Nov. 8, 2016 | Fabric fails to impress. We shrug at a state-of-the-art raincoat, dress shirt, or pair of tights. But no technology is as powerful as fabric. Virginia Postrel explains... more »

Nov. 7, 2016 | Democracy is flawed: Citizens lack knowledge and judgment. John Stuart Mill proposed giving extra votes to those with university degrees. An idea whose time has come... more »

Nov. 5, 2016 | What is utopianism? For China Miéville, it is neither hope nor optimism, but rather a need for alterity, for “something other than the exhausting social lie”... more »

Nov. 4, 2016 | In the 19th century, the short half-life of scientific truth was new and frightening. What was science for, if not the discovery of eternal ideas?... more »

Nov. 3, 2016 | How to explain Freud's waning influence? We've grown skeptical of grand theories and fond of minimalist forms. It’s our loss... more »

Nov. 2, 2016 | Tocqueville admired, invested in, and wrote brilliantly of America. Yet he never felt at home there intellectually. Not as he did in England... more »

Nov. 1, 2016 | How to write a best seller. Avoid fantasy, science fiction, revolutions, dinner parties, dancing. Focus on work. We're fascinated by other people's jobs... more »

Oct. 31, 2016 | Male qualities are out of step with modern times, or so we're told. But before declaring masculinity in crisis, can we agree on how to define it?... more »

Oct. 29, 2016 | What is the work of an intellectual? More and more, it is to celebrate other intellectuals. For Stuart Hall, what mattered was turning other people into deep thinkers... more »

Oct. 28, 2016 | Kierkegaard broke off his engagement claiming to be a young cad in need of a “lusty young girl.” But it was more than that. His entire philosophy can be found in that renunciation... more »

Oct. 27, 2016 | After 1993, when Toni Morrison won the Nobel, the Swedish Academy ignored American literature. Now an American is ignoring the Swedish Academy. Thanks, Bob Dylan... more »

Oct. 26, 2016 | Complaining has become an art form, a way of life, and, for the Tate Modern, a bizarre and misguided strategy for "community engagement" ... more »

Oct. 25, 2016 | Ancient Rome was gripped by a mania for public displays of reading. Wealthy Romans felt the need to boast of their intellect to the world. Some things never change... more »

Oct. 24, 2016 | Flaubert sat in a room above the Seine, writing 14 hours a day. His life is a study in the unrelenting misery of composition ... more »

Oct. 22, 2016 | How science fiction got the future wrong. Great-power rivalry, demographic collapse, mass migration have been absent from futurist literature... more »

Oct. 21, 2016 | What's it like to be a chimpanzee? The strange new science of gauging not only animals' intelligence but also their inner experience... more »

Oct. 20, 2016 | From bats to algorithms to aliens: Can we ever understand consciousness in a form radically different from our own? The question was a challenge to Wittgenstein, Nagel, Chalmers... more »

Oct. 19, 2016 | "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Bull. Will Self explains the romance delusion... more »

Oct. 18, 2016 | In the 1960s, Ramparts brought muckraking back into vogue. At the helm was Warren Hinckle, one-eyed with a capuchin monkey named Henry Luce on his shoulder... more »

Oct. 17, 2016 | What was Dada? A school that embraced paradox, chance, irony, and humor. It sought to free people from the insanity of the times... more »

Oct. 15, 2016 | Jargon, mangled diction, meaningless phrases, hackneyed words — such are the writerly sins of academics, who must question their deepest assumptions about writing... more »

Oct. 14, 2016 | The future won’t be decided by all of humanity, united under the banner of liberalism. It will be haphazard, and just as purposeless as the past... more »

Oct. 13, 2016 | From the painter Thomas Kinkade’s cozy little cottages to the flowerbeds of Mary Oliver’s poetry, sentimentality is a plague for art — Christian art in particular... more »

Oct. 12, 2016 | For Robert Penn Warren, the civic work of poetry was the weighty job of rejecting stereotypes and writing for a democratic audience... more »

Oct. 11, 2016 | In defense of comic literature. A line of thought extends from Hamlet to Leopold Bloom to Herzog and beyond: Comedy sets us free... more »

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