Philosophy & Ethics Reading Group

I am pleased to announce our preliminary meeting will be next Tuesday (2nd October – Week 2) at 6pm in FCH bar.
It will be an opportunity to meet each other, collate some ideas for our reading material, and to discuss other issues of place and frequency of meetings.
Anyone is welcome to attend. It might be useful to send me an email ( so I at least have an idea of who is interested: but turning up on the night is fine too.

Hope to see you there…


In Our Time

The excellent BBC Radio 4 series In Our Time has returned after a summer break with a discussion on Socrates. You can listen to this at any time on the net and, for one week only, you can download it as an MP3 and chill out to Socrates on your iPod!

Gloucestershire Philosophical Society – programme

Hi – below is the programe for the GPS. I would encourage all RPE students (and others) to attend these – you will be made very welcome… [the guilt debate still continues at ]
Gloucestershire Philosophical Society.
Programme: Autumn Term, 2007-08.

Sessions held at 7.30 p.m. room 203 FCH Campus, Swindon Road, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham,
(Other than Brown Jug meeting on December 5th.)

1. Wed. October 10th. 2007. Professor Christopher Norris, University of Cardiff. “Maths, Ontology and Politics: The Work of Alain Badiou.”
Chris Norris will talk on the work of the prominent contemporary French philosopher, author of “Ethics: an Essay on the Understanding of Evil” and “Metapolitics”.

2. Wed. October 31st. 2007. Dr. Ian Jones, University of Gloucestershire. “Race and Reality: Foucault and Jim Crow”.
Ian Jones will discuss his recent study of the medicalisation of racism in the United States as codified in many of the ‘Jim Crow’ laws and practices, and the work of philosopher Michel Foucault in their understanding.

3. Wed. November 14th. 2007. Dr. Stella Sandford, University of Middlesex. “Approaching .the Work of Simone de Beauvoir”.
Stella Sandford, a member of the Radical Philosophy journal editorial board, will discuss her 2007 book How to Read Beauvoir, on the work of the French existentialist and major figure in the history of feminist ideas.

4. Wed. November 28th. 2007. Liz Rolls, University of Gloucestershire: “Containing Grief: A Cross-Disciplinary Perspective”.
Liz Rolls will be talking about her extensive research over the last few years into the issues of grief and childhood bereavement.

5. Wed. December 5th.2007. 10.30. a.m. at the Brown Jug, Bath Rd., Cheltenham. Gloucestershire Philosophical Society Seminar: Cracker Barrel Philosophy: innate wisdom and its critics”.
Is there an innate wisdom shared by or sharable by all: are technical, professional languages merely ‘vernacular wisdom gone to college’? Or do they give us more powerful means of enquiry? What is ‘experience’ and how do we measure or apply it?

6. Wed. December 12th. 2007. Dr. Ieuan Lloyd, formerly University of Wales, Swansea: “Relativism: A Modern Fad?”
Ieuan Lloyd will investigate the issues in the ongoing debate over the currency of relativism in philosophy, and raises pertinent questions regarding its status in the climate of postmodernism.

The dates of the AGM and annual dinner will be fixed at the first meeting.

Natural (2)

Thanks to all students who took part in the Week Zero (Freshers week / Induction week) activities last week. They worked hard – both on the trip and back at FCH.
Our trip to Westonbirt Arboretum allowed us to reflect on was is meant by ‘natural’ – and the groups took a range of approaches – from the narrative account of a lost little leaf – to more detailled work on a range of philosophers. I have posted more pictures to the RPE Flickr book so go there for a look if you’re interested. We hope to get a cross-year social event organised soon…


This morning I was with our friends at BBC Radio Gloucestershire talking to John Rockley about guilt. We covered eco-guilt, parental guilt and charity use of guilt to get us to pay up.

Two questions spring to mind that students might be interested in:

  • What makes you feel guilty?
  • Is guilt a bad thing / is it pointless / should we not feel even more guilty?

I look forward to your responses… please use the ‘comments’ option to respond..

Cheers, Dave