The Midlife Crisis

Dr. Christopher Hamilton

Dr. Christopher Hamilton is Reader in Philosophy at King’s College, London, where he teaches philosophy, literature and film.

His research interests include the relationship between philosophy and literature, and between moral, religious and aesthetic value, the nature of good and evil, the philosophy of tragedy, and the work of both Friedrich Nietzsche and Søren Kierkegaard.

He is the author of a number of books including “How to Deal with Adversity“, “A Philosophy of Tragedy“, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion “Middle Age” from the Art of Living Series.

In today’s episode we discuss the philosophy of middle age, and the midlife crisis.

What does it mean to be middle aged, when does middle age start and why does it matter? We discuss the relationship between the midlife crisis and such things as loss of identity, the search for meaning, and the fear of death.

We ask why the crisis of middle age tends to be a uniquely male phenomenon, whether or not our cultural worship of youthfulness is justified, reasons why the midlife crisis can sometimes find expression in immature and reckless behaviour, but also, why purchasing a leather jacket and a convertible sports car might not necessarily be such a bad thing.

Related Links

Christopher’s Profile at King’s College London

Christopher’s Speakers Profile at the Institute of Art and Ideas (includes a bunch of different video talks and debates)

Christopher’s FREE online course on Life, Meaning and Morality

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: Ubi Desperare Nescio

Asking Kids Philosophical Questions

Just a bit of fun to bring in the new year. We subjected my little boy Roman and his cousin Oliver (both 7-years-old) to a bunch of philosophical questions to see what kinds of answers their innocent young minds might conjure up.



If you fancy running some of these past you own kids, here are 20 philosophical questions I cobbled together from various questionnaires scattered around the interwebs:

  1. Do aliens exist? Why/why not?
  2. How do you know you’re not just dreaming right now?
  3. How would the world be different if animals could talk?
  4. If you could make one rule that everyone in the world had to follow, what rule would you make, and why?
  5. If you could invent something that would make life easier for people, what would you invent?
  6. If you could give one gift to every kid in the world, what gift would you give?
  7. If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
  8. If you could grow up to be famous, what would you want to be famous for?
  9. What makes somebody a good friend?
  10. Of all the things you are learning, what do you think will be the most useful when you are an adult?
  11. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
  12. If you had three wishes, what would they be?
  13. When you’re scared, what do you do to make it less scary?
  14. Who’s the worst person in the world?
  15. Who’s the best person in the world?
  16. What is the most disgusting thing you can think of?
  17. What’s the hardest thing about being a kid?
  18. If you could time-travel, where and when would you go?
  19. What is the meaning/purpose of life?
  20. What is the key to happiness?

Be sure to let us know of you got any particularly funny or creative responses from your little ones in the comments sections below.

Image courtesy: Lord Jim


Stoicism 101

Prof. Massimo Pigliucci

Massimo Pigliucci (@mpigliucci) is Professor of Philosophy at CUNY City College, New York.

He is the co-founder and former co-host of the Rationally Speaking podcast, and founder of the philosophy blogs Footnotes to Plato and How to Be a Stoic.

He is the author of a number of books including “Nonsense on Stilts, How to Tell Science From Bunk“, “Answers for Aristotle, How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a More Meaningful Life“, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, “How to Be a Stoic, Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living“.

In today’s episode we explore the philosophy of stoicism, and why being a stoic has nothing to do with being a grumpy bastard.

We explore the four cardinal virtues of stoicism: practical wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance, the ways in which stoic philosophy relates to modern psychological therapies like CBT,  how stoicism can make your more flexible in the face of adversity, and we even give you three starters exercises to flex your fledgling stoic muscles.


Related Links

How to Be a Stoic – An Evolving Guide to Practical Stoicism for the 21st Century

Footnotes to Plato – Because all (Western) Philosophy Consists of Footnotes to Plato

Massimo’s YouTube Channel

Stoic Philosophy Facebook Group

Stoic Fellowship – Helping to Build, Foster, and Connect Stoic Communities Around the World

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: Bradley Weber