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Seeing reason

THE PHILOSOPHER’S ZONE – ABC AUSTRALIA. Talking to Joe Gelonesi about some of the main ideas in The Edge of Reason on his excellent long-running show.

Clean eating and dirty burgers

For as long as we can remember, the British have associated delicious food with depraved indulgence. Anything that tastes good has got to be bad for your body, soul or both. The marketing department of Magnum knew this when it called its 2002 limited edition range the Seven Deadly Sins. Nothing makes a product more enticing than its being naughty, or even better, wicked.

Recipe for success

Most of us can honestly say we have no desire to be on the cover of Hello! magazine, yet almost all of us crave recognition, believing that it validates our endeavours. A myth of our age is that talent, dedication and ambition bring such recognition – and its associated rewards – in gastronomy as in everything else. Tiziano Gérard is living proof that this just isn’t true

British politics and the lost art of rhetoric

Hilary Benn and others were acclaimed for their speeches in the Syria debate in the Commons. But if this was the House at its best, its best is not good enough.

Do your genes determine your entire life?

The idea that unconscious biological forces drive our beliefs and actions would seem to pose a real threat to our free will. We like to think that we make choices on the basis of our own conscious deliberations. But isn’t all that thinking things over irrelevant if our final decision was already written in our genetic code? And doesn’t the whole edifice of personal responsibility collapse if we accept that “my genes made me do it”?

The Philosopher in the Kitchen

Four new videos exploring the ideas – and foods – in The Virtues of the Table.

A Very British Populism

“In ‘A very British populism’, a thoughtful exploration of British culture and politics, philosopher and writer Julian Baggini argues that the same springs of populism that fuel the far right elsewhere in Europe exist in Britain. He warns against the complacency of the ‘it could never happen here’ mindset; whether in the form of a ‘softer-edged’ UKIP, or a more sinister movement, populism could be at our doorstep.”

Work, rest and pray

Organised religion has lost its central place in most European countries, but it has not necessarily been replaced by atheism. The confused majority is “spiritual but not religious”, hungry for alternatives to the perceived materialism of modern life. “The more we’re distracted by stuff,” suggests Father Stephen, “the more we’re also attracted by what we’re missing.” We suspected that there might be aspects of monastic life that those who share this yearning can learn from, without having to take on board its religious commitments and beliefs…

Rad Hoc: What it means to be radical today

Video of my TEDxObserver talk

A Heathen Manifesto

This manifesto is an attempt to point towards the next phase of atheism’s involvement in public discourse. It is not a list of doctrines that people are asked to sign up to but a set of suggestions to provide a focus for debate and discussion. Nor is it an attempt to accurately describe what all […]