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Lizzie Kirkwood

Edited by Lizzie Kirkwood

Essay/
History of Ideas
Can God lie?

Until the Scientific Revolution, God’s power included a licence to deceive. How did science make an honest man of Him?

Dallas G Denery II

Essay/
Cosmopolitanism
The essence of evil

You don’t have to be a monster or a madman to dehumanise others. You just have to be an ordinary human being

David Livingstone Smith

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
No pain, no game

Pain and suffering are not just incidental elements of the sporting life: they are at the centre of every game

Michael Thomsen

Essay/
Stories & Literature
Tell me a story

Even in our digital age, live storytelling has a spellbinding effect more potent than any DVD box set

Richard Hamilton

Essay/
Death
The digital soul

My Facebook page may be part of my identity, but can it give me a virtual afterlife?

Patrick Stokes

Essay/
Death
Life after death

The idea of life after death lives on in near-death experiences and messages from beyond the grave. What’s the evidence?

Jesse Bering

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
Are you looking at me?

What goes on in our minds when we see someone naked? The more we see of a person’s body the stupider they seem

Matthew Hutson

Essay/
Computing & Artificial Intelligence
The attention economy

It costs nothing to click, respond and retweet. But what price do we pay in our relationships and our peace of mind?

Tom Chatfield

Essay/
Political Philosophy
Life in the fishbowl

In the future, most people will live in a total surveillance state – and some of us might even like it

Stuart Armstrong

Essay/
Ethics
Perversions

Atheists and homosexuals were called perverts once. Why do we still see perversion where no harm is done?

Jesse Bering

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
Too much information

Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn’t exist. No wonder we are hopeless oversharers

Ian Leslie

Essay/
Stories & Literature
Inner peace

We yearn for silence, yet the less sound there is, the more our thoughts deafen us. How can we still the noise within?

Tim Parks

Essay/
Love & Friendship
If a cat could talk

Felines walk the line between familiar and strange. We stroke them and they purr, then in a trice they pounce

David Wood

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
The crystalline wall

Shyness is a part of being human. The world would be a more insipid, less creative place without it

Joe Moran

Essay/
Architecture & Landscape
Room for sex

Most architecture sets out to make us civil and efficient. Where are the homes that give us passion and pleasure?

Richard J Williams

Essay/
Architecture & Landscape
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

Damon Young

Essay/
Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Accidental rewilding

In places once thick with farms and cities, human dispossession and war has cleared the ground for nature to return

George Monbiot

Essay/
History of Ideas
Freudian slips

Verbal gaffes can profoundly challenge our sense of self, offering insight into our idiosyncrasies and desires

Jay Watts

Essay/
Ethics
A right to believe?

You are entitled to believe what you will, but your beliefs must be subject to criticism and scrutiny just like mine

Mark Rowlands

Essay/
Addiction
The outsider

While one person dabbles in drugs with few ill-effects, another will become a chronic addict. What’s the difference?

Hanna Pickard

Essay/
Philosophy of Religion
Zen freedom

Free will and fate are both illusions. The trick is learning to sail with the prevailing winds of life

Tim Lott

Essay/
Addiction
Cyborg dreams

Gadgets are the first thing we touch in the morning and the last thing we stroke at night. Are we their slaves?

Tom Chatfield

Essay/
History of Ideas
What is love?

Forget the modern romantic notion of ‘the one’. True love means looking beyond the couple and out towards life

Mark Vernon

Essay/
Biology
Not just a pretty boy

Intelligent, devoted, alien – parrots are unlike any other pet. But what does the complex human-avian bond say about us?

Ilan Greenberg

Essay/
Ethics
Tennis with Plato

In play an adult can become like a child, fully absorbed in the here-and-now. Play, not work, brings us fully to life

Mark Rowlands

Essay/
Beauty & Aesthetics
The great swindle

From pickled sharks to compositions in silence, fake ideas and fake emotions have elbowed out truth and beauty

Roger Scruton

Essay/
Ecology & Environmental Sciences
The id and the eco

Thinking about climate change makes people feel helpless and anxious – but that’s why we must talk about it openly

Rosemary Randall

Essay/
Mental Health
Rules of survival

Mid-air is a bad place, where nightmares happen. Only witches and meteorites belong there. Avoid it or be destroyed

AL Kennedy

Essay/
Education
The begging bowl

British universities have a lot to learn about philanthropy – not least how to restrain its academic influence

David Edmonds

Essay/
Music
A broken offering

A cracked voice, an empty bank account, a tour of duty. Who would have thought so much light could still get in?

Tim Footman