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Self & identity

This tag is associated with 88 posts

It’s the circle of life – starting September

Summer has ended, and with it the time of year when we most typically relax and try to enjoy ourselves. The shortening of the days seems to be a message to start getting serious again. So perhaps it’s no coincidence this is the traditional time to start a course of learning, formal or informal.

How to love a less free will

THE PHILOSOPHER’S ZONE – ABC RADIO. Discussing free will with Joe Gelonesi. Recorded at the Sydney Writers Festival.

Alter Ego Podcast

PODCAST. I’m interviewed by Athena Rosette for her new podcast series Alter Ego. You can find it here.

The possibility that life is a simulation

Some people just find the whole idea too fanciful to even think about. But many other find it terrifying, exciting or both. Why would such an apparently outlandish idea have this effect?

Not every venture has a happy ending – and that’s OK

In Hollywood, every failure simply serves to make the eventual success more inevitable. In real life, every past failure should be a reminder that a happy outcome was never guaranteed. Our failed relationships, terrible jobs and bad holidays reflect our characters and the reality of our lives at least as much as the good times, which often hang on a thread.

What makes you… you?

NINE TO NOON – RADIO NEW ZEALAND, 12 APRIL. Interviewed by Kathryn Ryan ahead of my appearance at the Auckland Writers Festival next month. You can listen to it here.

The Why Factor

THE WHY FACTOR – BBC WORLD SERVICE. I was on this programme on identity, presented by Mike Williams, first broadcast 1 April. Listen here.

Must all good things come to an end?

There is a sense in which everything that we have done cannot be undone. If you have loved, then it will always be true that you have loved. No achievement can be taken away once it has been achieved. Good things never really end, we just come to the end of them.

Self and the Meaning of Life

In recent years many have expressed a concern that Western individualism has created a society of atomised, isolated selves. At the same time, the values of personal choice and autonomy remain sacrosanct. Individualism is thus seen as both the great achievement and bane of Western civilisation.

What Is the Self? It Depends

We have different conceptions of the self the world over not because selves differ, but because at different times and places people have more or less concern with different aspects of selfhood. They provide different answers to the question “What is the self?” because that apparently singular question in fact contains any number of different ones.