Statue of the 18th-century philosopher David Hume on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh: ‘Hume . . . is probably not much more implicated in the slave trade than many of us are today,’ says his latest biographer Julian Baggini. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

Scientists who are dismissive of philosophers generally still have a soft spot for David Hume. He is one of those Enlightenment thinkers who is decide(...)

Muslim  praying in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Islam has  ‘given rise to remarkably free societies as well as depressingly intolerant ones’. Photograph: AP/Muhammed Muheisen

Sometimes we forget just how weird we are – we who are part of the western, educated, industrialised, rich, and democratic (weird) world. More than t(...)

People “have had enough of experts”, Leave campaigner and Conservative MP Michael Gove proclaimed during the EU referendum campaign. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The rise in popularity of Donald Trump and the emotionally-charged Brexit referendum have led many observers to proclaim that we are in an era of post(...)

Crazy golf featuring the ‘seven wonders of London’, designed by jellymongers Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, at Selfridges. Photograph: Tim Whitby/Getty Images

A number of years ago the term “the art of food” probably described a twiddly garnish, like the dragons that chefs sometimes carve out of carrots i(...)