Soren Kierkegaard, one of the most passionate and challenging of modern philosophers, is now celebrated as the father of existentialism – yet his contemporaries described him as a philosopher of the heart. Over about a decade in the 1840s and 1850s, writings poured from his pen analysing love and suffering, courage and anxiety, religious longing and defiance, and forging a new philosophical style rooted in the inward drama of being human. As Christianity seemed to sleepwalk through a changing world, Kierkegaard dazzlingly revealed its spiritual power while exposing the poverty of official religion.

His restless creativity was spurred on by his own failures: his relationship with the young woman whom he promised to … More

Born OTD in 1933, American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist, Susan Sontag. Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag’s first collection of essays and made her name as one of the most incisive thinkers of our time. Sontag was among the first critics to write about the intersection between ‘high’ & ‘low’ art forms, & to give them equal value as valid topics, shown here in her epoch-making pieces ‘Notes on Camp’ &, ‘Against Interpretation’. Here too are impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Levi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis & contemporary religious thought.

Originally published in 1966, this collection has never gone out of print and has been a major influence on generations … More

Born OTD in 1928, American linguist, philosopher, historian & social critic, Noam Chomsky. Chomsky has been a huge influence on my life since I first discovered his work back in the mid-90’s and how, sadly, little has changed in terms of manufacturing consent and the so-called left adopting neoliberalism in the, ‘There Is No Alternative’ narrative.

In “Profit Over People,” Noam Chomsky takes on neoliberalism: the pro-corporate system of economic and political policies presently waging a … More

Born OTD in 1806, German philosopher who is often seen as one of the forerunners of nihilism, existentialism, psychoanalytic theory, postmodernism and individualist anarchism, Max Stirner. “The Ego and His Own,” the seminal defence of individualism, coloured the thinking of Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Emst, Henrik Ibsen and Victor Serge, among many others, some of whom would vigorously deny any such influence in later years. Less reticent was Marcel Duchamp, who described Max Stimer as the philosopher most important to his work.

Challenging the religious, philosophical and political constraints on personal freedom, Stimer criticizes all doctrines and beliefs that place the interests … More

Born OTD in 1859, American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform, John Dewey. More than six decades after John Dewey’s death, his political philosophy is undergoing a revival. With renewed interest in pragmatism and its implications for democracy in an age of mass communication, bureaucracy, and ever-increasing social complexities.

Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems, first published in 1927, remains vital to any discussion of today’s political issues. This … More