Monday, 2 April 2012

Philosophy of...

The School of Athens - Raphael

Philosophy can sometimes be frustrating, and sometimes near-impossible (unless you’re one of those people with particularly penetrating philosophical-logical insight, of which there are few, myself obviously not included). Insofar as ‘developments’ can take place in the philosophical community, these have generally been down to a handful of extremely gifted individuals (perhaps the same goes for science too). The rest of us can but ponder and remain uncertain, but this itself can be rewarding. The purpose of this blog is to share some of the more interesting philosophical puzzles I’ve come across during my degree, and perhaps introduce some new ideas. Hopefully, some of you will find it mildly interesting!
Suffice to say, none of these ideas are mine, but then these days, nothing is really written in philosophy that hasn’t been written before in some shape or form. However, popular philosophy writing has never been more popular than in the present cultural climate - ‘popular philosophers’ such as Julian Baggini, AC Grayling and (more tenuously) Alain de Botton have been selling plenty of books on general philosophical topics. The excellent ‘philosophy bites’ series of podcasts has also played a large part in introducing ‘proper philosophy’ to the public in an accessible way - I highly recommend it. With this blog, I want to contribute in some humble way to this movement of the popularizing of philosophy, and try to convince a few of you that it’s not so boring, obscure and irrelevant as many assume.

Please leave comments if the mood takes you. I'll add new posts whenever I have the time.



  1. Contentious! I reckon you're plain wrong to say that there is no philosophy being written now that hasn't been written before. There are enormous leaps and huge developments being made in eg. philosophy of quantum mechanics. These things simply couldn't have been written before - the physics to back them up just didn't exist. The fact that some branches of philosophy may have stagnated is no reason to write off all philosophy as simply the rehashing of the previous generation's half-baked arguments.

    On a different note, I would have gone for 'logico-philosophical' rather than 'philosophical-logical' - sounds more like the kind of thing a philosopher might say ;)

  2. I didn't mean to write it off as rehashing - its just that new insight doesn't require new content. An perhaps what has really developed is the physics - the philosophy has moved on, but not of its own accord; simply in reaction to the new data from physics.

  3. Since so many people think it can be cliche I hesitate... but I'll quote the Bible: Ecclesiastes 1:9 That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.

    Then there's this post from and NPR Blog:

    Just because something is old doesn't mean it's wrong.



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