Aversion Therapy

The great Dutch philosopher Spinoza has always appealed to me; but all the more so now I’ve studied more psychology. Spinoza’s ethics are ‘naturalistic’ and spring from simple real-world causes. There is no divine origin or human uniqueness. Everything stems from the simple proposition (as Michael LeBuffe explains in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) that: … Continue reading Aversion Therapy

Spitting distance

Which comes first the thought or the emotion? Listening to more of ‘Why Buddhism is true’ by Robert Wright – it seems emotions shape more of context than the average rational actor might like to admit. In essence the argument from ‘evolutionary psychology’ is that we have a number of ‘mental modules’ which operate just … Continue reading Spitting distance

The fear of fear itself

From multiple sources and stimuli this week, a penny has dropped… as Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said one of the biggest things we fear is fear itself; There’s a name and a proper medical definition for it: phobophobia. But there’s also a bit of chicken and egg about all this: which comes first – the … Continue reading The fear of fear itself

Frankish

Out walking the dog, what should pop up on my podcast playlist than Keith Frankish on Philosophy Bites explaining why I was lost in thought, while the dog was 100% focused on the walk… The difference between us is he lives in the immediate, whereas we spend a lot of our time elsewhere. Why? Frankish … Continue reading Frankish

Why my jockey is lost…

After some time away I have returned to Existentialism. I guess when working life is getting the better part of you, it pays to focus on the things under your own control – your mind, how you spend your free time and where you focus your attention. And this is a key aspect of Existentialism, … Continue reading Why my jockey is lost…

The Silent Cinema

Now here’s a peculiar thing… Having done a fair bit of listening to people with soothing voices inviting me to contemplate my feet… and having read a couple of harder core books from the Dalai Lama… I’d concluded mindfulness and meditation wasn’t really me. I’ve learnt how to breathe, seek enjoyment and find peace ‘in … Continue reading The Silent Cinema

σοφία

   As modern Greece struggles with its economic problems, it’s worth remembering: there isn’t a decent concept for living we don’t have the Greeks to thank for. With help from Wikipedia, try:  Prohairesis – προαίρεσις The ‘moral character’ or prohairesis, was brought to the world by Aristotle in the eminently readable Nicomachean Ethics (which first … Continue reading σοφία

Chaos and Complexity

I typed ‘Where does complexity come from given entropy?’ into Google this morning. Why? Because my life and work are in pretty good order, so a law of physics which threatens to mess them up is most inconvenient. Given how hard it is to get anything done at work, given how fragile our lives and … Continue reading Chaos and Complexity