Friday 3 February 2012

This website has moved

This website has now merged with, which is also where the url will shortly point. Please update your RSS feeds etc. Thank you.

Sunday 29 January 2012

The Shrink & The Sage: Is there a right way to grieve?

Until the 19th century, some communities in India believed that a widow ought to throw herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. The fact that sati, as this practice is called, was normal at the time did not make it right. Likewise, nothing follows about the rightness of any way to grieve simply because it is the norm. This is easily understood, but it is remarkable how difficult it can be to shake a conviction which is rooted in nothing more than the fact that this is how it is and has always been.
Latest column in this weekend's FT Magazine

On Rawls

If you were to ask an academic philosopher which of their colleagues from the past 50 years will still be read in a century’s time, the answer is likely to be John Rawls (1921-2002).
Short piece supplementing main interview on John Rawls in this weekend's FT(see bottom of page)

Saturday 28 January 2012

Afterlife - South Bank Centre, 28 January

For the record, I spoke on a panel today at an event called The Afterlife: ‘And then what happens?’ at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. The chair was Bidisha and other panelists were Dr Desmond Biddulph, Canon Giles Goddard and Huma Qureshi.

Friday 27 January 2012

On time

The idea that, if the laws of physics don't mention it, it isn't real is also totally unjustified. To a physicist, biological organisms are ultimately as much collections of atoms as chairs and tables. Some would go so far as to say that, in principle at least, biology is reducible to physics. But does that mean that zebras aren't real? Any physicist who insists on this can't see the wood for the carbon.
Short piece on time in the January edition of The Times's Eureka Science magazine, Only available online through the Murdoch pay wall.