Hail to the Idiot!

THE question ‘what is philosophy? is one that is often neglected by philosophers. After all, while there may be a philosophy of science or of art and other disciplines, there cannot be a philosophy of philosophy without vicious circularity in the same way that empirical methods cannot be used to prove empiricism as the Scottish …

The precarious soul!

“The awful shadow of some unseen Power/Floats though unseen amongst us. – visiting/This various world with as inconstant wing/As summer winds that creep from flower to flower. -/Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,/It visits with inconstant glance” From Hymn to Intellectual Beauty by Percy Bysshe Shelley Let’s be clear, we are not talking …

From stiff upper lip to Stoicism

IF there is a single distinction to be made between modern ethics and ancient Greek ethics, it could be argued that while the former attempts to establish what is right independently of character, the latter tries to establish what kind of character is needed to lead the right sort of life. Of course, this is …

From chaos to anarchy!

What is anarchy? We all know that the word anarchy is interchangeable with words like chaos or violence and bombs. But is this a fair interpretation of political anarchism? Obviously no. Sure, anarchists have often been associated with violence but equally anarchism itself has a long history of philosophy that acts as a powerful critique …

What would you do if a violinist was plugged into your body?

AT a recent meeting Salisbury Democracy CafĂ© a thought experiment was proposed in order to discuss the question of transhumanism. So it might be fruitful and, perhaps, amusing to explore this philosophical device and some of the occasionally exotic examples. So what, exactly, is a thought experiment? Basically it is an imaginary scenario designed to …

What’s it like to be a vampire?

“One of the most important games of life, then, is the game of Revelation, a game played for the sake of the play itself.” L. A. Paul What is it like to be a vampire? Nobody knows – unless you happen to be one of course! And that’s the whole point according to L. A …

What’s the point of ignorance?

“The philosopher is the shepherd who tends the mixed flock of the possible on the highlands…” Michael Serres. What’s the point of ignorance? Well, quite a lot as it turns out. We know that ignorance is everywhere. If we have a problem defining or describing English identity, then some might argue that a good place …