Tag Archives: Philosophy

Book review:The society of timid souls by Polly Morland

shades of grey

The book I am reading now is called”, The Society of Timid Souls”  written by Polly Morland.

Here is a very good in depth review of it and a photo of a bull fight

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/19/timid-souls-polly-morland-review

She is a good writer,mainly in journalism and also she works  making documentaries.The title comes from a Society that existed in New York starting around the time of Pear Harbour.It was for musiciand too timid ti play in public.From that which ended in 1946 she goe on to look at many situations which need courage such as bravery in war,in giving birth,in bull fighting.She is well read and has studied Aristotle,read Beowulf and many other serious  books and writings.Yet it is not a very difficult read.[I like hard books because I read them several times so they last longer.]The  intriguing part so far is about animals and birds which won awards for bravery.. such as pigeons in WW2 and whether an animal can be brave in the true sense.I have read half this book and strongly recommend it as suitable to a wide range of readers and also because it makes reading Aristotle seem normal,not just for scholars and academics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotelian_ethics

You can get Ethics by Aristotle as a free kindle book

You have to pay a little for Nichomacean Ethics and there is more than one translation so look inside before you buy it.I feel amazed by his thinking and wonder  if we’ve gone backwards

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We need to trust the world before we can see

tWeeds or flowers I have become interested in virtue and perception.It began when I read  a little Aristotle about virtue being a habit.That was quite recent.Before that for many years I believed virtuous acts would follow from being able to perceive well.But when we are fraught our minds and eyes tighten up and so we perceive only what may be a danger to us.To perceive others well we need to be in a position to trust others and we need to feel secure.How is this possible?From my studies I read that our ability to trust begins with a trusted caregiver in infancy,[See” atttachment and loss “by John Bowlby reference to come] We may be able to become more secure later by good fortune,friendship and love.If not,I seem to get the idea that if we are insecure and nervous we cannot truly perceive others and they may be in the same position.If we are very afraid then virtuous acts may be hard to accomplish. The reason is obvious… when. we are concerned with  mere survival as a person , in that state what we do to others  may be impossible for us to consider.We cannot truly see them and so we cannot act well towards them except by good luck.Or if we are able to tolerate great anxiety,we may see better…. if not we are incapable…. Those whom we cannot see properly we cannot truly consider with feeling  and act on this feeling.We see them partly or mainly in terms of the fearful fantasies in our minds and cannot see them as  other and interesting.When we make a friend online we may feel safer but in fact we are more likely to misperceive them. When we are from a sad a or difficut background it may help greatly if we have some friends who might point out our errors if we trust enough to tell them.Or we may pretend to be hard and tough.Neither leads to virtue.If we trust God it may help but I believe we see God through the lens of our parents.. which is not good…depending on the parents. When we live in fear,we cannot see what is there before us.We cannot let go.We cannot accept grace and love nor give it.We will try to live by will power.Ironically people who are fearful inside can develop a shell of toughness and pride and so are not seen as vulnerable  and/or lovable.Tbey may seem frightening to others. This account may help to explain why politics is the way it is and also  we see that arguing is not persuasive when the other is not able to open up and see things more broadly.Arguing makes us tighten up and see less well.And it can be frightening too though some cultures find it more acceptable than others.

Here are some relevant blogs and articles

This author had a lot to say about perception… http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-marion-milner-1163951.html   http://susannanelson.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/happy-go-lucky/

http://glimpsejournal.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/the-real-bees-knees-stunning-micro-view-of-the-workers-behind-your-mothers-day-flowers/

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Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – a survival strategy

Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – a survival strategy.

A very good post and person.Do read it as it is  heartening

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Politics and fairness

Politics and fairness.

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Protected: I have discovered Jonathan Lear

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Levinas,books etc

free_animal_angels_screensaver-131729-3

I have received several books now written by or about Levinas.As you guess,they are quite hard so my time is taken up reading.The most hopeful one,The          Cambridge Guide,is not here yet.but I think it will be more understandable than the others to an ignorant person like myself. I am unsure what I’ve done but this  is coming out very much to one side so I shall just say.Hello and continue with my studies.I like this shy lion picture.

PS.Just got the Cambridge Guide and it looks quite approachable.

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Levinas

BionSexual healingvivian-gornick_0hannaarendtsudomenica16ye8TillichMargaretDrabbleBW75wittgensteinMunch-studio-Getty95002154I have got another book by Levinas.I am planning to spend a few days reading and meditating…so i should have much to write about next week.I am very affected by the notion of the meaning of how encounter another and how ethics is the primary essence of philosphy

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