Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Philosophy and Politics

For philosophers interested in the current social economic and political situation, you might want to take a look at our other blog - 'Philosophy and Politics'.

Please make your voice heard and contribute to the debate (but if you do, please be respectful and polite!).

You can find this at:



Tuesday, 10 March 2009

NTU Philosophy Society

The NTU philosophy soc has been set up to give members a chance to get together and discuss philiosophical issues in an informal atmosphere.

The society also intends to offer mini lectures on various issues from Eastern philosophy to phenomenology.

We also organise movie viewings and socials where philosophy discussions are optional but welcomed.

The society is still young and we hope to expand and offer events on a bi-monthly basis. The NTU Phil Soc operates from the ground up and we encourage all members to suggest ideas for the future events...

you can find our current blog at:

Monday, 9 March 2009

Darwin and Philosophy

Check out our external examiner in a BBC documentary on Darwin and Philosophy!

For information on this programme see



Sunday, 8 March 2009

I am going to propose what could appear to some to be a controversial and reactionary thesis - that students should once again produce handwritten essays.

Wouldn’t this be an improvement on the current situation, where ‘word processed’ assignments are typically ‘produced’ without much thought and effort?

Might handwritten essays prove to be more thoughtful and, in the end, engender a new appreciation of the craft of essay writing?

Although perhaps rather quaint on first inspection this idea does have a very respectable philosophical pedigree. Wittgenstein, for one, suggested that he thought with his pen. Can we really suggest that we think with our PCs? Doesn’t the computer engender an instrumental attitude towards thought and language, where the truth and significance of ideas are subordinated to their overall efficiency and effectiveness?

Heidegger, too, would have been very suspicious of the idea that words should be ‘processed’. For him, those who claim that word processing makes writing more efficient are simply wrongheaded. Heidegger would have objected that any attempt to sever writing from the hand will also sever writing from thought.

I think that Heidegger was onto something here. With the word processor thought is mechanically forced and it ceases to dialectically flow.

Thinking is tied to the body in ways that we no longer appreciate.

Neil Turnbull