Magazine
Latest Issue

Everyday philosophy: what doesn’t kill you….

We are living in a new age of austerity, but could all this enforced abstinence be good for us?

By Nigel Warburton   January 2011

Across Europe, austerity is the buzzword of the day. Greece and Ireland have already banked billions in bailouts and other nations may have to follow suit. We’re all having to curb excess and do more with less. Further cuts will bite deep in the months to come: Happy New Year.

But can all this enforced abstinence be good for us? Friedrich Nietzsche believed that suffering aids self-mastery: he declared that whatever does not destroy us makes us stronger. Unfortunately, his own psychiatric decline (a final decade wracked by mental illness) refudiated that.

In contrast Britain’s Jeremy Bentham argued that withholding…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect