The Birth of Tragedy

I read The Birth Of Tragedy By Friedrich Nietzsche as part of the preparation for the Greek Theatre night course in Southampton University. The course has been postponed due to a shortage of students, so I am wondering whether it was worth it. I suppose its my first exposure to aesthetics in Philosophy.

The Birth of Tragedy tells us we should follow the example of the ancient Greeks and have a good mix of the Dionysian and Appollonian (the passionate and logical in us) and poses the theory that the culture went down hill when the Greeks exalted the rational traits of Philosophy too much (aka they listed to Socrates too much). Its is all a bit too overly romanticised and idyllic for my liking. Its a good job the book is quite short! Nietzsche is particularly pithy and I can see how he could be misunderstood. I found him more tiresome and he could have been more brief!

PEL have a good discussion of it on

Grey Matter : My Philosophy Learning Blog

Thoughts, Background and New Beginnings

I hit 50 this year, and with that, have decided to learn something new and keep my body and mind in good order. I do not want to get old before my time. There is enough time for that in itself, even on our best behaviour. I have lost nearly three stone with Weight Watchers since January and am seeking to exercise my mind outside of work. I work in IT and am interested in it, but there has to be life outside of work. Hence the title Grey Matter. I am not naturally bright, and need to work at it.

In 1999 and 2000 I did the first two modules of an Open University B.A. in the Arts and Humanities. I was going to start my third when life took an unexpected change and I decided to take a busmans holiday to Australia. I met my wife there, came back to the UK for a few years, then went back to Australia until 2015 when we came back to Ireland and then the UK. The OU does not extend its courses to Oz, but I Iiked doing them, so I made enquiries about doing some new ones when I got back. It turns out that the UK government tripled the university tuition fees when I was away and now an OU 60 point module will be nearly 3000 GBP, which is a disgrace.

In looking for alternatives I hit upon the University of London International program. This does not offer tuition, but seems to be a lot cheaper. Cheaper still is the Pathways to Philosophy Program, led by Geoffrey Klempner.  As is recommended on his website I have kept a philosophy diary, however on paper, which I do not update enough. As a result I am going to try a blog on my progress instead.



Procrastination in essay writing

I have to complete my fourth essay in the Pathways course The Possible World Machine. The essay is called

“What Is Perception ? Explain The Role Of Perception In An Account Of The Nature and Limits Of Human Knowledge”

I did the first draft a few weeks ago, but seem to not be getting the time to finish it. The library near me is only open til 6, which never gives me enough time and then if I am busy on the weekend, that’s it for another week.In Portsmouth I could get access to the university library for 50 pounds a year,and that’s open 24 7. When I get home after work I never seem to have the energy, so it may come to that.