Category Archives: Philosophy

The global economy of care.

The economy of ideas #3. Is there a limit to how much we can care about others? Is it natural that we should care more about those who are closest to us? Is it in our nature to ‘look after … Continue reading

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Primo Levi on work and education

In his wonderful La chiave a stella (The Wrench) published in 1978, Primo Levi shares with us an exchange of stories told by Faussone, the itinerant Piedmontese rigger, and a narrator who, like Levi himself, is an industrial chemist at the point … Continue reading

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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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