In January 2019, a family in southern Spain was subject to a nightmare scenario. During a family walk near Malaga, two-year-old Julen Rosseló fell 71 meters down a 25cm-wide borehole. He didn’t survive, and it took thirteen days for rescuers to recover his body. Later it was revealed the borehole had been dug illegally.
At the time, my own daughter was the same age, which led me to follow the story with a growing sense of horror and disbelief that such things could be allowed to happen. It seems absurd that something so truly awful could happen to anyone, let…
Part of my day job in education includes supporting students applying to Oxford and Cambridge universities. They’re both world-class, very competitive institutions. It’s a daunting task at the best of time and is perhaps toughest for the PPE applicants.
PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) is a demanding course that requires students to engage with three tough disciplines. Of the three, it is philosophy that typically presents the greatest challenge for applicants, as few of them have encountered it before. These students are used to plowing through content faster than their peers. …
I remember sitting in my grandfather’s car a few years ago in a gray car park. I was in the second year of my undergraduate philosophy degree, and we were discussing careers. As an engineer and a thoroughly practical man, he wasn’t convinced of the merits of my degree choice.
“But what can you do with philosophy, Gem?” he asked me. “What has philosophy ever achieved?”
I doubt meeting Professor Markus Gabriel would do much to change his impression of the subject.
It worked because of what was missing
When the House managers began proceedings for the second impeachment of former president Donald Trump on February 9th 2021, they began with a video. The video was simple, brutally effective and startlingly different to the well-rehearsed style of political attack-ads.
David Schoen, a key figure in Trump’s legal team, slammed the 14 minute video, telling Sean Hannity:
“It’s very easy to stand up and show spliced and manufactured films. Literally the Democrats, the House managers, hired a large movie company and a large law firm to put together this thing.”
Ignoring for the…
How to avoid an illusion that sets us up to fail and build a foundation for success
One of my heroes is Nicky Spinks, a 53-year-old farmer who lives in the British Peak District. In May 2016 she became the fastest person to complete a double Bob Graham round in a record-breaking 45 hours and 30 minutes. For those less familiar with British trail running challenges, a double Bob Graham involves running 132 miles around the English Lake District, up and down mountains for a total of 53,800ft of ascent. That’s close to running up two Mt. Everests.
What’s the deal with Satanism today? Should we be worried about the development of hypersonic glide vehicles? On a scale of zero to ‘fasten your seatbelts’, where do we stand in relation to the end of the world?
If these are the kinds of questions you’d like answered, you’re in luck. Small cadres of individuals around the globe are patiently watching, recording, and categorizing world events in relation to the impending ‘end times’.
It’s not a case of if, they say, but when.
There was a moment watching Soul this morning, with my son tucked beside me on the couch, my daughter sprawled across the floor and rain battering the window, that I could almost hear the voice of fictional US Office manager Andy Bernard whisper to me:
“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
On the screen, the protagonist, Joe, was reminiscing about spinning helicopter seeds in Fall, the feel of the ocean at his feet, and the sound of jazz. …
Ways to stay in the game when everything hits the fan
My all-time favorite work disaster happened in my first year at my current school.
I was delivering a history lesson to a group of twelve-year-olds and, as it was Christmas, I was in the habit of starting lessons with Christmas songs ‘performed’ by cats. Obviously, the songs were made on a keyboard, but I made a joke that they were created by gluing different sized cats to a wooden plank and pulling their tails to get the right notes. The joke generally worked because it was so absurd.
Philosophy isn’t taught enough in schools. That’s my view, anyway, as someone who does teach philosophy in school. Of course, I would say that. Perhaps mine isn’t the most reliable opinion; like a butcher suggesting more people eat sausages.
Yet, there is a growing body of evidence supporting the view that philosophy in schools is beneficial, that it can improve both literacy and numeracy and is thus providing empirical value to the curriculum.
Moreover, there is a strong argument that philosophy has a role to play in helping children to grow into well-rounded adults. …
Sarah — not her real name — gets to her feet, and everyone looks in her direction. She’s 16 years old, acting as a prosecution lawyer, and she’s never done anything like this before. The judge waits expectantly, seated high-up in the Crown Court. He looks serious. It’s only a mock trial, but it’s a real courtroom and he’s a real judge.
I know Sarah is nervous because she’s told me over and over again. It’s too late to back out now. She briefly closes her eyes and takes a breath. I’m holding mine. She starts her opening speech and…
Writer and educator in law and philosophy. Also wrote a book.