Category Archives: Philosophy

Smorgasbord 

Bank Holiday view; spot the nuclear power station… oops. Feeling a little jaded today after a late night and a long drive back from the Welsh borders – I’m not much looking forward to work tomorrow. How fortunate to stumble … Continue reading

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Confrontation and Compassion

Compassion came up a number of times this week – on Tuesday in the context of confrontation; and yesterday as a way to run an entire organisation. Of course the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu would argue (in the … Continue reading

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The Emperor’s Questions 

I think I increasingly knew this; but sometimes you need someone to express it clearly for you. Thich Nhat Hahn quoting Tolstoy does the job:  “One day it occurred to a certain emperor that if he only knew the answers … Continue reading

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Public Virtue

By temperament I’d probably prefer an Epicurean life. As Wikipedia has it: For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia: peace and freedom from fear and aponia: the absence of pain and by … Continue reading

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Concrete or Casuistry?

casuistry (kazjʊɪstri) noun: the resolving of moral problems by the application of theoretical rules. As I continue my voyage through Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Ethics, I also continue to be astonished by the man. Limpid paragraphs of dense and pure meaning, sweeping … Continue reading

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History

The horrors of the 1930s and 40s seem far more than a lifetime away. But they aren’t. Accompanied by the flicker of black and white, the terrifying demagogues of the 20th century now seem like exaggerated fiction. But they weren’t. … Continue reading

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Stations on the road to Freedom

I shared Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Stations on the road to freedom” with an old friend this week. I bought a copy of Bonhoeffer’s Ethics, when I was searching for a famous quotation – which is actually by Martin Niemöller. Niemöller was arrested … Continue reading

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Laughter; the best medicine 

  I’m more a man for observational humour than for jokes; but perhaps the joke has been on me… British humour tends to the downbeat. Ironic, sarcastic and even cynical – there’s always the risk of us talking everything down. … Continue reading

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Rumination

   An interesting discovery from ‘Learned optimism‘ is that rumination is the optimist’s worst enemy… Chewing the cud leads to pessimism and inaction. One thing I’ve learned at work down the years is: ‘if in doubt, do something’.  Armed with this … Continue reading

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Perspectives

   The thought that ‘people’ are just a manifestation of different causes, drivers and phenomena is an interesting one.  We all have a strong sense of ‘self’. And an equally strong sense of other ‘selves’ too – not least when … Continue reading

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