philosophy and ethics

mugWant to know my views on writing philosophy?

See the interview I gave to Nigel Warburton on his Virtual Philosopher blog by clicking here.

This page has a range of books - my own and those of others - on a wide variety of philosophical topics.

Reading Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, I reach the moment when Cromwell thinks of someone he respects. The words she gives him could well be taken as the starting point for all philosophy and ethics:

'He has studied the world without despising it. He understands the world without rejecting it. He has no illusions but he has hopes. He does not sleepwalk through his life. His eyes are open, and his ears for sounds others miss.'

Phil for lifeYour basic introduction to the subject. Click the cover for further information, a detailed list of contents and some sample material.

Und PhilosophyCopies of the older edition Understand Philosophy are still available, both new, used and as an ebook .Click the cover for more information.


Is it best to remove your clothes before asking yourself existential questions?

See more, with free extracts from Home and The Philosopher's Beach Book.

beachAnd for something that's easy to read but with plenty of ideas to get you thinking!

35 questions to ponder as you twiddle your toes in the sand - or in the snow for that matter! Just settle in a chair, pour yourself a drink, and enjoy a little light philosophy!


PBBNietzsche features on the cover of Philosophers Behaving Badly; not that he actually behaved particularly badly - sadly, more like - but his controversial ideas are certainly capable of being misused by those who intend to behave badly.

By exploring the lives and thought of six philosophers, this book shows that the life of reason does not necessarily lead to a reasonable life!


Want to know more about Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre and the other existentialists? This book, co-authored by Nigel Rodgers, gives an accessible introduction to Existentialism.


existential escalatorsexistential ladderAre these suitable images for existentialism?

(click them to see my views)


WittgensteinThinking about language?

For my notes on Wittgenstein - from Tractatus to Language Games - Logical Positivism, religious language and much more... click here.


time flowsReflections on the passing of time...

(click the image to see my views)


Without conversation, philosophy is just dogma.

NigelTo consider the importance of conversation in doing philosophy, read what Nigel Warburton - the master of the philosophical interview - has to say by clicking here.

This link comes thanks to Aeon and Nigel Warburton.

Nigel Warburton's podcasts

These podcasts give extremely useful bite-size introductions to many aspects of philosophy and a chance to hear some of the greatest living philosophers enthuse about what most interests them. The podcasts have now been organised by theme, so you can scroll down his list and find what interests you. Just click here for the link.

'The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.'

Plutarch's advice is an excellent starting point for exploring the philosophy of mind, or even for a philosophy of education!

NietzscheGetting personal in philosophy....

Every great philosophy is a confession of its founder, a kind of secret and involuntary set of personal memoirs. - Nietzsche

Does your philosophy reflect your personal quest and values?

See more...

Thought experiments? How useful are they?

trolleyFed up with diverting trolleys, pushing fat men off bridges, or getting hooked up for nine months to a famous violinist? To download a talk by Richard Baron reviewing the way Thought Experiments are used in philosophy, along with my own notes and links to other books, click here. Or, to take a look at my own views on them, click here.

quick thougtsNew to Philosophy? Here are some quick thoughts to get you started....

Why philosophise? / Of what are you certain? / Will nothing work better? / What's the point of knowledge? / Science and objectivity / The advantage of being awake / Is religious outdated? / Becoming yourself / What were you like before you were born? / Whereof we cannot speak...

Just click my image to take a look.

RussellIf you're into Bertrand Russell, you really should take a look at his Facebook page...

There are plenty of quotes and topics on which you can comment - and, being controversial and outspoken on so many issues, Russell invites just that - along with biographical information. You can scroll down through the page and explore topics. See it here.

'Whereof one cannot speak, thereon one must remain silent.'

... the ending of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951)


Click the cover to see my review of Julian Baggini's very useful book for those exploring beyond Western Philosophy.

Julian Baggini's site...

julian bOffers big thoughts that come in small packages, along with information about his journalism, books and talks.

Click here.

mark vMark Vernon's

website is just full of interesting stuff, short extracts of pieces he writes for the Guardian, book reviews, comments on events and muchmore. Check it out at...

'We know our will is free, and there's an end on't.'

Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

'New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.'

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding  John Locke (1632-1704) 


Curious to know more about philosophy? This double CD audiobook may be just what you're looking for. For further information, click here.

Philosophy NowWant to get into recent thinking in philosophy without getting bogged down in academic journals? Try a magazine.

Just click on this cover for links to some likely ones.


Plato stepping forward to teach in stained glass at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

What use is a master's degree in Philosophy?

Emilia Gunnarson, a postgraduate student reading philosophy at the University of Iceland may have the answer for you...



To get into the challenge of philosophy and to enjoy the perceptions of a sharp mind and good humour, there are few better places to go than the work of David Hume - his 'Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding', is one of the great works of Scottish philosophy.