Joy

Having just posted it on my other blog ‘Relevant Complexity‘, something about it felt to me like it deserved its place here too. Perhaps because the “Ode” brought joy to my day and lit up my week. Beethoven’s 9th: Ode to Europe As I find my bearings in the ‘classical repertoire‘, there can be few … Continue reading Joy

Days After

As the reality of the UK’s vote to leave the EU sinks in, I’m left comparing my feelings on four very different ‘days after’… Obama’s first victory in the US Presidentials: I walked a full foot taller. Proud of America. Looking at passers-by: smiling and feeling we all felt a foot taller because America had … Continue reading Days After

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

Goals + Agency + Pathways = Hope

A timely blog from the always readable Eric Barker brings us the science of hope. Before his passing, Charles Snyder was a professor at the University of Kansas and editor of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. His books are Handbook of Hope: Theory, Measures, and Applications and Psychology of Hope. Barker tells us … Continue reading Goals + Agency + Pathways = Hope

Ye gods!

I’m really enjoying Terence Green’s ‘Philosophical Haikus’ in Philosophy Now… Bitesized chunks of wit and wisdom which make you think. This month’s is on the controversial economist Friedrich Hayek. The full text is down below (and I’m hoping Terence and Philosophy Now will forgive me as I do recommend a subscription to what one of … Continue reading Ye gods!

Friends for Life

Initially idly, and then increasingly avidly watching Crufts last night, I was delighted to see a whippet from Scotland win the Best Hound group. Of course she’s not a patch on our handsome hound (who another whippet owner kindly described a few weeks back as having ‘Supermodel looks’) but hey. Still the most wonderful part … Continue reading Friends for Life

Maximus

“Of all people only those are at leisure who make time for philosophy, only they truly live.” “Not satisfied to merely keep good watch over their own days, they annex every age to their own. All the harvest of the past is added to their store.” “Only an ingrate would fail to see that these … Continue reading Maximus

Maxims

I’ve just bought La Rochefoucauld’s ‘Maxims’ on Kindle. What does Wikipedia have to say about maxims: A maxim is a ground rule or subjective principle of action; in that sense, a maxim is a thought that can motivate individuals. It is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy as: “Generally any simple and memorable rule … Continue reading Maxims

The swift flight of a single sparrow

After a couple of weeks of solid change – new house, new office, new term, new school year – I wrote to my old philosophy tutor the other evening. He has written extensively on the ‘Episodic Life’ – a view that life as a story (the ‘Narrative Life’) isn’t actually how some people experience events; … Continue reading The swift flight of a single sparrow

Alcohol or Algorithm?

   On an exceptionally relaxing family break (with the in-laws last week) I had an epiphany; floating for the first time in my life in a hot tub… If I feel like I have no time… if I’m often tired… if work (as Aristotle predicted) is “absorbing and degrading my mind”… and there’s no way out … Continue reading Alcohol or Algorithm?