Cordoba March 2011 Field Trip Report…

If it’s March – it must be the Spain trip…
[ more pics at  ]
12th March – 2.30 am – some very sleepy students and staff  meet at the FCH campus refectory – for a 3am coach to Bristol Airport…  Oddly – everyone is on time, and has their passport…
The Avant train waits to take us to Cordoba

We get to Bristol, and take off at 6.30am – and then once we are in Malaga, we get the local train to the main Malaga station

We lurk here till our 14:30 train sweeps us north, then a short (!) walk takes us to Los Patios – our home from home for the week.
People are a little weary, so a short orientation tour, via Plaza de Corredera, is enough for most – followed by an early night…

Sunday 13th March
Long day starts with short walk to Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos .
Then, we head to the Torre de la Calahorra museum – where we get a rather rosy view of the history in the ‘Golden Age’ of Al-Andalus… Here is the annual picture on the roof terrace:

Followed by a wander to the newly refurbished Archaeological Museum – which has a new underground section on the Roman theatre, and some much more sophisticated accounts of the region’s history. 
Monday 14th

RAIN. plus everything was closed. More rain. Card games. More rain.

Tuesday 15th
Early train to Seville…

Our usual Seville meeting point…

We walked to the historic centre (without getting lost) – and began with the Alcázares Reales de Sevilla  – which has interesting internal buildings – and stunning gardens: an amazing place.

It takes most of a morning to explore the Seville Alcazar – then lunch
Seville Cathedral is huge! It has treasure rooms, and a lot to see – also – test your cardiovascular endurance – and walk to the top of the tower – the views are worth it.  

Seville Cathedral 

Wednesday 16th

Medina Azahara – is 8 miles west of Cordoba.

Students at Medina Azahara

A short walk to a daily tourist bus – and off we went… Once there – there is a great museum – brand new, and interactive – with lots of resources: and the ruined city itself.

 And back on the bus…

We then went to the Museum of Jewish life  Casa de Seferad – to explore the Jewish heritage of the city – in the heart of the Jewish quarter. We had a short talk here, and saw some new exhibits on how Jews fared during the Spanish Inquisition (which we didn’t expect) 
At 2pm We met Imma – our expert tour guide – for the tour of the Mezquita / Cathedral – which is a highlight of the trip for many.

Thursday 17th...

5am – meet in reception of Hotel – for 5.30am coach to airport – then home at FCH by 3pm…

Looking back at the Mezquita as we leave for the coach..

Heidegger and Evolution

Hello everybody,

In an attempt to stop bothering my supervisors (i’m not in care) and instead bother other people i would be interested in people’s comments on essay ideas i have. I tried to be as original as possible which maybe a weakness, but anyhow, in the spirit of learning i’m putting my ideas ‘out there’ to be criticised. Let me know what you think or possible areas for development.

Here’s an extract from an essay/idea i’m considering (apologies for the length)

I would like to argue that Heidegger’s philosophy of ‘Being and Time’ presents an intuitive framework for understanding ‘evolution’. Not just biological evolution but evolution as a process, a state of becoming. In the same way that simple single cell organisms become complex multi-cellular life, or that elementary particles become heavy metals, or that spinning hot balls of gases become clusters of galaxies, each has the potential for the other. I do not want to infer any teleology in this framework, i.e. that human intelligence was a necessary step or that some design is required. More in the Heideggarian sense that all things carry their evolutionary past with them to be projected into a potential future, that evolution is Being and being, in that objects that exist are a part of evolution and evolution as a system allows those things to exist or go extinct placing them in the background of nothingness. Heidegger’s ‘Dasein’, ‘being there’ and ‘being with’ applies to all things, he intended it only to refer to humans but I think it can be applied to all objects that are subject to evolution, that are in the world and by definition of evolution interact with their world. As a result of evolution objects carry with them the history of their ancestors and so are always ‘being with’ as well as ‘being there’. ‘Throwness’ is essentially an evolutionary idea, in that all things do not choose the fundamental aspects of their being, where and how they were created, what past they are created into, we do not control what events we run into or what events will shape us. In the same way that every human is thrown into a biography not of their choosing be it their country of origin, ethnicity, host language or sexual orientation so to generations of organisms are thrown into a process that chooses them but they did not choose.
This is just a first mashing of ideas so don’t get hung up on the grammar.