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Buddhism: Key Ideas

From Abhidhamma to Zen, this book offers a simple introduction to key Buddhist ideas - each explained in straightforward language.

Available in Kindle format for only £1.53!

Click on the cover for further information...

Self with or without selfies

For a good review article by Stan Persky (on Barry Dainton's 'Self') covering issues on 'self' and 'consciousness' click here. This provides a wide overview of issues, although I'm never quite sure of the value of thought experiments. Well worth reading.

There is some wonderful material out there on the web; but new sites and blogs are appearing all the time, and it's difficult to keep track.

Therefore, I'd be very pleased to hear from you if you find a site or blog particularly helpful - anything dealing with religion, philosophy or ethics. Just email me the details.


The 'Hard Problem' of consciousness...

For the last 20 years, David Chalmers' 'Hard Problem' has been central to the Philosophy of Mind. How exactly does neural activity in the brain relate to out actual experience of being conscious? Click here for some of my thoughts on this and some other resources...


New A Level textbook for AQA Religious Studies A-level ...

JohnMy latest excuse (as of the end of August 2016) for posting little on this website is that I have signed contracts to work with John Frye on the Year 2 AQA A-level Religious Studies textbook The manuscript will be delivered at the end of this year and published in June of next year, in good time for the teaching year 2 of the course from September 2017.

And here's an photo of John Frye himself. It's our first book as co-authors, but we know each other well, having been to King's College London together back in the 1960s. The only thing I resent about the chap is that he seems to have retained a good head of hair!

Here is my 'Visual Philosophy' post for October:

morris men

With the ongoing debate over Brexit, I've been reflecting on the nature not just of Britishness but of Englishness, particularly as someone who is pro Europe, with a wife whose passport will continue to be EU red even if mine eventually turns blue with nostalgia. For me, part of the delight in the English countryside is the way it has preserved its innocent traditions. A couple of months ago I visited Thaxted in Essex for a gathering of Morris Men from all over the country....

To visit myVisual Philosophy page and see moreclick here.

Another reason why little new material is appearing on this website at the moment is that I have been busy working on my next book...


In June 1916, two remarkable religious thinkers found themselves on opposite sides of the battle of Verdun; for both the experience was uniquely formative, but they responded to it very differently. It transformed their ideas of God, their careers and their lives.

A German Lutheran chaplain and a French Jesuit stretcher bearer, although separated by only a few hundred yards of mud and barbed wire, tried to cope with, and make sense of, that horror of death and destruction on an unprecedented scale.

They – Paul Tillich and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin – reflect a century of thinking about religion, politics, humanism, existential angst and the global future.  Fashionable in the radical days of the 1960s, their ideas, and the experiences that gave rise to them, remain surprisingly relevant in the very different world of 2016, when the old supernatural ‘God’ is still surprisingly alive, in spite of predictions to the contrary, and a new one - in whatever secular form she may eventually appear - struggles to be born.  It also happens to be a world in which people continue to slaughter one another for political, religious or ideological reasons, destroying the hope that the Great War of 1914-18 would be a ‘war to end war.’

I'm exploring the impact of the Great War on religious ideas, linking Heidegger, Bultmann, Hitler, Wittgenstein and others to work of the main characters, Paul Tillich and Teilhard de Chardin. It's the story of those two men and their struggles with religious belief, but also of the whole way in which ideas about God and religion have been shaped and re-shaped during the last hundred years.

Notes for AS and A level students...

I've added a set of notes on Kant's ethical theory - touching on both the Categorical Imperative and the postulates. (Added October 30th, 2015)

Utilitarianism offers a basic set of outline notes, including Bentham, Mill, Preference Utilitariaism and an assessment of some of its problems and advantages as an ethical theory. (Added October 29th, 2015)

The Cosmological Arguments gives a basic outline of Kalam Argument and the Cosmological Arguments from Aquinas,along with a link on the page to the Wi Fi presentations on the Cosmological Arguments. (Added October 20th, 2015)

The Problem of Evil - These notes have been revised and are now set out on a single web page, with clear section headings. and an outline of the Irenaean and Augustinian approaches, along with the Free Will Defence, a brief look at the impact of this problem on ideas of God and a note on the distinction here between philosophy and theology. (Added October 18th, 2015)

I have also revised and posted a set of notes on The Argument from Design, based on the relevant sections in my Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics. These are supplemented by the notes on the Anthropic Principle and Argument. (Added October 16th, 2015)

To see my range of books on Philosophy, Ethics and Religion...


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Welcome to my site!

Recent additions, including some free notes for A-level students, are flagged up on this page. If you are interested in a particular subject, try the links on the left, or select 'Books' above and go from there.

Questions, comments, or material you'd like me to include? E-mail me here.  

Just come and look around!

Like what you see here? Tweet it...


Need some help with AS and AS level? Just click on the Notes for students link at the top of the page for my lecture notes on various topics in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics.

'In terms of secular ethics, Aquinas embraced Aristotle and strangled him at the same time!'

To see my views on Natural Law, written for A-level students and originally published in Dialogue, click here. Or, for general notes on ethics, use the 'Notes for Students' link above.

Why should a ladder, sticking unsupported out of the mud and leading nowhere, make me think of some brands of existentialism?


Images can sometimes say more than words. Hence my VISUAL PHILOSOPHY - images to make you think!

(The above image was posted in September 2015.)

And while on the site, why not visit my photo galleries?


Is the philosophy of religion and mistake, and what on earth has this to do with mountains and looking? Read more...