The drive to Art

We drove from Kalgoorlie to Lake Ballard in search of Anthony Gormley’s sculptures. This is an account of the trip itself and it asks what is it that drives us to art? Kalgoorlie is a mining town, actually it is an out back town 7 hours by train from Perth, the nearest metropolis. It is…

Humean self

In A Treatise of Human Nature, Hume (1711-1776) said ‘When I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade…I never catch myself at anytime without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception. When my perceptions are…

Travelling and the Other

My theme is travel. Travel, travelling, making a journey is often a metaphor for the journey of life. The great narratives, Homer’s Odyssey & Virgil’s Aeneid are both about journeys. In the Odyssey, Ulysses returns to Ithaca after the Trojan War & it takes 30 years to do so. His trials and his successes are…

Leks, mungs, and communal sexual displays

Communal sexual displays are colourful, dramatic and spectacular. These displays occur in a lek or arena and in the true leks of birds, for example in the sage grouse, each lek contains a mating centre and up to 400 male birds congregate in the lek visited by a comparable number of females for short periods…

Funes the Memorious

In ‘Funes the Memorious’ Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) wrote about Ireneo Funes whose memory was prodigious. Funes had been 'chronometrical', (that is he was able to know the exact time without the aid of a clock) before an accident  in which he was thrown by a half-tamed horse and paralysed. After the accident he became…

Hebden Water

    This image shows Hebden Water as it flows downhill to Hebden Bridge past Midge Hole. The blue sky and the rim of the valley seen through the interlacing branches of the woodland capture this serene scene within the picture frame. It is remarkable that this scene appears to us as outside of us,…

Karl Jaspers

 It is the centenary of Karl Jaspers’ General Psychopathology (Allgemeine Psychopathologie)this year.  Jaspers (1883-1969) was only 30 years old when this influential text was published. Yet, the book has endured and is still in publication.  So, what is it about this book, a textbook of descriptive psychopathology that continues to make it relevant to contemporary…