Author Archives: Lindsay Jordan

Protected: Andy in the pub: A story

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The evasiveness of conversation as educational research

Bojesen’s description of conversation as educational research captures the way I had begun to think about the empirical aspect of my thesis. However, having just assessed thirty of my own students’ small-scale pedagogic research projects, I confess to occasionally feeling … Continue reading

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Nietzsche and Spinoza on Humanity and Education

The central concern of my doctoral thesis is the role of universities in supporting our vision of humanity – of how we should live. I’m interested in what both Nietzsche and Spinoza have to say about human perfectibility, and I … Continue reading

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Psychedelics as a technology: Tool or weapon?

A friend put the view to me recently of psychedelics as a technology that has been advantageous for human evolution, but has also been exploited by some groups to further their own ends at others’ expense. The idea of psychedelics … Continue reading

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The Future of Human Nature?

Jurgen Habermas’ The Future of Human Nature (2003) explores what it means to change ourselves. For reasons that will become clear, while reading I found myself reflecting on the differences between genetic intervention (by parents, into the genetic makeup of their offspring), … Continue reading

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Human enhancement and the acceptance paradox – a personal take

On one level at least, I think people do want to be the best version of themselves, but what does that mean? I think it can mean so many different things. To fulfill one’s potential, to have a positive impact … Continue reading

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Learning about listening

I’ve been working on my methodology chapter while, appropriately, learning about listening. Well, I guess I’ve been learning about this throughout my doctorate, really. And I’m very conscious of the two-steps-forward-one-step-back mode, because I’ve had previous epiphanies; moments of realisation … Continue reading

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The problem(s) with psychedelic moral enhancement

Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about psychedelics and moral enhancement. I met up with Jules Evans a few days ago to talk about psychedelic enquiry, while he was finishing off this piece on … Continue reading

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‘Knowledge does not keep any better than fish’: A.N. Whitehead and the aims of education

Whitehead, A.N. 1929. The Aims of Education and other essays. The Free Press: New York. Whitehead presents the aim of education as producing ‘[people] who possess both culture and expert knowledge… their expert knowledge will give them the ground to … Continue reading

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Psychedelics, spiritual experience and character education

Next week I’m going to a launch of a new Impact pamphlet that defends character education in schools. Randall Curren is the author, and he will present his case with responses from four panelists. Wikipedia tells me that ‘Character education … Continue reading

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Higher Education in the age of Artificial Intelligence

Aoun, J. 2017. Higher education in the age of artificial intelligence. MIT Press. Joseph E. Aoun has set out his vision for the University. It is an interesting one; a clear departure from the scores of humanities professors who dream … Continue reading

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Liquid modernity and the paradox of declining female happiness

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about ideas of academic culture and interdisciplinarity, and imagining a future for the university that takes into account the hyper-connected, globalised, uber-responsive world of today – what Zygmunt Bauman calls the ‘liquid modernity’. … Continue reading

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Half-baked

I’ve been doing some thinking about this blog, and what purpose it serves now I’m into the writing-up stage of my thesis. If I’m to submit a full draft in January, it may be that I should spend all my … Continue reading

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Letheby, Metzinger and *that* Jim Carrey interview

Last week, Jim Carrey showed up on the red carpet at New York fashion week, much to the surprise of TV presenter Catt Sadler, who asked him – on camera – what he was doing there. The conversation played out … Continue reading

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No! Chalmers! What are you doing?!

It seems Dave Chalmers has decided that the problem of consciousness is too hard. He’s now moved on to virtual reality: https://aeon.co/videos/new-realities-are-imminent-how-vr-reframes-big-questions-in-philosophy I really like Dave Chalmers, and I really hope his philosophical interest in VR isn’t intended as some sort of … Continue reading

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The Two Cultures: A Psychedelic Solution?

The key point of C.P. Snow’s 1959 Rede lecture on The Two Cultures is an imperative to address a schism between the two cultures of science and literature (or at least, literary criticism). Snow accuses the latter of romanticising the pre-scientific … Continue reading

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Why do we talk about the purpose of universities?

There are seven and a half billion of us on a rock hurtling through the vastness of space. We are collections of atoms with the capacity for conscious experience. Many of us live in vast, densely-populated cities. Others live in … Continue reading

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‘Alcohol is not harmful’

The end of the socialist trentes glorieuses saw the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) put in force in the UK to discourage citizens from ‘misusing’ certain substances. Despite it being a logical impossibility to ‘misuse’ something with no mode of use … Continue reading

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On food, and being alone

As I sit at the garden table, eating scrambled eggs on buttery toast with a side of dressed spinach, hummus and avocado, I notice something. I notice my scrambled eggs on buttery toast with a side of dressed spinach, hummus … Continue reading

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The University in Ruins?

Readings, B. 1996. The University in Ruins. Harvard University Press. Readings describes himself as ‘deeply ambivalent’ about the university, and his book as an attempt to think his way out of ‘an impasse between militant radicalism and cynical despair.’ I … Continue reading

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