Some thoughts on Ethics


So I began to think about ethics. It’s a term that I bandy about quite a bit, but rarely challenge or question. When you start to delve into ethics, you come up against definitions which suggest that it is to do with ‘right behaviour’ or ‘morality’. But some of these definitions can be circular. A good definition of ethics seems to be that it is the practice of determining ‘right behaviour’. In this case, until we add meaning to it, ‘right’ is an open ended concept. So until we determine what ‘right behaviour’ is, we don’t really know what ‘right’ is. Continue reading Some thoughts on Ethics

Towards a sustainable worldview




The diagram offers a starting point for organising thoughts about the world of experience, the individuals place in it and perception of it and consequently what activities and actions might ensue. I have been impressed by David Abram’s argument that we should not let the scientific objective view dominate our viewpoint, but should start from a subjective, engaged standpoint. So my diagram starts with the idea of circumstance as the initial global realisation of what we perceive and engage with, or, more simply, where we find ourselves. it is always “provisional”  -not “absolute”.

Continue reading Towards a sustainable worldview

Artefacts, technology and nature

Field in Norfolk: This is an artefact that we casually think of as natural.


Thinking of value and significance as qualities deriving from human appreciation, we realize that there is a difference in the way we appreciate natural and man-made things. There is also an intrinsic difference between natural and man made things and an acknowledgement and an understanding of this difference is fundamental to our exploration of design quality.

Continue reading Artefacts, technology and nature


Geometry is a part of first order experience, being essentially the abstraction of the notion of extension.

No matter what the physicists might tell us, geometry – the measure of the earth – is a matter of direct experience. At some time in prehistory man consciously fixed his sights on a point on the horizon and walked in a straight line towards it. If the land between is relatively flat, there is no more direct route. Such straight lines allowed the plotting of a course and, magically, were confirmed by the shadow projected by a raised stick in sunlight. Each day the sun at its greatest elevation cast its shadow along the same straight line. Here was a measure, a means of orientation, a foothold in the shifting, apparently chaotic, landscape.

Continue reading Geometry

Economics & compassion

The origin of economics, as we currently understand it, is usually cited as Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and its free market overall ethos as stemming from his notion of the ‘Invisible Hand’ guiding us in an appropriate direction through enlightened self interest. Origins are rarely so specific in actuality and we simply anchor them in our mind with some convenient time stamped event.

Continue reading Economics & compassion