The Post Room

  • What is Love’s Work? (Gillian Rose)

    What is Love’s Work? (Gillian Rose)

    To celebrate the publishing of Gillian Rose’s book Love’s Work in the Penguin Modern Masters series (March 14th 2024), Nigel Tubbs reflects back on a piece he wrote in 1998 about Rose’s autobiography. For Gillian Rose, protest not only opposes and speaks against, it also carries the recognition that to speak against is already to…

  • To be a philosopher you need only three things

    To be a philosopher you need only three things

    ‘To be a philosopher you need only three things…’ is a beautifully concise statement that holds more challenging implications than may at first appear.

  • Gillian Rose: Fascism and representation

    Gillian Rose: Fascism and representation

    ‘Not in my name’ is and is not in my name.  In her essay ‘The Future of Auschwitz’, Gillian Rose describes two obvious reactions provoked by the exhibitions at the ‘sites’ of the death camps. On the one hand, an identification with the ‘infinite pain’ of the victim, and, on the other, an intense self-questioning…

  • Plato, Trump, and the end of truth?

    Plato, Trump, and the end of truth?

    In his book The Republic, Plato famously introduced the idea of the cave. It became probably the most important model of education in the whole of the western tradition. It offered a stark contrast between fake knowledge and true knowledge. The unenlightened stared at fake images (shadows) while the real objects were hidden from them.…

  • Kant says ‘philosophy is a mere idea of a possible science which nowhere exists’

    Kant says ‘philosophy is a mere idea of a possible science which nowhere exists’

    Kant didn’t believe in ‘philosophy’, only in philosophizing.

  • Paulo Freire: education as the practice of freedom.

    Paulo Freire: education as the practice of freedom.

    In the late sixties, the great Brazilian educator and thinker Paulo Freire, published Pedagogy of the Oppressed, one of the most insightful and compelling critiques of education in the 20th century. Similar in scope and tone to Franz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, the book is a penetrating insight into the dehumanising effects of economic, social and…

  • Plato’s Republic—a short summary

    Plato’s Republic—a short summary

    All is not what it seems in our lives (Plato)

  • Plato’s Republic is not a difficult book to read

    Plato’s Republic is not a difficult book to read

    Plato’s Republic is not a difficult book to read and it still still raises some of the most fundamental questions about the meaning of our individual lives

  • The unexamined life is not worth living

    The unexamined life is not worth living

    Imagine. You are on trial for your life. You are accused of leading young minds astray with your critical teaching in the public square. You face the jury who hold your life in their hands. And you tell them, in effect, that they are corrupt, self-seeking, and care more about their own reputations than they…

  • Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains

    Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains

    This is how Rousseau opened his book The Social Contract, written in 1762 but what does he mean?

  • Seneca: 10 quotes on why we should all learn the incredible power of Stoic Philosophy

    Seneca: 10 quotes on why we should all learn the incredible power of Stoic Philosophy

    Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – AD 65) was a Roman Stoic philosopher and stateman. As with Marcus Aurelius, Seneca saw Stoicism as a philosophy that would help one cope with the trials and tribulations that life throws at us.

  • All children talk to their toys; the toys become actors in the great drama of life: Baudelaire and The Philosophy of Toys

    All children talk to their toys; the toys become actors in the great drama of life: Baudelaire and The Philosophy of Toys

    Can you remember what it was like to play as a child? Perhaps you had a favourite doll, toy car or set of figures that were ever present companions on the side lines of the adult world. You may have travelled the universe in a spaceship made out of cardboard boxes or become a princess…

  • Socrates On Trial

    Socrates On Trial

    A New Statesman Book of the Year 2021 Socrates On Trial tells of Socrates’s return to a modern city that is plagued by prejudice, privilege and populism. On resuming his questioning in the agora he is arrested, interrogated by his prosecutors, questioned by his Judge, and confessed to by his inquisitor. On a Festival Day,…

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