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The Next Ragged University Events:

Edinburgh: 10th Oct 2015; Ragged Uni talk: Daddy’s Daughters and Sons; Perspectives on Male Factor Infertility Treatments and Trends by Dr Ruby Raheem

Manchester: 15th October at The Castle Hotel; Ragged University: ‘Thermodynamics’ plus ‘Non-Judgemental Language’

Edinburgh: 25th October; Come along to Serenity Cafe at 6pm: Film (The New Economy: It’s Happening Now, Where We Live) and Curry Night

Edinburgh: 29th October; Come along to the Blind Poet; ‘Adam Smith and the Human Condition’ plus ‘Ghengis Khan and the Mongolian Empire’


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Rationality, Religion and Modernity Part B: A Social and Environmental Philosophy by Kenneth Wilson

I now turn to a detailed discussion of the alleged legacy of the middle ages in the context of the work of Hans Blumenberg. Blumenberg begins his monograph The Legitimacy of the Modern Age with a discussion of the meaning of secularisation. Blumenberg is interested in the status of the modern age. This obviously leads to a contrast with pre-modern ages, in this case the Christianity of the middle ages.

When one contrasts the middle ages with the modern era it seems clear that our world has undergone a process of secularisation, which Blumenberg points out is incomplete, and that this is a condition of our being able to discuss it at all.[7] In other words, if the process of secularisation had been completed, then perhaps it would not be on the horizon of thought.

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The Holding Space by Julia Macintosh

Like most people, you are not able to face more than one fear during your lifetime. You also spend your life fleeing from your first fear towards your first hope. Be careful that you do not, through your own wiliness, end up always in the same position in which you began. (Jane Bowles)

I was invited by Alex to share my personal account of mental illness, and was reminded of this by Joel White’s moving reflections about his experience of breakdown and its transformative impact on his life. Well here’s the thing: I’ve already recounted the ins and outs of my own experience of breakdown, on my personal blog. My posts there record the evolution of my reflections over the past few years, as I headed into crisis and emerged from it into recovery and renewal, into the present. So I’m not going to dig too deeply into that – though please bear with me here, because I’m going to try to use it as a springboard to something else. Read more

A Century after the Suffragettes

Being aware that it was a century ago that the suffragette movement stood to be counted in the United Kingdom, I felt it was important to try and commemorate this. In many ways the work they started, most famously personified by Emmeline Pankhurst, is still on it’s ascendency. What gender differences exist still within and outwith the home, workplace and institution ?  Here is a quote from Elizabeth Fulhame (fl. 1780 to 1794).  She was a chemist working on significant problems and the formulation of a science developing out of less rigorous traditions…

“It may appear presuming to some, that I should engage in pursuits of this nature, but averse from indolence, and having much leisure, my mind led me to this mode of amusement, which I found entertaining and will, I hope, be though inoffensive by the liberal and the learned.  But censure is perhaps inevitable, for some are so ignorant, that they grow sullen and silent, and are chilled with horror at the sight of anything, that bears the semblance of learning, in whatever shape it may appear; and should the spectre appear in the shape of a woman, the pangs, which they suffer are truly dismal.”

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