Category Archives: Uncategorized

Protected: Andy in the pub: A story

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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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‘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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Nixon #3 and a tangent on free will

One thing I particularly liked about Nixon’s book was the depth of the image it painted of the four thinkers whose ideas were drawn upon; it described them as real people with families and styles of dress and ways of … Continue reading

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Employability, Tragedy and the Meaning of Life

The day after the PESGB seminar on entrepreneurship and the performing arts, I attended an education research seminar at Queen Mary on engagement with employability and graduate attributes. The seminar was given by Finola Farrant, a lecturer in Criminology at … Continue reading

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A Political Theory of the University – some thoughts on a paper by Morgan White

Tonight’s PESGB seminar at the IoE is going to feature Morgan White talking about a political theory of the university. I read his paper (which I’m not sure is publicly available yet) and had some thoughts… White argues that democracy … Continue reading

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Gadamer and solidarity

After Truth and Method, Gadamer shifted from writing about tradition to solidarity. Both concepts relate to deep-seated agreements about the way things are or should be, but solidarity bears an element of forward-thinking, of future aspirations with a basis of … Continue reading

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