Thinkers and theories


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Thinkers and theories
Susan Sontag was a monster

She took things too seriously. She was difficult and unyielding. That’s why Susan Sontag’s work matters so much even now

Lauren Elkin

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Thinkers and theories
Henri Bergson, celebrity

Women loved Bergson’s philosophy of creativity, change and freedom, but their enthusiasm fuelled a backlash against him

Emily Herring

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Thinkers and theories
Atoms and flat-earth ethics

As for most ancient philosophers, Lucretius saw no boundary between his scientific interests and his ethical claims

James Hannam

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Thinkers and theories
Australian philosophy

Despite its reputation as remote and anti-intellectual, Australia has exercised a surprisingly deep influence on philosophy

Peter Godfrey-Smith

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Political philosophy
Rorty’s political turn

When he shifted his attention from philosophy to politics, Richard Rorty revived liberalism’s potential for social reform

Alan Malachowski

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Thinkers and theories
Nietzsche and the Cynics

How Friedrich Nietzsche used ideas from the Ancient Cynics to explore the death of God and the nature of morality

Helen Small

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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

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Thinkers and theories
Philosophy must be useful

For Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle, much of philosophy was mere nonsense. Then came Frank Ramsey’s pragmatic alternative

Cheryl Misak

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Consciousness and altered states
Disturbing the silence

The writer and Trappist monk Thomas Merton embodied a paradox, chasing both the purity of silence and the need to break it

Jane Brox

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Stories and literature
As Xenophon saw it

Brilliant leader, kind horseman and friend of Socrates: Xenophon’s writings inspire a humane, practical approach to life

Eve Browning

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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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Comparative philosophy
First women of philosophy

Philosophy was once a woman’s world, ranging across Asia, Africa and Latin America. It’s time to reclaim that lost realm

Dag Herbjørnsrud

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History
The people’s prince

His name has become synonymous with egotistic political scheming, yet Machiavelli’s work is effectively democratic at heart

Catherine Zuckert

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Thinkers and theories
The great disillusionist

In an age when so many people are at a loss to give life meaning and direction, Giacomo Leopardi is essential reading

Tim Parks

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Thinkers and theories
Strange and intelligent

Estranged but not alienated, devout but not obedient, philosophical but not a systematiser, Simone Weil defies conventions

Christy Wampole