and the unknowable

5 minutes

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Philosophy of religion

How to pray to a dead God

The modern world is disenchanted. God remains dead. But our need for transcendence lives on. How should we fulfil it?

Ed Simon

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Thinkers and theories

A just and loving gaze

Simone Weil: mystic, philosopher, activist. Her ethics demand that we look beyond the personal and find the universal

Deborah Casewell

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Philosophy of religion

Reincarnation now

Modern mindfulness strips Buddhism of its spiritual core. We need an ethics of reincarnation for an interconnected world

Avram Alpert

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Computing and artificial intelligence

Machine in the ghost

Can a robot pray? Does an AI have a soul? Advances in automata raise theological debates that will shape the secular world

Ed Simon

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Thinkers and theories

Why read Boethius today?

Written while awaiting execution, the Consolation of Philosophy poses questions about human reason that remain urgent today

John Marenbon

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Philosophy of religion

Perennial philosophy

Aldous Huxley argued that all religions in the world were underpinned by universal beliefs and experiences. Was he right?

Jules Evans

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video

Philosophy of religion

If you think that modern cosmology leaves no room for ‘god’, start using your imagination

27 minutes

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Religion

Science + religion

The science-versus-religion opposition is a barrier to thought. Each one is a gift, rather than a threat, to the other

Tom McLeish

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Thinkers and theories

Muhammad: an anticlerical hero of the European Enlightenment

John Tolan

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Philosophy of religion

Why the demoniac stayed in his comfortable corner of hell

John Kaag

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Philosophy of mind

Buddhism and self-deception

How can I logically manage to deceive myself? Buddhist thought offers a way out of the philosophical paradox

Katie Javanaud

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History of ideas

Wittgenstein and religion

In the case atheists vs religious belief, Ludwig Wittgenstein is called to the stand. Whose side does his testimony serve?

Stephen Law

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Thinkers and theories

How Al-Farabi drew on Plato to argue for censorship in Islam

Rashmee Roshan Lall