Philosophy

A new biography of Nietzsche

Autobiography’ was what Nietzsche wrote ‘in order to see who he was’. On the evidence adduced here, what he was was a mummy’s boy. As late as her son’s undergraduate days, Franziska Nietzsche was still lecturing him on what coat…

Is satire dead?

There’s no shortage of big fat targets for satirists to take aim at, but most of them are protected by a praetorian guard of professional offence-takers, ready to take to the airwaves at the slightest sign of disrespect and demand…

Jacques Rancière

By most accounts, the life of the reader has become vita passiva. These days the reader is projected as a sufferer, of markets and technology, of the image and its future. At best willing only to consume, to rifle through…

Love

In 1967, the Beatles sang “All you need is love”. But does this still hold true? We rationalize and optimize every single aspect of our lives but leave the greatest irrationality in place: romantic love. We want to debate why…

Nietsche on Love

Willow Verkerk considers what Nietzsche has to teach us about love. What could Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) have to teach us about love? More than we might suppose. Speculations about his sexuality abound: did he really contract syphilis at a bordello,…

Richard Dawkins

The Closed Mind of Richard Dawkins His atheism is its own kind of narrow religion John Gray If an autobiography can ever contain a true reflection of the author, it is nearly always found in a throwaway sentence. When the…

Walter Benjamin

Fallen Angel The tragic life and enduring influence of critic Walter Benjamin Ian Penman Benjamin’s reputation has soared since his death in 1940. Nearly 75 years ago, at the outset of World War Two, stranded between official borderlines, right on…

Are today’s intellectuals are too obedient?

The Responsibility of Intellectuals, Noam Chomsky’s classic essay, is now approaching its 50th anniversary. His mighty polemic was written as his country, the US, moved deeper and deeper into national and international crisis. The tonnage of high explosive dropped on…

The New Luddites

The new Luddites: why former digital prophets are turning against tech Neo-Luddism began to emerge in the postwar period. First after the emergence of nuclear weapons, and secondly when it became apparent new computer technologies had the power to change…