What We Are Reading Today: On Purpose by Michael Ruse

Updated 30 November 2019

What We Are Reading Today: On Purpose by Michael Ruse

  • The book traces how Platonic, Aristotelian, and Kantian ideas of purpose continue to shape Western thought

It has been described as an accessible history of the idea of purpose in Western thought, from ancient Greece to the present

Can we live without the idea of purpose? Should we even try to? Kant thought we were stuck with it, and even Darwin, who profoundly shook the idea, was unable to kill it. 

Indeed, purpose seems to be making a comeback today, as both religious advocates of intelligent design and some prominent secular philosophers argue that any explanation of life without the idea of purpose is missing something essential. On Purpose explores the history of purpose in philosophical, religious, scientific, and historical thought, from ancient Greece to the present, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

Accessibly written and filled with literary and other examples, the book traces how Platonic, Aristotelian, and Kantian ideas of purpose continue to shape Western thought. 

Along the way, it also takes up tough questions about the purpose of life — and whether it’s possible to have meaning without purpose.


Models Gigi, Bella Hadid walk designer Gaultier’s last fashion show

Jean-Paul Gaultier took his final bow of a 50-year career in the industry at the Paris Fashion Week. (AFP)
Updated 23 January 2020

Models Gigi, Bella Hadid walk designer Gaultier’s last fashion show

  • Part-Palestinian sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid were among the big names walking his last haute couture runway, the models wearing Gaultier’s latest designs from his Spring 2020 collection

DUBAI: French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier on Wednesday took his final bow of a 50-year career in the industry at the Paris Couture Week.

Part-Palestinian sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid were among the big names walking his last haute couture runway, the models wearing Gaultier’s latest designs from his Spring 2020 collection.

Gigi was dressed in a sailor’s outfit featuring a striped bodysuit with white wide-leg trousers and sailor hat. (AFP)

Gigi was dressed in a sailor’s outfit featuring a striped bodysuit with white wide-leg trousers and sailor hat.

Bella wore a strapless peacock-like black dress which the stylists paired with boots and gloves.

Bella wore a strapless peacock-like black dress which the stylists paired with boots and gloves. (AFP)

Gaultier shared a video on his Instagram this week inviting his followers to attend the show and celebrate the end of his half-century career with him. “It is going to be a party with my friends, and we are going to have fun until very, very late.”

He then went on to announce his farewell. “Now I am going to share something with you. This will be my last haute couture show. Be there! You can’t miss this,” he said. “However, stay tuned, Gaultier Paris will go on. The haute couture continues. I have a new concept and I will tell you about it later.”