POLITICAL THEORY – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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100

POLITICAL THEORY – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Modern life is deeply attracted to the idea of progress in the 18th century as European societies became ever richer and more technological, the conventional view was that mankind was firmly set on a positive trajectory from savagery and ignorance toward prosperity and civilization. But there was at least one …

Jesus as a Philosopher of Kindness
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100

Jesus as a Philosopher of Kindness

We are so used to thinking of Jesus as a divinity whom we accept or reject on the basis of faith that we are apt to miss a far more relevant detail: that he was an extremely acute philosopher, whose rules on human conduct maintain a deep and ongoing applicability. …

The Secrets of Happiness – in 60 Seconds
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100

The Secrets of Happiness – in 60 Seconds

The secrets of happiness 1. Stop being so hopeful Expect that most things are going to go wrong marriage, job, holidays, kids Look at the glass half empty and then feel grateful Whenever things aren’t quite catastrophic 2. Stop ranting about how awful other people are Most annoying people aren’t …

Why ‘Happiness’ is a useless word – and an alternative
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100

Why ‘Happiness’ is a useless word – and an alternative

Eudaimonia is an Ancient Greek word, particularly emphasised by the philosophers Plato and Aristotle, that deserves wider currency because it corrects the shortfalls in one of the most central, governing but insufficient terms in our contemporary idiom: happiness. When we nowadays try to articulate the purpose of our lives, it …

POLITICAL THEORY – John Rawls
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100

POLITICAL THEORY – John Rawls

Many of us feel that our societies are a little – or even plain totally – ‘unfair’. But we have a hard time explaining our sense of injustice to the powers that be in a way that sounds rational and without personal pique or bitterness. That’s why we need John …

The Wisdom of Pessimism
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100

The Wisdom of Pessimism

This is going to be a very bad film. It will teach you nothing. You’ll wonder at the end where those few minutes of your life have gone. You’ll feel bitter, resentful, and increasingly furious. Now, that’s a tiny example of what pessimism can do for you. It prepares you …

EASTERN PHILOSOPHY – The Buddha
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100

EASTERN PHILOSOPHY – The Buddha

The story of the Buddha’s life, like all of Buddhism, is a story about confronting suffering. He was born between the sixth and fourth century B.C., the son of a wealthy king in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal. It was prophesied that the young Buddha — then called Siddhartha Gautama …

Why Religious Beliefs Aren’t Just Silly
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100

Why Religious Beliefs Aren’t Just Silly

From a distance, it can all seem very silly. These people have gone to Lourdes, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, in the hope that the Virgin Mary might cure them of cancer and heart disease. These people have gone to Medjugorje in Bosnia Herzegovina to pray they might get …

PHILOSOPHY – Nietzsche
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100

PHILOSOPHY – Nietzsche

The challenge begins with how to pronounce his name. The first bit should sound like ‘Knee’, the second like ‘cha’ Knee – cha. Then we need to get past some of his extraordinary and provocative statements: ‘What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger’ ‘God is dead! And we have killed …

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Monasticism
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100

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Monasticism

We’ve come to see living on our own or in a small family unit of our own as a key step in growing up; it’s the dominant image we have of adult existence. So, monasticism, which involves unmarried people working and living together in highly organized communities, can seem very …