There’s an ongoing debate as to whether there are too many left-wing academics, and whether this is a problem, potentially leading to groupthink in research and a skewed worldview presented to students. Some say the same about the tendency of school teachers to skew left, and whether this compromises their ability to “help our students […]

A recent Guardian article asked the question ‘Should we stop keeping pets?’ Yet instead of a thorough examination of the moral arguments for and against pet ownership, it fell into a crude dichotomy: either pets are property, to be treated by humans however they wish, or they must be emancipated. For a clearer statement of […]

Here’s a question, amid the slightly odd political row about whether Britain should allow the import of ‘chlorine-washed chicken from the US: if people hate chlorinated chicken, why do they need to ban it? Why can’t they just not buy it themselves? According to the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), permitting the American practice of washing […]

Among the innumerable ways in which life has got better for those of us living in rich countries over the past 200 years, one of the most easily overlooked is the price tag. In the early 19th Century, almost every purchase involved a process of haggling – very few goods or services had set prices. […]

Jeremy Cliffe made some interesting points on twitter over the weekend about the relevance of Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) theory to Britain today. Cliffe’s own BBC documentary provides a good introduction to the theory, but here is the general idea.  VoC suggests that successful modern economies can take one of two forms: they can be […]

On one account, what has gone wrong in the past 80 years is a story of materialistic greed. Back in 1930, John Maynard Keynes sketched out a utopian vision of the 21st century economy. He predicted that economic growth would be sufficient to satisfy all our wants, so that people would only need to work […]

Of all the habits I developed in five years studying philosophy, internalising the principle of charity is among the most important. Few other ideas are as valuable and relevant outside the seminar room. The principle is simple: when considering an argument, we should try to construct it in its strongest and most persuasive form. Indeed, […]