Tag Archives: Death

On Being Left a Library

Of all the features of bereavement, cardboard boxes are the most incongruous and the most inevitable. They help, and sometimes obstruct, the packing up and dispersing of a life. They carry possessions which have become things, in the hope that they may yet be possessions again.  

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What Is History?

An old headmaster of mine, who kindly lent me his copy of E. H. Carr’s What Is History?, had an answer for the question posed by its title. He fondly said that history is ‘the house in which all other subjects live’. That is the natural perspective of an educator, and of a man who read the subject himself and was keen to assert its importance. Continue reading

Put ‘When This Is All Over’ out of Mind

A perennial and increasingly fevered subject of conversation in this fractured moment is what, precisely, each and every one of us expects to do ‘when this is all over’. By ‘this’, of course, people mean what they are slightly incorrectly terming ‘quarantine’ and not, per se, the disease which may yet still end the lives of millions. Continue reading

All the Important People Survived

Normal years do not begin quite like that.

The release of a Bond film has been seriously delayed, and the South by Southwest festival has been cancelled. It seems that Hollywood, ever more risk averse and paradoxically efficient than government, is staking a good deal of its money on black. Continue reading

The Death of Socrates Reconsidered

Socrates is often considered the father of Western philosophy. He taught Plato and influenced Aristotle, pioneering aspects of intellectual instruction and philosophical enquiry. No writings in his name survive. Instead, the life of Socrates is held to demonstrate greatness. Plato viewed his mentor as the ideal philosopher, a model of how a thinker should act and live. The memory of the man surpasses his works. Continue reading

Jordan Peterson’s Mechanistic Universe

In a very brief time, Jordan Peterson has become almost ubiquitous. The professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, now on leave in order to tour the world, has been cultivating a growing following on social media and YouTube for years. But 2018 is his moment. Continue reading