News Dr Andrew Davis claims rival camps in the debate over how to teach children to read are acting like 'religious fundamentalists'

Children who are fluent readers are being damaged by the Government’s insistence on using synthetic phonics in the classroom, a leading academic warns today.

1986: FOUR WORDS THAT SUMMED UP A PHILOSOPHY

THE BRILLIANCE of this poster, which was created by Saatchi, lies in two opposing directions. First of all because of the "It is" arm of it. In 1986 it was startling to be a politically independent newspaper. Many of the others were dominated by tycoons.

A good idea from ... Jean-Paul Sartre

SOME OF the greatest masterpieces of modern French philosophy were written in cafes. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote the whole of Being and Nothingness in a window seat in the Cafe de Flore in Paris. I think about this every time I go to a Cafe Rouge. If you've ever tried to do anything more strenuous than read a newspaper in a cafe, you'll appreciate the immensity of the achievement. The bustle of waiters, the hiss of cappuccino machines, and existential phenomenology.

Words: nous, n. and v.

"A. L. ROWSE / Could display a certain nous, / But was shady / Over the Dark Lady." The clerihew, that form which came to the young E. C. Bentley out of the blue, makes for concise biography, although Rowse's shade doubtless splutters over this one of my devising.

Philosophical Notes: The philosopher and the `Chinese room'

ALAN TURING, the Second World War code-breaker, suggested that when we are unable to tell the difference, after prolonged questioning, between whether we are talking to a machine or to a human being, we ought to consider the machine to have intelligence.

Six of the Best: Body scrubs

Philosophy Under Your Skin, pounds 14.50, Space NK (0870 169 9999 mail order) and Liberty (0171-734 1234)

Books: The heart between the mind and brain

Mind, Language and Society: Philosophy for the Real World by John Searle Weidenfeld pounds 12.99

Deal of the week

You won't get rich by following this tip. But you will probably feel a lot better deep inside. Triodos Bank is a European ethical bank, which is expanding at breakneck speed here in the UK by addressing a range of savers' social and environmental concerns.

Morality is just social convention

Evolutionary Notes

Can dinner be the food of love?

The thought police Brief Answers To Big Questions

Football: The Hounding Of Hoddle (after A E Housman)

Oh who is that young football coach saying sorry all about?

Philosophical Notes: Philosophy as a guide to political action

SHOULD GENERAL Pinochet be extradited to stand trial for crimes against humanity? Should something be done to stop the massacres by Serbian forces? Clearly ethical issues. But what of the question of the legalisation of drugs, or of the treatment of juvenile offenders? Should . . . but hang on - this isn't philosophy!

Science: The art of the insoluble?

Under the microscope: A debilitating befuddlement

Dialogues of the deaf

Roy Porter gives a thunderous ovation to a brilliant story of signs in their times

Arts: And the ears have it

What's in a voice? According to Jonathan Ree's new book, as much as your very soul.

Essay: The philosopher's dilemma: Oh yes we can, oh no we Kant

Why do the ancient Greeks always top the philosophy hit parade? Because they got there first.
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