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Happiness studies

Interest in promoting happiness has grown to the point where there are calls for it to be taught in schools. But there is no formula for happiness, and attempts to teach it may conflict with other things schools want to…
Adam Phillips  

Symbolic language

Steven Pinker has a good stab at explaining metaphor, but his belief that brains work like computers proves a big limitation. We still need poets to understand the imagination
John Cornwell  

Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis, the foul-mouthed father of cognitive therapy, is a modern Diogenes. Now severely ill, and at odds with the institute he founded, he remains convinced of the value of Stoic wisdom
Jules Evans  

Out of mind

False pregnancy syndrome is a surprisingly common condition. Now, with a minor epidemic on the ward, it seems that even doctors may not be immune
Robert Drummond  

Why home doesn’t matter

The BBC series "Child of Our Time" assumes that studying children with their parents will help us understand how their personalities develop. But this is a mistake: parents influence their children mainly by passing on their genes. The biggest environmental…
Judith Rich Harris  

Home does matter

Judith Rich Harris argues that the sole influence of parents on the personalities of their children is genetic. The evidence is against her
Tessa Livingstone  

The mystery of consciousness

Nicholas Humphrey's latest book on the mystery of consciousness travelled with me to Crete, Latvia and America. And the intellectual journey it took me on has half-persuaded me that his evolutionary approach will one day provide an answer
Paul Broks  

Against happiness

With governments struggling to deliver on existing commitments is it sensible to make them responsible for something as complex as personal happiness? Moreover, much of the happiness data is faulty and where it isn't it points to conservative measures
Paul Ormerod