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Bertrand Russell: the everyday value of philosophy

March 10, 2017

Many teachers and students of philosophy today feel that the subject is under threat – not only from funding cuts, but from a more pervasive and less quantifiable cultural shift towards measuring value only in instrumental and monetary terms. But when we philosophers try to defend our discipline, the question of why philosophy is important sometimes gets entangled with our own self-importance. More to the point, perhaps, when we seek to protect philosophy we are also protecting our livelihood. There...

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20 Celebrities who studied Philosophy or Religious Studies

December 17, 2015

Win Butler – Musician (Arcade Fire). Studied Religious Studies at McGill University. Bill Clinton – Former US President. Politics, Philosophy and Economics, University of Oxford. Iris Murdoch – Author. Philosophy, University of Oxford. Katy Brand – Writer, comedian. Theology, University of Oxford . Ricky Gervais – Comedian. Philosophy, University College London. Christy Turlington – Model and businesswoman. Comparative Religion and Eastern Philosophy, New York University. Aung San Suu Kyi – Burmese politician and Nobel Laureate. Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford. Yvette Cooper – Shadow Home Secretary. Philosophy, Politics and Economics,...

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Anarchists have civil liberties too

January 5, 2014

What do Colin Ward, the late education officer for the Town and Country Planning Association, and a squatter in London have in common? The answer: they’re both anarchists. Or rather, the squatters have been dubbed anarchists by the media; Ward was an anarchist of his own volition. It’s strange to think that a well-respected public figure such as Ward could be openly allied to anarchism, a tradition currently associated withruining the royal wedding or vandalising shops on Oxford Street. But the truth is,...

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Mark Steel: Just because you’re an atheist doesn’t make you rational

December 28, 2013

Having followed the latest debate about religion, I’d say the conclusion is obvious that the only thing as disturbing as the religious is the modern atheist. I’d noticed this before, after I was slightly critical of Richard Dawkins and received piles of fuming replies, that made me think that what his followers would like is to scientifically create an eternity in laboratory conditions so that they could burn me there for all of it. It’s not the rationality that’s alarming,...

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Gove says religious studies has suffered

December 7, 2013

Education Secretary Michael Gove has told religious leaders Religious Education has “suffered” in England’s schools amid government changes. He said he had thought that because schools have to provide RE lessons, the subject was “protected”. Church leaders and RE teachers have complained that the subject is being sidelined and that fewer people are taking it for GCSE. Mr Gove said he wanted to work with faith groups to improve RE teaching. Speaking at a Church of England seminar on Wednesday,...

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