Arts & Culture

The Cyprus problem, Turkey and Socrates on justice

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In Book 1, of Plato’s famous dialogue The Republic, Thrasymachus, one of Socrates’ interlocutors, states that justice is that which serves the interests of the strongest so that what is right is always determined by might. <style type=”text/css”> .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style> Dr Edward H Spence * Cyprus Mail Socrates refutes Thrasymachus’ notion of justice by simply arguing that justice as a virtue cannot be what serves the interests of the strongest as those interests might result in vice ... Read More »

A Grasshopper Has Been Stuck in This van Gogh Painting for 128 Years

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More than a century ago, a grasshopper found its way to art immortality. Sopan Deb The insect was discovered embedded in Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 painting “Olive Trees” by an official at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., the museum announced Monday. The New York Times As part of a research project to examine 104 paintings, Mary Schafer, the museum’s paintings conservator, noticed under magnification that there was an insect in the “lower foreground of the landscape” of “Olive ... Read More »

Plan D: Is Metamodernism the Answer to Postmodernism?

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Can Metamodernism, based in the exchange and continual revision of ideas, offer an alternative to the cultural problems of postmodernism and relativism? Dan Fisher ConatusNews Previous articles have discussed the negative tendencies exhibited by the modern left and some of the reasons why we need a new left. Now it’s time to reflect on more positive elements, a viable alternative to the problematic postmodernism. Many see such a solution in the philosophy of Metamodernism. In recent years there has been a small but ... Read More »

Why we need a better philosophy of trees

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On November 6 1217, Henry III’s Charter of the Forest gave ordinary English people back their traditional rights to use royal hunting grounds for livestock grazing and collecting firewood. Tristan Moyle The Conversation The freedoms that were restored in the use of ancient woodland reshaped the community’s legal and political relationship with nature. But, today, this relationship has broken down. Only 2% of the UK’s ancient woodland survives; over half has been destroyed since the 1930s. Only 13% of the ... Read More »

Aboriginal Women Artists and Their Visions of Infinity

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These paintings, filled with traditional abstract Aboriginal iconography denoting nature, spirits, and a way of life that has been passed down for generations, are a wonder. Bansie Vasvani  Hyperallergic NEW ORLEANS — Despite the million-dollar auction price for works by Aboriginal Australian artists in 2007, the controversy about whether or not Australian Aboriginal art should be included in the Western canon hasn’t been entirely resolved. From the initial furor in the 1990s about its merit beyond the status as folk ... Read More »

Fremantle’s High Tide festival: wonder and illusion as artists turn streets into stages

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Fremantle proudly proclaims itself a “city for artists”, and while that has been a somewhat hollow boast in recent years, there is evidence of its former cultural vibrancy returning. Ted Snell The Conversation The Fremantle Arts Centre, ArtSource and Spare Parts Puppet Theatre have held the fort while other venues and organisations have collapsed into the back hole of Australia Council funding cuts, but the opening of the High Tide festival of site-responsive art raises hopes for a return to ... Read More »

What Chinese philosophers can teach us about dealing with our own grief

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November 2 is All Souls’ Day, when many Christians honor the dead. As much as we all know about the inevitability of death, we are often unable to deal with the loss of a loved one. Alexus McLeod Our modern-day worldview could also make us believe that loss is something we should be able to quickly get over, to move on with our lives. The Conversation Many of us see grieving as a kind of impediment to our ability to ... Read More »

Western philosophy is racist

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Academic philosophy in ‘the West’ ignores and disdains the thought traditions of China, India and Africa. This must change Bryan W Van Norden  Aeon Essays Mainstream philosophy in the so-called West is narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic. I know I am levelling a serious charge. But how else can we explain the fact that the rich philosophical traditions of China, India, Africa, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are completely ignored by almost all philosophy departments in both Europe ... Read More »

Oxfam urges Australian fashion brands to end worker exploitation

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The Bangladeshi factory worker who may well have made your t-shirt could be earning as little as 39 cents an hour Sarah Farnsworth  That is the sobering message coming from non-for-profit organisation Oxfam Australia’s “What She Makes” report released today. ABC Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by Oxfam to analyse Australia’s garment supply chain and work out what proportion of the cost of a garment ends up in the pocket of the person who made it. It found in the ... Read More »

Turkey’s other Hagia Sophia – in Trabzon

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Once a church – and a hospital and a museum – it is now a mosque and also one of Turkey’s best-preserved buildings of the late Byzantine era. Admission is free and there is much here for visitors of all faiths Caroline Eden The Guardian It may be far smaller and much less famous than its namesake in Istanbul, but what Trabzon’s Hagia Sophia lacks in architectural splendour it makes up for in tranquillity and beauty. Right by the sea, ... Read More »

Engare review: The geometry of Islamic art becomes a treasure of a game

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Delightful math-art puzzle game for adults and children alike Your first-blush impression of new video game Engare, perhaps more than any other arty “indie” game in recent memory, will likely boil down to what you think about video games in general. Sam Machkovech  Ars Technica If you’re looking for something to blow the industry’s tropes out of the water, then Engare should skyrocket to the top of any list you’re making. It’s a clever, deceptively simple, and beautiful rumination on geometry and ... Read More »

Narcissists aren’t very conservative but believe in inequality

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Are narcissists more likely to be right-wing conservatives or rebellious liberals? Alice Klein A study of narcissistic personalities reveals they typically combine elements of both, helping to explain some of President Trump’s actions. New Scientist Social scientists have long tried to understand how personality influences political beliefs. Studies have found that people who are open-minded, creative and curious are more likely to be liberal voters, whereas people who like convention and orderliness tend to vote more conservatively. But few studies ... Read More »

Former presidents take stage at hurricane benefit concert

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All five of America’s living former presidents took the stage on Oct. 21 at a benefit concert in Texas to raise money for victims of the hurricane-ravaged southern United States and Caribbean COLLEGE STATION – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter appeared together onstage at Texas A&M , praising Americans for their willingness to help fellow citizens and urging them to do more. The effort by the three ... Read More »

How conversation can solve contemporary issues

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Premium content Modern philosophers dissect the ‘racist statue’ debate and focus on the very real and divisive issue which Australians face: our colonial past. * Andrea Simpson In August, the issue of Australia’s colonial past hit boiling point when a statue of Captain Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park was defaced. ArtsHub Australia ‘Change the date’ and ‘no pride in genocide’ were spray-painted across the monument. Statues of Governor Macquarie and Queen Victoria were also graffiitied. <img src=’//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=5201223&Ver=2′ height=’0′ width=’0′ style=’display:none; ... Read More »

As a Briton, I hang my head in shame. We must return the Parthenon marbles

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Now Amal Clooney has reignited the debate over the Parthenon’s crowning glory, it’s time we rectified a historic wrong. Reunite these ancient sculptures with their home Helena Smith The Guardian As a Briton, I hang my head in shame. <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/3655c9d83f27ad523e8bc2649f6bf2d4/content.css”/> Almost every day I take a walk around the Acropolis. “Around” is the operative word, because the Greeks have gone to great lengths to unite their Athenian antiquities with a pedestrian path. At the centre of this ... Read More »

Indigenous poet Ellen van Neerven subject to online abuse by students after HSC English

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Authors and poets have leapt to the defence of an award-winning Indigenous writer after she was allegedly abused online by year 12 students Andrew Taylor The Sydney Morning Herald Ellen van Neerven also received messages asking her to explain her poem Mango from the book Comfort Food after students sitting the HSC English exam on Monday were asked to analyse the work. The opening question in the exam asked students to “explain how the poet conveys the delight of… However, ... Read More »