17 October 2005
One of the defects of contemporary philosophy is a lack of knowledge of the historical contexts in which philosophical...
Suicide bombers are often portrayed as demoniacal psychopaths, but the perpetrators of both 9/11 and 7 July appear to have been remarkably normal. Were such men attracted to jihadism because it helped give meaning to their otherwise aimless lives?
12 September 2005
Until very recently, most suicide bombers were secular in origin. The techniques of suicide bombing were first...
25 July 2005
During the 1990s it was fashionable to scoff at the notion of limits to growth. A knowledge-based economy was coming...
18 July 2005
For those directly affected by them, the London bombings will always be an unalterable reality - an event, barely...
NS Essay - 'From Churchill to Macmillan on to Thatcher and Blair, British leaders have encouraged the idea that we can still be a global player. It is a fantasy'
06 June 2005
It is a general rule in Britain that "thinking the unthinkable" means exaggerating the conventional wisdom to a point...
Lost in thought. Thanks to academic specialisation, the history of ideas is not a flourishing discipline. Most English-speaking philosophers know little of their own intellectual traditions, let alone non-western ones. John Gray applauds a study that avoi
30 May 2005
The history of ideas has a history of its own, and it is not long. Peter Watson believes the first person to conceive...
09 May 2005
The election has resolved nothing. Britain continues to drift, its meandering course guided by the conventional wisdom...
07 March 2005
The Martians are always coming, according to Philip K Dick. The prolific and hugely talented science-fiction author was...
17 January 2005
The intensifying war in Iraq looks like being a watershed in modern history. Critics of the war have focused on the...
15 November 2004
One of the curious features of the present time is that, even though we are all liberal, there is no agreement about...
The death of meaning. Over the past 15 years, the world has been ravaged by a new kind of purposeless war. on why unending conflict may be what really defines our times
01 November 2004
For someone commonly derided as a mere populariser of ideas, Bernard-Henri Levy has not gone out of his way to court...
History bites back Francis Fukuyama believes the key to making failing states successful is to remodel them on western lines. Not so, says John Gray. It is through reforms consistent with their own traditions that countries such as China and Russia hav
05 July 2004
A prophet whose beliefs have been proved as completely false as Francis Fukuyama's faces something of a dilemma. Does...
Beyond reasonable doubt. Nostalgia for Enlightenment values such as rationality and progress has become a rallying cry for sections of both right and left. But it was in the name of these principles that some of the worst crimes of the 20th century were c
31 May 2004
In an oddly predictable twist, the Enlightenment has become a rallying point for the right. In former times, the right...
26 April 2004
The announcement by Spain's new prime minister, Jose Luis RodrIguez Zapatero, that Spanish troops will be withdrawn...
09 February 2004
In Kafka's story "A Report to an Academy", an ape called Red Peter delivers a lecture to a learned society in which he...