New work, academic and public

Over the last several months I’ve carried on writing articles for a public forum: Beyond Belief, a spin-off site of and which is hosted on Substack here. It’s been, I have to say, a great experience, and to give you a flavour of why, let me quote the mission statement of Beyond Belief: “BeyondContinue reading “New work, academic and public”

Two new essays – and more to come

I haven’t written on here for a good while as I’ve been busy with various things, some quite exciting. The first and least dramatic development is that I’ve been conducting research for the second chapter of my new book. This chapter will be on Heidegger, and in preparation for writing it I’ve read Rüdiger Safranski’sContinue reading “Two new essays – and more to come”

New book update #2

Over the last month I’ve been ticking along with my new book, and so I wanted to make a quick note, primarily for my own benefit, of what I’ve achieved and the changes it’s undergone. Firstly, I was busy rewriting the introduction again and again and again to try to get the tone right. ThisContinue reading “New book update #2”

Philosophy and place

The connection between philosophy and place is an important one, particularly for biographical sketches of great philosophers: Epicurus in his garden; Diogenes in his barrel; Nietzsche in Sils Maria, and so on. The connection between the two is occasionally more than just aesthetic, as these examples illustrate: a place can also cut to the heartContinue reading “Philosophy and place”

On (modern) Stoicism

An article recently published in the New Statesman on Stoicism, by Nancy Sherman, has led me to think at length about this particular branch of philosophy for probably the first time. Sherman’s article argues that Stoicism isn’t actually about the individual – or at least, not exclusively – but in fact the community too. AsContinue reading “On (modern) Stoicism”

Nishitani Keiji & Nothingness

As a continuation of my dive into the Kyoto School of Japanese philosophy, I’m currently reading Nishitani Keiji’s Religion and Nothingness (1961 [1982]). Nishitani was a Zen Buddhist who studied under Nishida Kitarō. Like his teacher, Nishitani sought to explain something of the Zen experience through terminology and concepts provided by Western thinkers. Where Nishitani’sContinue reading “Nishitani Keiji & Nothingness”

Practical philosophy

In his excellent and reasonably well-known book, An Inquiry into the Good (1911), Nishida Kitarō states: “Philosophical views of the world and of human life relate closely to the practical demands of morality and religion, which dictate how people should act and where they can find peace of mind.” Nishida says this as a matterContinue reading “Practical philosophy”