The end of time: The Heidegger-Cassirer debate and the passage from trade to war

Philosopher Immanuel Kant is often referred to as the god of modern philosophy. A recent work of intellectual history by Professor Michael Rosen, entitled The Shadow of God: Kant, Hegel, and the passage from heaven to history, considers the end of Christendom and the replacement of its accompanying hegemony of faith with the Enlightenment philosophy … Continue reading The end of time: The Heidegger-Cassirer debate and the passage from trade to war

Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was a calculated blunder

There is much dispute over the function of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan: was it a moment of madness, or a signal decision of brilliance? Now U.S.-China relations are fraying on a range of issues, from climate change to military technology, is more tension really needed? Yes, it is — but this almost completely misses the … Continue reading Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was a calculated blunder

Why the physical world is a lie

There’s a lot of paranoia going around about ‘fraud’, ‘lying’, and ‘deception’, sometimes encapsulated by the term ‘abuse’. These are certainly ugly, often evil, realities — but not for the reason we usually imagine. In David Runciman’s seminal Political Hypocrisy, the Cambridge Professor of Politics draws a distinction between first- and second-order hypocrisy. The first-order … Continue reading Why the physical world is a lie

Why Sabrina Carpenter is the next pop star

This post follows my review of Sabrina’s latest excellent album, ‘emails I can’t send’. I have a theory about music, as a balance between art and technique. I don’t think many people strike that balance. Those who do tend not to stand out from the crowd of extremes. There is a third type of pop … Continue reading Why Sabrina Carpenter is the next pop star

‘Treasure Planet’ and how trade causes war

The 2002 film ‘Treasure Planet’ opens with a portrayal of merchant ships carrying crates of gold, until they were sabotaged by pirates. The rest of the movie depicts the conflict over said gold. The hero graduates from his family’s bed and breakfast to a quest for a greater prize of trade: the excesses of commercial … Continue reading ‘Treasure Planet’ and how trade causes war

How Billie Eilish turned popular music upside down

Several recent biopics have shown how much popular music owes to rock influences, from Elvis Presley to Freddie Mercury. But popular music also emerges from the genres of jazz, soul, and, more recently, hip hop. According to actress Elizabeth Taylor, the ‘King of Pop, Rock and Soul’ was Michael Jackson. As Forbes recently noted: ‘Perhaps … Continue reading How Billie Eilish turned popular music upside down

The poetry of power: On the new art forms of the Third Millennium

Our middle world, orbiting a middle star of a middle ring of a middle-sized galaxy, has produced many wondrous creations, even from the bowels of despair. Life first emerged in the deep oceans, and endured through cycles of hot and cold, adapting to each extreme. Eventually, however, the creatures of sea and sky found themselves … Continue reading The poetry of power: On the new art forms of the Third Millennium

The evolution of music and the importance of balance

Music, as I’ve recently argued on this blog, swings from one extreme to another. On the one hand, there are the technicians, who think music can be learned through meticulous practice. The chief virtue of technicians is the demand for perfection. On the other hand, there are the artists, who think music comes from innate … Continue reading The evolution of music and the importance of balance

Going your own way: A choice worth the consequences

Our society worships the freedom of the individual. But how much freedom do we, as individuals, really have? For we live in a society which ‘cancels’ anyone who has a view of their own, so much so that we imagine the only people who are cancelled are those who express views synonymous with twentieth-century totalitarianism. … Continue reading Going your own way: A choice worth the consequences