Kristine Sackett

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What is the common ground between art and science? And how is Beethoven like Darwin?

Novelist Ian McEwan and theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed met at the Science Museum in London to mark the opening of the Large Hadron Collider exhibition. This is an edited extract of their conversation<p>• See our video of edited highlights here<p>DO THE TWO CULTURES STILL EXIST?<p><b>IAN McEWAN:</b> That …

The 10 Best Books of 2014

Perhaps no novel this year was more feverishly anticipated—or more frequently stolen from my desk—than **Elena Ferrante’**s <i>Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay</i> (Europa), the third installment of the enigmatic Italian author’s Neapolitan novels, which tell a single story with the possessive force of …

Ian McEwan on Writing His New Novel, The Children Act, and the Real Court Case That Inspired It

Fiona Maye, a distinguished London family court judge, is blindsided when her husband announces his intention to have an affair—and asks for her blessing. Meanwhile, she’s been tasked with the ruling of her career, on a case involving a critically ill teenage boy, a Jehovah’s Witness, who has …

The Children Act review – Ian McEwan’s compelling study of rational versus religious belief

A high court judge is the voice of reason in the face of religious short-sightedness in McEwan’s 13th novel<p><i>The Children Act</i>, McEwan’s 13th novel, presents us with some of the usual trappings that have come to characterise his recent work: the well-educated and well-off protagonist whose equilibrium …

Books

Bertrand Russell the agnostic

Bertrand Russell – part 4: The same intellectual integrity that made the philosopher unable to accept religious beliefs also prevented him from embracing atheism<p>Bertrand Russell's dissent from what was still, in his time, conventional Christian belief can be explained in part by his background and …

A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s Ten Commandments of Critical Thinking and Democratic Decency

British philosopher, mathematician, historian, and social critic <b>Bertrand Russell</b> (May 18, 1872–February 2, 1970) endures as one of the most intellectually diverse and influential thinkers in modern history, his philosophy of religion in particular having shaped the work of such modern atheism …

Bertrand Russell on Human Nature, Construction vs. Destruction, and Science as a Key to Democracy

In 1926, British philosopher, mathematician, historian, and social critic <b>Bertrand Russell</b> (May 18, 1872–February 2, 1970) — whose ten commandments of teaching endure as a timeless manifesto for education, whose poignant admonition is among history’s greatest insights on love, whose message to …

Bertrand Russell: the everyday value of philosophy

Clare Carlisle: Bertrand Russell – part 7: He saw philosophy as a way of life, insisting that questions of cosmic meaning and value have an existential, ethical and spiritual urgency<p>Many teachers and students of philosophy today feel that the subject is under threat – not only from funding cuts, …

In Which Bertrand Russell and George Bernard Shaw Collide on Their Bicycles

<i>“How many intellectuals does it take to crash two bicycles?”</i> asks <b>Craig Brown</b> in <b>Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings</b> (<i>public library</i>) — the same wonderful daisy chain of famous encounters that gave us Rudyard Kipling’s warm memories of Mark Twain and Walt Disney’s copyright …

Bertrand Russell on the Vital Role of Boredom and “Fruitful Monotony” in the Conquest of Happiness

“A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men… of men in whom every vital impulse slowly withers, as though they were cut flowers in a vase.”<p>Between the time Kierkegaard contemplated boredom and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips made his bewitching case for why the capacity …

The 30 Harshest Philosopher-on-Philosopher Insults in History

We’ve amused ourselves for a while now at Flavorwire with our ongoing survey of internecine mud-slinging in various areas of the arts: musicians, …

Bertrand Russell

Declaration of the Independence of the Mind: An Extraordinary 1919 Manifesto Signed by Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Jane Addams, and Other Luminaries

“We commit ourselves never to serve anything but the free Truth that has no frontiers and no limits and is without prejudice against races or castes.”<p>Decades before Martin Luther King, Jr. made his timeless case for the ancient Greek notion of <i>agape</i> as a centerpiece of nonviolence, another luminous …

From the Observer files. 6 July, 1958

Sex scandals, Bertrand Russell and Cecil Beaton<p>Last week – wet and uneventful – best amusement offered to newspaper readers was story of ex-colonial governor who, wife claims, left her and went off with “another woman”. Most exciting episode was siege of ex-governor in Italian hotel bedroom – …

Bertrand Russell

Think Tank: Transcript for "Orwell’s Century"

Transcript for:<p>Orwell’s Century<p>THINK TANK WITH BEN WATTENBERG<br>GEORGE ORWELL<br>CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS AND JOHN RODDEN<p>Ben Wattenberg: Hello, I’m Ben …

Benjamin Errett: Write the way you talk — but only if you’re good at talking

Many people drink more than Christopher Hitchens drank, and a few might be sharper tongued, but the overlap between the two traits includes a very …

Only God Could Have Created Christopher Hitchens

There is but one man who could have lured me away from my husband. Even if just for a tawdry weekend of boozing, arguments, smoke-filled hotel rooms …

Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens: Does atheism motivate governments to kill?

This old question is of course being discussed again now that three Muslims have been murdered in North Carolina by an atheist. It’s not really an …

Religion

Christopher Hitchens on Today’s Paris Massacre

Gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” attacked the offices of French satirical newspaper named <i>Charlie Hedbo</i> and killed twelve people, including journalists …

Counterpoints: Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens vs. Frank Turek

<b>Richard Dawkins</b>: "Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated and need to be challenged and, if necessary, need …

Charlie Hebdo, Hate Speech and Christopher Hitchens

In the wake of the Paris massacres, I surely miss the voice of that fierce defender of free speech, Christopher Hitchens. I think that one can, …

Religion

Christopher Hitchens Islam Comments Resurface After ‘Charlie Hebdo’: ‘It’s The Most Depraved Religion’

Christopher Hitchens, the late author and atheist extraordinaire, made a career out of bashing religions. If it believed in a god, then he had no use …

Religion

A new and previously unreleased interview with Christopher Hitchens

Reader Michael sent me this previously unseen interview of Christopher Hitchens by Italian journalist and author Christian Rocca, filmed at …

Christopher Hitchens

Behind the Scene exhibition shows unseen photos of Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw

Behind the scenes pictures of actors, directors and writers including Judi Dench are being displayed in London.<p>The photos, which have never been seen …

Michael Fassbender and Patton Oswalt are doing a live read of The Big Lebowski at JFL.

Who would have thought you’d see those two on stage together?<p>It’s part of <b>Jason Reitman</b>‘s fourth annual <b>Live Read Series</b>.<p>The Canadian filmmaker behind</b> …