PHILOSOPHY: Immanuel Kant

PHILOSOPHY: Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant is a philosopher who tried to work out how human beings could be good and kind outside of the exaltations and blandishments of traditional religions. He was born in 1724, in the Baltic city of Königsberg, which at that time was part of Prussia and now belongs to Russia, renamed Kaliningrad. Kant’s parents […]

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PHILOSOPHY – Epicurus

PHILOSOPHY – Epicurus

This is a philosopher who helps us think about money, capitalism, and our runaway consumer societies Epicurus was an Ancient Greek born in 341 BC. What made him famous was that he spent all his life trying to work out the largest puzzle there is: what makes people happy? Philosophers before him had discussed at […]

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PLATO ON: The Forms

PLATO ON: The Forms

Asking one’s self and others what the perfect version of something is the ideal version might sound like a strange idea What is the perfect marriage? or career? or system of government? or school? It can feel immature and naïve to bother much with such questions they’re just daydreams. After all: who cares about ideal […]

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PHILOSOPHY – René Descartes

PHILOSOPHY – René Descartes

René Descartes was a French 17th century philosopher, famous above all for saying ‘I think therefore I am’, but worthy of our attention for many reasons beyond this. What makes him stand out is that he was a fierce rationalist. In an age when many philosophers still backed up their arguments with appeals to God, […]

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EASTERN PHILOSOPHY – Confucius

EASTERN PHILOSOPHY – Confucius

We know very little for certain about the life of the Chinese philosopher, Confucius He is said to have been born in 551 BC in China. He may have been a student of the Daoist master, Lao Tzu According to tradition, he began Government service, and served many roles, including: Minister of Crime, under Duke […]

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PHILOSOPHY – Sartre

PHILOSOPHY – Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre made thinking and philosophy glamorous. He was born in Paris in 1905. His father, a navy captain, died when he was a baby – and he grew up extremely close to his mother until she remarried, much to his regret, when he was twelve. Sartre spent most of his life in Paris, where […]

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ART/ARCHITECTURE: Andy Warhol

ART/ARCHITECTURE: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol Was the most Glamorous Figure of 20th Century American Art Born in Pennsylvania in 1928 to czech parents he lived most of his life in New York Much about his life was eccentric He wore a silver wig, he liked to go to the dry cleaners and stand in the corner Enjoying the […]

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SOCIOLOGY – Theodor Adorno

SOCIOLOGY – Theodor Adorno

Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was born in Frankfurt in 1903 into a wealthy and cultured family. His father, a wine merchant, was of Jewish origin but had converted to Protestantism at university. Until his twenties, Adorno planned for a career as a composer, but eventually focused on philosophy. In 1934, he was barred on racial grounds […]

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PHILOSOPHY – Hegel

PHILOSOPHY – Hegel

Georg Friedrich Hegel was born in Stuttgart in 1770. Intellectually he was adventurous, but in externals, respectable, conventional, and proud of it. He ascended the academic tree and reached the top most branch, head of the University of Berlin, when he was sixty years old; he died the following year. Hegel wrote some very long […]

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POLITICAL THEORY – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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 eighteen century philosopher who violently […]

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