Category Archives: Philosophy

Hitler, Chamberlain and Clausewitz

Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement failed in 1939 and was replaced with something worse. He decided Britain was a lion. Chamberlain threatened Hitler with war if Germany attacked Poland. The German High Command knew Britain couldn’t defend Poland and Hitler believed … Continue reading

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Climate Change and the Is/Ought Problem

Introduction In the 18th century David Hume posited the Is/Ought problem. Hume said there’s no connexion between something being the case and an action. That someone is drowning isn’t a reason in itself for attempting a rescue. If a rescue … Continue reading

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Black Lives Matter, Covid-19 and Democracy in Sydney, Australia

“As tragic as it is that we are in a situation where freedom of speech isn’t as free as we would like it to be at the moment,” [Police Minister] Mr Elliott said.* When the Sydney Black Lives Matter planned … Continue reading

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Time

Shoulders slumped forward Elbows drag behind the chest Slightly tired bandy legs Above the flat feet, that ache. What happened, to that, once was physique The body that was so strong That mind that didn’t consider Time would take such … Continue reading

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Wittgenstein as a school teacher

Jonathan Rée writes insightfully about Wittgenstein’s life and work, but he does skate over one crucial detail (LRB, 21 November). After six years working in village schools in the Austrian Alps, Rée remarks, Wittgenstein ‘gave up teaching and returned to … Continue reading

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Hedonism and starting a family

Starting a family is a hedonists greatest challenge. Giving birth, sleepless nights, nappies, teething, choosing a school, school plays, sports days, another school, their friends, homework, GCSEs, ‘A’ levels, choosing a university, student debt, significant friends, split-ups, getting a job….. … Continue reading

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Hedonism and marriage

Hedonists devote their lives to pleasure so their choices are predetermined. If it isn’t pleasurable: avoid. Choices can be imprecise. Are known bachelor pleasures better than future pleasures in marriage? Marriage is a gamble. Many marriages end unhappily and divorcees … Continue reading

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Hedonism and addiction

Addiction occurs when a pleasurable activity becomes uncontrollable. Crack cocaine is pleasant but is difficult to control. Likewise alcohol, sugary food, fast driving, nicotine, gambling or even, getting rich. The law of diminishing returns elegantly explains why hedonists aren’t addicts. … Continue reading

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Hedonism and sadism

British media is strongly sadistic. Hedonists with sadistic tendencies approve of this bias in the media. Sadism spills over into police procedural novels, which feature ingenious horrors. TV sometimes has news items, which are introduced with ‘some scenes may upset … Continue reading

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John Muir’s religious environmentalism and the Yosemite National Park

John Muir is a towering figure in American environmental history. He was a geologist, botanist, mountaineer, journalist, author, confidant of Presidents and industrial leaders, co-founder of the Sierra Club and much more. His opinions were eagerly sought and often acted … Continue reading

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