March 23, 2021 | As Isaiah Berlin put it, “Total liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.” Indeed, the history of the idea of freedom is one of paradox and contradiction   ... more »


March 22, 2021 | If life exists on any of the Milky Way’s other 100 billion planets, Darwinian selection would be at work there, too ... more »


March 20, 2021 | Helen Frankenthaler and the mainstreaming of the avant-garde. In 1950s New York, painting's culture looked like pop culture  ... more »


March 19, 2021 | While autofiction asserts a kind of apolitical license, the bar for ethical fiction keeps getting higher and higher  ... more »


March 18, 2021 | Defending Derrida against his critics is easier than defending him against his followers  ... more »


March 17, 2021 | One of Francis Bacon’s lovers burned down his studio; another threw him out of a second story window. For Bacon, pain was indicative of true emotion ... more »


March 16, 2021 | Novels are increasingly autobiographical, which puts reading at the risk of becoming a tiresome test of authenticity  ... more »


March 15, 2021 | Will the pandemic hasten the use of gene-editing technology? Engineering our bodies to resist disease might not sound so radical right now   ... more »


March 13, 2021 | John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald were two men who struggled to make it as writers. Does the connection go deeper?  ... more »


March 12, 2021 | Life is awful, or so said the cynical and perhaps nihilistic Graham Greene. But art — that could at least make life seem worthwhile ... more »


March 11, 2021 | Does the future of postcolonial thought necessitate a return to Indigenous epistemologies, or can at least some modernist ideas be salvaged?   ... more »


March 10, 2021 | Humanists should be skeptical of our increasingly analytical world. Unfortunately, Lev Manovich’s new book is full of gee-whiz-ism   ... more »


March 9, 2021 | A sense of so-called “decency” long kept women out of art studios. Indeed, the history of art is "the history of many women not receiving their dues”  ... more »


March 8, 2021 | Robin Dunbar’s science of friendship: Human beings can sustain at most 150 acquaintances, of which only five are intimate  ... more »


March 6, 2021 | The White Operation. For decades, Dr. Robert J. White pursued his quest: to transplant a human head. He came close ... more »


March 5, 2021 | High society in interwar England: late nights, hangovers, petty insecurities, ghastly conversation, and fascist sympathies  ... more »


March 4, 2021 | Soviet shame culture. The party constantly invented new mistakes. One could never be free from the risk of humiliation — or worse ... more »


March 3, 2021 | How do we pin down an artist who has meant so many things to so many people? The revolutionary contradictions of Richard Wagner... more »


March 2, 2021 | What can we learn from Philip Roth, master careerist? Lawyer up early, listen to critics while scorning them publicly, sell out whenever possible  ... more »


March 1, 2021 | What Freud got right. According to a new book, his ideas weren’t just ahead of his time — they are ahead of ours  ... more »


Feb. 27, 2021 | At a white-tie ball in 1949, a tipsy Princess Margaret belted out a tune and was greeted by "thunderous booing." It was Francis Bacon... more »


Feb. 26, 2021 | René Girard’s one-liners: Nietzsche was “so wrong that in some ways he’s right”; Sartre was “too even-keeled to become a true genius”... more »


Feb. 25, 2021 | More people than ever are sending photos of themselves naked. The pleasures and perils of the nude selfie... more »


Feb. 24, 2021 | Borges, Le Guin, Daniel Keyes — the best philosophical fiction prickles your conscience and knocks your moral sense askew  ... more »


Feb. 23, 2021 | Pankaj Mishra styles himself an outsider against an irredeemable establishment. But increasingly he finds himself in the mainstream... more »


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