Monday, 29 June 2015

Round Teabags

If you want round teabags then you have to go to the trouble of cutting out the bits between the circles.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Approaching Philosophy

If you are going to teach philosophy as a subject then knowing what a particular philosopher thought is important - otherwise you have nothing to teach; nothing to convey of their ideas. If you are not going to teach philosophy but be an active thinker - even going so far as to call yourself a philosopher - then a different approach is needed: you should read the work of others for the ideas and inspiration that can come out of that reading. One then does those thinkers the favour of using their work and having their ideas built upon. To disagree with another thinker and, in so doing, come up with something that is new and advances a particular field of enquiry is a form of contribution; the one disagreed with continues to contribute. No genuine thinker wants their work to be spouted ex cathedra as if it had some immutable authority.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Epictetus - 3

From: The Golden Sayings of Epictetus (translated by Hastings Crossley) - from Project Gutenberg.

The beginning of philosophy is to know the condition of one's own mind. If a man recognises that this is in a weakly state, he will not then want to apply it to questions of the greatest moment. As it is, men who are not fit to swallow even a morsel, buy whole treatises and try to devour them. Accordingly they either vomit them up again, or suffer from indigestion, whence come gripings, fluxions, and fevers. Whereas they should have stopped to consider their capacity.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

The social medium really is the massage

In the late 1960s, Marshall McLuhan wrote a book which was to be entitled 'The Medium is the Message'. When the proofs came, the title had been misspelt to read 'The Medium is the Massage'. Rather than 'correct' this, McLuhan felt it made a point. (For a brief but informative video, visit the BBC's 'History of Ideas' pages.)

If further proof were needed, here is a similar mistake from the BBC News app.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Somewhere in the middle?

I was puzzled to see this street sign in the Staffordshire town of Tutbury in late April this year. The first two words seem to cancel each other out; should the street not simply be called 'Street'?