20 February 2012
Johann Eckermann, friend and amanuensis to Goethe, once confessed to the poet that he carried into society "a...
01 October 2009
14 February 2008
"Would you like to see an opera?" asks my girlfriend Junqing during my recent visit to Shanghai. I hesitate. Chinese...
21 August 2006
About a hundred years ago, a group of artists embarked on that unprecedented adventure known as modernism. Critics and...
31 July 2006
"Under the pretext of 'profit', 'economic development', 'culture', our civilisation is intent on the destruction of...
26 June 2006
It seems odd to talk about the "idea" of art. Isn't art a basic human impulse, like eating or making love? Haven't we...
06 February 2006
Ruben Gallego was born in Moscow in 1968 without hands or feet. He was packed off to an orphanage, then later to an old...
21 November 2005
Animals have long functioned as emblems of the virtues and vices. Everyone knows that lions are brave, dogs faithful...
Far from heaven. As political leaders lost their fear of hellfire in the 19th century, so the churches lost their ability to restrain them. In Europe, religion became an instrument of state power, paving the way for the horrors of the 20th century
10 October 2005
If Christianity had a mission in the 19th century, it was to restrain the leviathan of the nation state. This book...
08 August 2005
Children have always had much to endure from adults, but few more than Hans-Georg Behr, author of these reminiscences...
Why practice doesn't make perfect . Simon Blackburn claims the foundations of truth lie in our everyday practices of judging and criticising. Edward Skidelsky is unconvinced by a very British assumption
23 May 2005
Simon Blackburn, professor of philosophy at Cambridge University, is feeling harassed. What troubles him is "the minds...
01 January 2005
I am walking down Kastanienallee, centre of hip Berlin. It is already dark; candles flicker through cafe windows....
01 November 2004
On receiving this book, I casually assigned it to the shadowy category of "oriental wisdom", a category familiar to me...
The discovery that life has no ultimate purpose leaves us free to make of it what we like. But in a godless universe, failure is absolute. The terrors of hell have been replaced by the terrors of social and sexual failure. By Edward Skidelsky
20 September 2004
Having reviewed many books of popular philosophy, I have come to form a fairly low opinion of the genre. Some specimens...
The good men of Russia. Philosophy in Russia is a moral calling, more likely to be pursued by journalists and monks than university professors. No doubt this explains the passionate seriousness of Russian thinkers - and their fondness for second-hand idea
16 August 2004
Russian philosophy is a strange beast. For a start, most of it doesn't look like philosophy in the western sense at all...