Does Nationalism Leave Room for Minorities?

All over the world, we see separations between the cultural and religious norms of the subnational minorities within a country and the generally accepted cultural/religious norms which we might argue constitute national sentiment (of course, this is an overly simplified account of national sentiment, but it gets us some way there). All we need to do is look across the pond to America, where the xenophobic rhetoric and policy wishes of Donald Trump, stemming from a desire to ‘Make America great again’, to find empirical evidence of Nationalism failing to accommodate for subnational pluralism. The question remains, however; does it […]

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Thomas Hobbes’ Big Mistake – A Short Critique on Leviathan

Thomas Hobbes is arguably most famous for his normative theoretical justification of the state. This theory can be found in one of the most influential works of English philosophy throughout history, Leviathan. Hobbes believed that we had a rational obligation to submit to the authority of the Government and for a comprehensive understanding of this argument, I suggest reading this fantastic article in the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy here. My short response, written under the assumption that the reader is familiar with the work of Hobbes, attempts to undermine some of the fundamental reasoning Hobbes uses. I’d love to hear what you […]

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Reaching For Pure Objectivity – Mission Impossible

  After the turbulence of the summer holidays and settling down to a new life at university, I’ve finally found myself the time time to begin writing again. Getting into the swing of study, I intend to publish all the relevant interesting formative writing I do here, so I can get some discussion about my ideas outside the seminar rooms. Anyway, enough of all that; back to the topic at hand.   The universe can only be observed through a lens of private perception. Anything that has ever been experienced, in the entirety of human history, has been experienced through […]

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Seneca’s ‘On The Shortness Of Life’ In A 21st Century Context

Seneca the Younger (5 BC – 65 AD) was a Stoic philosopher and advisor to the emperor Nero. His fascinating life came to a rather abrupt halt when he was told to commit suicide following accusations of his involvement in a famous plot to kill Nero, although it is commonly accepted that Seneca was probably innocent. His book ‘On The Shortness Of Life’, rather poetically, concerns the way in which humans might make proper use of the ample time nature provides us with to live a fulfilled life. We never quite know when everything will come to an end. If you […]

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How To Crack The Mysterious Sorites Paradox

The Sorites paradox doesn’t refer to an individual paradox, but a family of paradoxes. The paradox identifies a weakness in the way we apply predicates to objects – ‘tall’, ‘red’ and ‘bald’ for example. These predicates are not clearly defined, and exist as somewhat vague, or relational concepts in our minds.     An Example Of The Paradox Itself A grain of sand is not a heap of sand. Adding one grain of sand to any collection of sand grains which is not already a heap cannot cause there to be a heap of sand on its own. Say I […]

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Why Today’s Informal Coalition With The DUP Spells The End Of The United Kingdom

Today, the DUP entered into an astonishing £1.5bn confidence and supply coalition with the Conservatives, propping up their Government. With £1bn worth of new money and £500m worth of flexibility in current expenditure said to be freed up for Northern Ireland, I can’t help but wonder whether this spells the end for the United Kingdom. No. Seriously. How Are The DUP In The Driving Seat? There is only one reason that the DUP are in the position that they are in, and that is that neither Labour nor The Conservatives can penetrate Northern Ireland. Local concerns are in the forefront […]

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The Best Argument Against Moral Realism, And The Reason Ethics Is Still More Important Than Ever

Moral realism refers to a world in which moral facts exist – there are objective ethical standards which can be discovered by humans. However, this world is not the one we live in, and I shall explain the best argument against moral realism below.     This morning I was watching an interesting interview that popped up on YouTube, when something someone said struck a chord. A political commentator was arguing that recent times in the UK illustrate a failure of our society to educate people on the difference between right and wrong. But does this make sense? Further, what […]

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The Ship Of Theseus: Revisited In The 21st Century

Over the course of around seven years, your body replaces itself – bit by bit. Every cell in your body dies, and is replaced by another. So, how are our identities maintained? What is it about ‘me’ that persists? If (as I believe is the case) the mind is physical in nature, then how can the idea of a continual ‘self’ make any sense? Should we even be responsible for the actions of our previous versions of ourselves? These questions are raised in a thought experiment known as The Ship of Theseus, and it works as follows.   The Ship […]

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Why The Left/Right Spectrum Fails To Capture Modern Political Division

It is tradition in British politics for both lefties and conservatives to put each other into neat little boxes – Corbynista, Tory, Pinko, Rightist. However, in recent times the lines between these convenient labels have blurred, to the point where they are simply no longer accurate. The left/right spectrum doesn’t work. Clearly, the Brexit vote was not a matter of the left vs the right. Of course, the outcome was partly the result of a disenfranchised populate who felt like sticking it to the establishment. But more than this the Leave campaigners were successful because they played on the genuine […]

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The UK’s Critical Issues Revealed In Today’s Social Mobility Report [Article]

Today, The Social Mobility Commission (an advisory public body) has published a social mobility report, which outlines that 48 per cent of people think that our parents and our backgrounds determine what we manage to achieve in society. Only 32 percent of us think that society gives everyone a fair shot. In fact, over half of young people think that they are held back by the cards they were dealt at birth. The findings of the report (which can be found here) elude to the ever-deepening geographical divide that cleaves our country in two. London, characteristically, is seen as the […]

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