Long-form essay
Blogs and journaLism
Why I’m not giving up on my ego

This spring, I finally got round to reading Derek Parfit’s famous work, Reasons and Persons. Published in 1984, the book is often cited as a key inspiration for subsequent developments in moral philosophy, notably the field of population ethics and the Effective Altruism movement. (Both of which, incidentally, are closely associated with Oxford University, the institution … Continue reading Why I’m not giving up on my ego

Protest and the pressures of lockdown

Was the lockdown the catalyst for the riots sweeping the United States during the past few days? The question will never be definitively answered, but it is difficult to believe that the psychological tension and economic hardships of shutting down society have not contributed to the unrest. Race relations in the US have long been … Continue reading Protest and the pressures of lockdown

This is not the solidarity you were longing for

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about Britain’s longing to rediscover a tangible national identity. The peoples of this island, it was often suggested, missed a sense of solidarity, security and belonging. Both sides in the acrimonious Brexit struggle, or at least elements on both sides, agreed that this deficit had … Continue reading This is not the solidarity you were longing for

Ancient liberties, novel dangers

Until very recently, the British political landscape was drearily familiar: each new argument about Brexit, the dangers of populism, or the excesses of cultural liberalism seemed identical to the last. It has taken an act of nature to force us out of that rut, but here we are. Thanks to the Covid-19 outbreak, the nation not only … Continue reading Ancient liberties, novel dangers