Tag «curriculum»

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Romanticism

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Romanticism

Romanticism is one of the most important historical events of all time. Unlike a lot of what gets called history, romanticism isn’t a war or a piece of technology or a political event. It refers to the birth of a new set of ideas. It is about a mindset and a way of feeling. Romanticism …

How Our Past Influences Our Present

How Our Past Influences Our Present

For much of the time, the way we feel about – and react to – events is founded on how things are in the here and now. For example: – I feel very scared because something very scary is in front of me. – I feel I’m being judged harshly by the person I’m speaking …

SOCIOLOGY – Alexis De Tocqueville

SOCIOLOGY – Alexis De Tocqueville

Democracy was achieved by such a long arduous and heroic struggle that it can feel embarrassing even shameful to be pretty Disappointed by it Perhaps the best guy to such feelings and to Modern democracy in general is a 19th century French aristocrat [Alexis] De [Tocqueville] Photo Tocqueville Democracy was a highly exotic and new …

How Not to be Boring

How Not to be Boring

One of our great fears, which haunts us when we go out into the world and socialize with others is that we may in our hearts be really rather boring. But the good news and a fundamental truth too, is that no one is ever truly boring. They’re only in danger of coming across as …

PLATO ON: The Allegory of the Cave

PLATO ON: The Allegory of the Cave

The ancient Greeks were emphatic that philosophy was not just an elaborate abstract exercise. It was, they felt, a deeply useful skill that should be learned and practiced by all, in order to help us to live and die well. No one believed this more than Plato. Who was passionate in his defense of philosophy …

The Origins of Suicide

The Origins of Suicide

One of the most surprising aspects about one of the saddest of all human possibilities, suicide, is that the suicide rate goes up markedly the richer and more developed a society becomes. We might expect suicide rates to vary across time and place, but not to increase alongside developments in wealth, comfort and security. That …

Thoreau and Civil Disobedience

Thoreau and Civil Disobedience

POLITICAL THEORY THOREAU AND CVIL DISCOBEDIENCE In March 1845, the United States acquired a new president – James K. Polk – a forceful, aggressive political outsider intent on strengthening his country and asserting its pre-eminence in front of other world powers, especially Mexico and Great Britain. Within a year of his inauguration, he had declared …

PHILOSOPHY – La Rochefoucauld

PHILOSOPHY – La Rochefoucauld

There’s a belief that philosophy, when properly done, should sound dense, forbidding, a little confusing, as if it might have been awkwardly translated from the German. But at the dawn of the Modern age, lived a French philosopher who trusted in a very different way of presenting his thoughts; a man who wrote a very …

How to Narrate Your Life Story

How to Narrate Your Life Story

At moments of sorrow and exhaustion, it is only too easy to look back over the years and feel that our lives have, in essence, been meaningless. We take stock of just how much has gone wrong: how many errors there have been; how many unfulfilled plans and frustrated dreams we’ve had. We may feel …

PHILOSOPHY – René Descartes

PHILOSOPHY – René Descartes

René Descartes was a French 17th century philosopher, famous above all for saying ‘I think therefore I am’, but worthy of our attention for many reasons beyond this. What makes him stand out is that he was a fierce rationalist. In an age when many philosophers still backed up their arguments with appeals to God, …