What it is to be a Christian

I suspect it is virtually heresy to say so in some circles. But I found the memoir of theologian Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah’s Child, odd. It’s certainly engaging, and I wanted to read it as I know Hauerwas is inspirational for some whom I admire. So I’ve been trying to work out why it feels as… Continue reading What it is to be a Christian

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Interpreting Plato's Lysis

My PhD thesis was a reading of Plato’s Lysis, the great philosopher’s exploration of friendship. And so it was exciting, to me at least, to yesterday read Martha Beck’s book, The Quest for Wisdom in Plato and Jung, and realise that the dialogue could be read in a parallel way to how I’d done, namely… Continue reading Interpreting Plato's Lysis

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Wanna crack the Plato code? Read Plato

A Manchester historian has cracked the ‘Plato code.’ Writing in the journal Apeiron, and using stichometry, Jay Kennedy has apparently shown that the Republic is ordered by twelfths, following the 12-note scale, and that at each of these nodes, are located either consonant or dissonant ideas. The line numbers of the reassembled manuscripts of other… Continue reading Wanna crack the Plato code? Read Plato

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The brain's negative way

One of the most striking details to read in Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and his Emissary for me, concerned the nature of the relationship between the two hemispheres of the brain. The exchange between them is essentially negative. Both can either fail to permit, by saying ‘no’, or permit, by not saying ‘no’, what the… Continue reading The brain's negative way

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What the other half doesn't know

At last! A book on neuroscience that is a thrilling read, philosophically astute and with wonderful science: Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. The running metaphor is the division between one worldview that is detail-attending, mechanistically-minded and self-interested; and another that is other-interested, whole-perceiving… Continue reading What the other half doesn't know

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Holding on to free will

The question of whether we have free will is rising up the media agenda again, partly as a result of Jonah Lehrer’s new book, The Decisive Moment. Or there’s the chapter on the matter in 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense by Michael Brooks. That chapter stands out in the book as the one which… Continue reading Holding on to free will

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Map of the Meaning of Physics

The media, at least here in the UK, has gone LHC mad. (All this talk of a big bang: have editors realised there won’t be any results to report in this news cycle, and many to come?) But in celebration of a truly astonishing piece of apparatus, below is my Map of the Meaning of… Continue reading Map of the Meaning of Physics

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