Philosophy


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Beauty and aesthetics Bioethics Comparative philosophy Cosmopolitanism Death Ethics History of ideas Knowledge Logic and probability Meaning and the good life Metaphysics Philosophy of language Philosophy of mind Philosophy of religion Philosophy of science Political philosophy Thinkers and theories Values and beliefs Virtues and vices

Photo by Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Essay/
Information and communication
The misinformation virus

Lies and distortions don’t just afflict the ignorant. The more you know, the more vulnerable you can be to infection

Elitsa Dermendzhiyska

Photo by Elliott Landy / Magnum Photos

Essay/
Beauty and aesthetics
A philosophy of sound

From the Big Bang to a heartbeat in utero, sounds are a scaffold for thought when logic and imagery elude us

Christina Rawls

Norman Douglas (right), lounging in Capri in 1949. Photo by Ralph Crane/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Essay/
Sex and sexuality
The case of Norman Douglas

He was a literary lion and an infamous pederast: what might we learn from his life about monstrosity and humanity?

Rachel Hope Cleves

Stinson Beach, California, 1973. Photo by Elliott Erwitt/Magnum

Essay/
Animals and humans
The joy of being animal

Human exceptionalism is dead: for the sake of our own happiness and the planet we should embrace our true animal nature

Melanie Challenger

From The History of Madame Roland (1850) by John S C Abbott. Photo courtesy Internet Archive/Public Domain

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Vive Madame Roland!

She was a French revolutionary and a politician’s wife. But Manon Roland should be remembered for her philosophical writings

Sandrine Bergès

Photo by Christopher Anderson/Magnum

Essay/
Neuroscience
Myth and the mind

Saturated with rites and symbols, psychology feeds a deep human need once nourished by mythology

Rami Gabriel

The Madness of Joanna of Castile (1866) by Lorenzo Vallés. Courtesy of the Museo del Prado, Madrid

Essay/
Meaning and the good life
Final thoughts

Do deathbed regrets give us a special insight into what really matters in life? There are good reasons to be sceptical

Neil Levy

Bessie. Holstein cow, aged 20, from the Allowed to Grow Old project and book by the photographer Isa Leshko. All photos © Isa Leshko

Essay/
Ethics
Philosophers and other animals

Christine Korsgaard argues that we can extend a Kantian moral framework to include other animals. But her argument fails

Peter Godfrey-Smith

U Pyinyathee of the All Burma Monks Alliance, a group of exiled monks who fled the protests of the Saffron Revolution of 2007, outside the makeshift monastery he shares in Utica, upstate New York, 27 April 2010. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

Essay/
Demography and migration
Exiles on Main Street

To respect exiles as real and important political actors, we should get over casting them as saints, threats or victims

Ashwini Vasanthakumar

A British soldier near the Pimon military camp in Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, 25 March 2010. Photo by Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty

Essay/
War and peace
Reading John Gray in war

As a soldier, I was hard-wired to seek meaning and purpose. Gray’s philosophy helped me unhook from utopia and find peace

Andy Owen

An American soldier with British war orphans adopted by his unit; London, early 1943. Photo by Robert Capa, International Centre for Photography/Magnum

Essay/
Ethics
The right right thing to do

The ethical life means being good to ourselves, to others, and to the world. But how do you choose if these demands compete?

Irene McMullin

Kirsten Thompson, the lead scientist on the Arctic Sunrise, takes water samples for eDNA sampling near Paulet Island at the entrance to the Weddell Sea. Photo by A Trayler-Smith/Greenpeace/Panos

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
The abuses of Popper

A powerful cadre of scientists and economists sold Karl Popper’s ‘falsification’ idea to the world. They have much to answer for

Charlotte Sleigh

Reading on a park bench, London, July 1941. Photo by William Vandivert/Life/Getty

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Pause. Reflect. Think

Susan Stebbing’s little Pelican book on philosophy had a big aim: giving everybody tools to think clearly for themselves

Peter West

A young family listening to a radio broadcast in Spandau, Germany in 1927. The writer and theorist Walter Benjamin hoped that the radio would be as much a medium for the production of knowledge among listeners as for its dissemination. Photo by AKG

Essay/
History of science
Scientists for the people

Why the finest minds in 1930s Europe believed that scientists must engage with citizens or risk losing their moral compass

Deborah R Coen

Inside the United Nations Human Rights Council building in Geneva. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Political philosophy
The inflation of concepts

Human rights, health, the rule of law – why are these concepts inflated to the status of totalising, secular religions?

John Tasioulas