Flaubert, snow, poverty, rhythm … the random musings of Anne Carson

17 February 2024 9:00 am

It is thrillingly difficult to keep one’s balance in Carson’s topsy-turvy world as she meditates on a wide range of subjects in poetry, pictures and prose

Is writing now changing the world for the worse?

3 February 2024 9:00 am

Humanity’s great civilising accomplishment may have slipped the leash. Computer programs and surveillance also involve ‘writing’, potentially making us decreasingly human

The ancients knew they couldn’t turn back time

29 January 2022 9:00 am

The singer Cher, now 75, has announced that, because she refuses to appear old, she is not going to allow…

The Globe, Plato and the corrupting force of art

30 October 2021 9:00 am

The Globe theatre’s project to ‘decolonise’ Shakespeare, as if that would make plays like The Tempest ‘acceptable’ to them and…

Twitter has taken the place of the ancient curse-tablet

23 October 2021 9:00 am

Twitter and other easily accessible means of online communication have encouraged the public to believe that Their Voice Will Be…

The Greeks wouldn’t have accepted Cambridge’s ‘respect’ policy either

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Professor Toope, the vice-chancellor of Cambridge university, had proposed a motion ordering all members of the university to ‘respect’ each…

Nick Robinson could learn a thing or two from Plato

12 December 2020 9:00 am

Today presenter Nick Robinson has been reflecting on the political interview. He contrasts his interviews with scientists about Covid with…

The Socratic approach to Covid

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Organs of the press are filled with opinion pages. The sublime confidence about Covid with which commentators advance these opinions,…

Plato knew that home-schooling can have benefits

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Education is cumulative. The idea that it will be lost on a generation because, for one out of 42 terms…

Covid-19 shows us that virtue trumps freedom

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Look at it this way: we’re all doing Desert Island Discs nowadays, and unless you’ve got the bug, it’s a…

Does ‘equality’ mean the same to Rebecca Long-Bailey as it did to Plato?

18 January 2020 9:00 am

The candidates battling for the leadership of the Labour party never stop banging on about ‘social justice’ and ‘equality’. But…

Extinction Rebellion proves Aristotle was right about the follies of youth

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Extinction Rebellion is blocking the streets again, foolishly demanding the impossible on a very important issue. But what does one…

Statue of Socrates at the Academy of Athens

Socrates the romantic hero?

30 March 2019 9:00 am

If western philosophy is no more than ‘footnotes to Plato’, so, arguably, is the myth of its founding hero, Socrates.…

Health and personal choice

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Public health specialist Sir Michael Marmot has blamed ‘the cuts’ for the rise in dementia among the elderly, resulting in…

What Pericles knew that David Cameron doesn’t

5 March 2016 9:00 am

It does seem extraordinary that the increasingly puce-faced Mr Cameron offered us an ‘in-out’ referendum and is now telling us…

Some 2,000-year-old teaching tips for Oxford’s new vice-chancellor

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Professor Louise Richardson, Oxford’s new vice-chancellor, is worried about a new government plan to judge teaching quality. Her reason is…

For a true moral lesson, Rugby School, get your pupils drunk

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Rugby and Ampleforth schools have decided to give their charges experience of sensible drinking by introducing a little alcohol, under…

Ancient and Modern

2 January 2016 9:00 am

In Living with Difference, a think-tank report on the problems raised by a multi-faith UK, the chair Baroness Butler-Sloss says…

A journey through magic across three millennia

12 December 2015 9:00 am

With the briefest of introductions to each chapter, it is up to the reader to decide how they want to…

Does Labour need a new name? Let’s ask Plato

8 August 2015 9:00 am

In order to make a sensible choice of new leader, the Labour party is trying to work out what its…

The ‘start-up cities’ of Ancient Greece

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Honduras wants to establish start-up cities to experiment with alternative economic, regulatory, and legal systems. Could this concept help stop…

How to vote like Hercules

11 April 2015 9:00 am

To judge from elections, the purpose of politics is to win power by promising to make people better off. Plato,…

The Green party isn’t nearly tough enough on Ancient Greece

14 March 2015 9:00 am

The Green party’s manifesto appears to make saving the planet only a small element in its otherwise painfully unoriginal agenda.…

John Gray’s great tour-guide of ideas: from the Garden of Eden to secret rendition

7 March 2015 9:00 am

You can’t accuse John Gray of dodging the big questions, or indeed the big answers. His new book The Soul…

Old age is not for sissies

7 March 2015 9:00 am

The secret of eternal youth, according to Alice Roosevelt Longworth, is arrested development, and the penny dropped last week. The…