Bogus philosophy. The ideal of the French philosophe de cafe, which owes so much to Sartre, retains a hold over our imagination. But, Edward Skidelsky writes, it has ceased to have any basis in reality
21 May 2001
We have an ideal image of the French philosopher. He is engage, preferably a communist, though mistrusted by the party...
In defence of drugs. LSD, cocaine, opium: they are all just a bore, though good for relaxation and socialising. How did we ever come to invest them with such demonic properties? By Edward Skidelsky
30 April 2001
Before the First World War, cocaine, morphine and heroine were all available, on prescription and at reasonable prices...
Beware the false prophet. George Steiner is celebrated and reviled in equal measure. Is he the most influential critic of his generation, as some say, or merely a fraud? Edward Skidelsky weighs the evidence
19 March 2001
Remember the genius? In his black Victorian hat and cape, with his flowing white beard, he was the scourge of...
25 December 2000
Psychoanalysis is often thought of today as a softening influence on the personality, as a device for making people...
The ethics of the sand pile. History stands poised on the brink of catastrophe. The very existence of the human race is precarious. Edward Skidelsky is awed by the implications of a radical new physics
30 October 2000
What a pity that this remarkable book has been so misleadingly presented. According to the blurb, it uncovers "a new...
09 October 2000
Bertrand Russell achieved fame in three very different worlds. His reputation rests, pre- eminently, on his achievement...
Knowing too much. Philosophy as practised by the great thinkers of the past is at an end. So is philosophy no more than a word for a certain manner of being confused? By Edward Skidelsky
14 August 2000
Philosophy, for some people, suggests a neatly ordered garden. Philosophers are like those suburban husbands of popular...
The clash of civilisations. The countries of eastern Europe are less the products of Orthodoxy than of communism. Even when they ignore their communist heritage, they are captive to it. By Edward Skidelsky
17 July 2000
Victoria Clark may well be annoyed to learn from one reviewer that her journey through Orthodox Europe is "in the great...
State of the union. The European elite's commitment to federalism is a smokescreen behind which lurks a bureaucratic state, writes Edward Skidelsky
26 June 2000
For most people, the British constitution is a subject on a par with heraldry or ecclesiastical law. "Constitutional...
Nonsense upon stilts. Animals are the last great "victim class". Edward Skidelsky finds the arguments for animal rights sentimental, self-serving and intellectually unsound
05 June 2000
"Animal liberation", claims Richard Ryder, "is possibly unique among liberation movements in the extent to which it has...
Spirit in the sky. Fundamentalism in the 20th century has been to religion what fascism has been to patriotism. Edward Skidelsky looks at the ugly growth of an un-Godly fanaticism
08 May 2000
Fundamentalism is a major source of anxiety for people, such as I, who believe both in God and in the basic tenets of...
24 April 2000
Scotland Yard, the House of Lords, the Telegraph - drugs have found some unlikely friends. What has happened to the doe...
Comforting, but meaningless. In seeking to popularise philosophy, Alain de Botton has merely trivialised it, smoothing the discipline into a series of silly sound bites. By Edward Skidelsky
27 March 2000
I don't want to be accused of intellectual snobbery when I say that The Consolations of Philosophy is a very bad book....
The wealth of nations. Capitalism, far from being natural and inevitable, can only be created through political intervention. But that doesn't mean we can uninvent it, writes Edward Skidelsky
28 February 2000
This little book on the origin of capitalism is an ingenious attempt by a Marxist historian to salvage something from...
Eyes wide shut. Edward Skidelsky reads Freud's great work 100 years after its first publication, and finds himself wandering through the sleazy back alleys of the Victorian mind
17 January 2000
The Interpretation of Dreams is the great unread classic of modern thought. There is a vague feeling that you've read...