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About

This WordPress blog site is a showcase for the main Middle Way Philosophy site. You can read fuller details of all aspects of the philosophy there. On this site I am concentrating on inspiring interest in the philosophy through the blog, and also by providing accessible resources which link the philosophy to critical thinking or other areas of widespread interest. There is also now a Middle Way Society site, where you can join in exploration of the Middle Way with others, and I also have a tutorial site, where I offer web conference tuition in Middle Way Philosophy – and in philosophy in general.

Middle Way Philosophy – a brief introduction

Middle Way Philosophy applies what I see as the central insight of the Buddha (The Middle Way) in a Western context, drawing on many strands of Western philosophy and psychology. Apart from the Buddha, it is influenced particularly by figures such as Pyrrho, Aristotle, Hume, Mill,  Dewey, Jung, Lakoff, Lakatos, McGilchrist  and the Western Buddhist teacher Sangharakshita. None of these have been adopted uncritically, but all have provided partial inspiration.

It is a critical philosophy, which rejects fixed dualistic beliefs that can interfere with our engagement with conditions. These fixed dualistic beliefs tend to come in pairs, such as absolutism v relativism, theism v atheism, idealism v realism, facts v values, optimism v pessimism etc: I am determined to tread the difficult line of avoiding both positive and negative dogmatic beliefs in all these pairs, by adopting a thoroughgoing hard agnosticism. My avoidance of dualism leads me to reject many of the assumptions in mainstream Western philosophy and religion, whilst continuing to use a variety of traditions as a source of inspiration and meaning.

It is also a practical philosophy, which is intended to clear the ground for practical progress. Together with the central metaphor of the Middle Way, it uses the concept of integration, partly inspired by Jung, to explain the practical way in which we can gain greater objectivity and address all conditions better. The concepts of the Middle Way and integration together help to provide an understanding of how a range of practices can help us reach better judgements, in both factual and moral terms. I see practices such as critical thinking, philosophical discussion, meditation, reflection, friendship, compassion, the arts, and political activity as all contributing in important ways to integration at individual and social level.

Links to key pages on the Middle Way Philosophy site:

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