Category Archives: Philosophy

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 … Continue reading

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Gaia II – Truth and Beauty

James Lovelock ends ‘Gaia‘ with a rather profound summary:  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and … Continue reading

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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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