Category Archives: Philosophy

Thinking students and student research.

In his excellent book Think Again (2012), John Taylor makes a strong case for putting philosophy at the centre of our teaching in order to develop students’ ability to think. As he says in his introduction: “Education should be all about … Continue reading

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The social origins of human thinking.

What is thinking? Where does human thought come from? How did it evolve? These are important questions for us if we want to understand what makes humans different from other living things and to make the most of our abilities both as … Continue reading

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Reducing culture to memes

The economy of ideas #2 Human culture is such a complex and fluid assemblage of shared knowledge, ideas, beliefs, attitudes, perspectives and practices. How can we even begin to analyse and usefully study it? One way is to break it down into … Continue reading

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The marketplace of ideas

The economy of ideas #1 Can the application of market thinking to any aspect of learning be a good thing? If we support the idea of a universal, comprehensive education system free of markets, selection and hierarchies surely we have … Continue reading

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Gulliver’s levels

Jonathan Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, first published in 1726, mocks the travel journals of its day with their increasingly fantastical adventures. It is also brilliant social satire, mercilessly tearing through contemporary conventions and pretentions.   It can also be read as a thought … Continue reading

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Roberto Unger on school as the ‘voice of the future’

In his excellent book ‘The Left Alternative’ the Brazilian philosopher and politician Roberto Unger proposes a new way for progressives to think about the future and start creating the good society. Unger suggests we should not give up on the central promise … Continue reading

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Learning is dialectical

An attempt to start from first principles… There is now, there is before and there is after. Whatever time is, our awareness of it helps us distinguish between past and future. Within our own lived experience we understand the difference … Continue reading

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