This category contains 18 posts

Middle Way Philosophy 3: The Integration of Meaning – now out

The third volume of the ‘Middle Way Philosophy’ series is now available. This volume builds on the embodied meaning thesis of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson and includes an explanation of this revolutionary approach to meaning, uniting cognitive and emotive meaning (e.g. dictionary meaning and ‘meaning of life’). It also makes extensive use of Jung’s … Continue reading

A tale of two metaphors

All our thinking depends on metaphors. The work of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson explains the way in which we build our cognitive models on a particular metaphor, which is mapped onto a physical experience schematised into our neural connections. For example, the picture here illustrates an old Platonic cognitive model for the mind or … Continue reading

The Middle Way to Anarchy

Recently I’ve been writing educational materials on anarchism, which has made me think again about this raft of ideological approaches. It is possible to make all kinds of claims for anarchism, depending on how one defines or understands it: for example, either that it is a threat to a peaceful society, or the reverse that … Continue reading

Better Angels

A review of ‘The Better Angels of our Nature’ by Steven Pinker – Amazon link The facts seem clear. Our lives are enormously safer than they used to be. Compared to prehistoric or medieval times the violence in modern society is a tiny proportion, and even in the past generation the overall violence created by both war and crime continues … Continue reading


But hark to the suspiration, the uninterrupted news that grows out of silence. (Rainer Maria Rilke: Duino Elegy 1) I have just been thinking about the role of silence, after reading a review of a new book by Diarmid McCulloch on Silence in Christianity. There are two types of silence: the absence of communication and … Continue reading

Quiet up!

I’ve just finished reading Susan Cain’s book Quiet, which is deservedly popular,  personally engaging, and full of interesting links to Middle Way Philosophy. It is a book about introversion which points out the way that Western (especially American) culture is especially dominated by extroversion. It also points out the value of introverted traits, and the ways that … Continue reading

Now published: The Integration of Desire

The second volume of the Middle Way Philosophy series, The Integration of Desire, is now published. Click here for more details and to purchase. An ebook will also be available soon. Also see my previous blog post on this book. We like to think of ourselves as single selves, but when we examine our experience, it … Continue reading

McGilchrist revisited

It’s now a little over a year since I first read ‘The Master and his Emissary’ by Iain McGilchrist. My estimation of its importance has continued to grow during that time. When I first read it I wrote a detailed review, incorporated aspects of it into my own thinking and writing, contacted the author and had the … Continue reading

The New Chinese Room

I have just returned from a writing retreat in Ireland in which I was thinking long and hard about meaning, working on the first half of volume 3 of my ‘Middle Way Philosophy’ series. A lot of what I was doing involved synthesising various sources: the linguistic philosophy of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Jung’s … Continue reading

Another massacre of the innocents

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. So says the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, passed in 1791. Once again this right is in many people’s minds both in the US and … Continue reading