From the Yale Blog

Showing page of 5 Previous Next

‘Life Without Pain Has No Meaning’: Arthur Schopenhauer

June 12, 2013

If you had to draw up a list of philosophers you’d least like to get stuck next to at a dinner party, it would probably be wise to place Arthur Schopenhauer’s name at the very top. Schopenhauer did not possess, to put it mildly, a pleasant …

The Banality of Evil: Hannah Arendt

June 5, 2013

How could humans have committed all those atrocities that characterised the Holocaust? Were they all monsters and sadists, delighting in the pain of others? Or, more terrifyingly, were they just people like you and me, who simply didn’t recognise …

Happy Vesak Day!

May 24, 2013

Yale University Press’ Little Histories collection is a family of books that takes a closer look at some of the most significant events, ideas, discoveries and people throughout history. As part of our ongoing coverage of the collection, here …

John Dalton: Tiny pieces of matter

May 21, 2013

Who discovered the atom? Nowadays it’s completely unremarkable to hear someone talk about atoms, but there was a time when they were not understood at all. In fact, before John Dalton’s pioneering work in the development of modern atomic th …

Bertrand Russell: Is the Present King of France Bald?

May 18, 2013

On this day in 1872, a boy was born in Wales who would later grow up to pose many perplexing questions to the rest of the world. His name was Bertrand Russell, and he is remembered today as an important British philosopher, logician, mathematician, his …

The Philosopher’s Stone

May 6, 2013

If you could turn your aluminium Coca-Cola can into gold, would you? You probably would, but if everybody could do it, it wouldn’t be quite so amazing since gold would become common and not worth much. The old Greek myth of King Midas, who was gr …

What’s In A Name?

April 30, 2013

Have you ever wondered where names come from? Why is it that people commonly have two names? Are people with the name Armstrong always really talented weightlifters? In A Little Book of Language,  expert David Crystal delves into the history of etymolo …

Alfred Wegener: A Shifting World

April 29, 2013

There are few things more rewarding than completing a difficult jigsaw puzzle. Alfred Wegener was a prominent scientist  and geologist who solved one of the biggest puzzles on Earth, he suggested a theory called ‘Continental Drift’ which ex …

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Language Games

April 26, 2013

‘Passionate, profound, intense and dominating’, was how Bertrand Russell described the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. If you had found yourself at one of the seminars Ludwig held in Cambridge in 1940 you might well agree. Wittgenstein was …

Confucius: Living Together in Harmony

April 25, 2013

Confucius – or K’ung Fut-zu, as he was called in Chinese – was a philosopher who proposed some ideas that seem very simple, which might be the reason why he is still so popular today. What he taught was this: outward appearances are more important than …