Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Philosophy this week Doctor Locke and Bishop Berkeley, LBC to go national and some light hearted relief in the form of a joke

I was under the impression that a short course on Philosophy would be a walk in the park, I am beginning to think if it were it would be through some rather challenging terrain with a few knotty brambles and I'm now wondering if I've got the right clothes and shoes  for the trip .. but hey! There's some other travelers on the route  and we've got a good person out in front who tries to keep our spirits up (enough of the analogy already...)
Let's go stretch an analogy.

Anyway  this is only week 4 and the fact that we've been introduced this week to a Doctor and a Bishop is some compensation for having to think a little about some pretty massive themes.

Dr. John Locke

 So the Doctor is Doctor John Locke  ( born 1632 – died 1704)  and a  maxim of his that is worth holding to is

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. [John Locke, 'Essay concerning human understanding'. ]

The Good Doctor
Locke was born in Somerset and later went to the prestigious Westminster School and then Oxford University.
His work challenged those who went immediately before him (as is so often the case) and his work  followed on in the furrow ploughed by Francis Bacon who was known by some as the creator of empiricism.

John Locke had the  'theory of mind' which gave rise to the modern conceptions of identity and the self
Locke has the concept of the mind as a  blank sheet of paper idea (Tabula rasa) , this was at odds with the Church and sits uneasily with the notion of 'original sin'.

Locke's works were important in framing what became the US constitution and another of his big works was Two Treatises of Government, 

George Berkeley

The Bishop is Bishop George Berkeley who was  born in Ireland  in 1685 (and died in 1753) he was an  Idealist and spiritual theologian (you might want to take that link with a pinch of salt).
Berkeley's work was reacting against that of Locke (you see, that new thinking challenging the existing accepted 'wisdoms' again)

From Him one of my favourite quotes is:

If we admit a thing so extraordinary as the creation of this world, it should seem that we admit something strange, and odd, and new to human apprehension, beyond any other miracle whatsoever.

One of George's  big works was 'Principles of Human knowledge.'

He was connected with both Yale and the town of Berkeley in California.

 LBC  goes DAB national

BBC Radio 5 has had the mass national talk radio audience (also known as cheap phone-in radio) to itself for quite a few years now but LBC has decided to challenge it nationally (perhaps such a media development indicates that Economic recovery is indeed underway).

LBC a pioneer in the UK commercial radio market has been going for over 40 years and now they've got such personalities as Nick Clegg and Larry Lamb behind the microphone they rewckon they're on to a winner.
 The date to mark in your diary is February 11th.
Radio Clegg anyone


Apropos of nothing for some reason this joke has been going round in my head today (?)

A masochist met up with a sadist:

Masochist 'Torture me'
Sadist "No."

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