Philosophical Investigations

It has been some time since I wanted to write this post about one of SPIRE’s graduates, who recently published a philosophy book at 77. A search on Amazon returns, apart from this book, two others: the 1975 Techniques and Public Administration: A Contextual Evaluation, published by Fontana, and the 1976, Victoria Park, Manchester: A Nineteenth-century Suburb in Its Social and Administrative Context, published by Manchester University Press.

Who is the author and what is the philosophy book just mentioned?

Maurice Spiers graduated from Keele in 1955 in Economics and Politics. He ran 100yds for English Universities and had his exams rearranged in dispensation in 1952. He then went on as a postgraduate to Manchester University. He was offered an academic job at Bradford University, where he taught until the 1980s.  He then took early retirement to run his own business and went back to academic endeavours with a new book: My Philosophical Investigations: A Personal Enquiry.

This is in short the author, but a more detailed presentation can be found in an article by Wyn Grant (Warwick University), which can be accessed here. (See p. 34.)

For a quick overview of the book, you can download the Chapter Headings, as well as Writers Mentioned mentioned in the book. The author has also kindly sent for our readers Chapter 15. The book was self-published in 2009 and can be bought on Amazon and Blackwell.

Reviews of the book or of parts of the book, as well as comments are most welcome!


New academic session


Leaf by Anna Cervova:


Our last two seminars in the Summer Research Series have been excellent. Professor John Horton presented a paper on “Self-censorship”, whereas Dr Dagmar Wilhelm talked about “Intuitions as Tacit Theories”. Papers generated a lost of interest and discussion continued in both cases in Le Cafe.

Unfortunately there was little time to make a post about these seminars in the way in which I did for the first three, but I paste here the abstract of Professor Horton’s paper:

This article seeks to explore the conceptual structure and moral standing of an idea that has received almost no attention from analytical philosophers: self-censorship. It is argued that at the heart of the concept is a tension between the thoughts of the self-censor as, on the one hand, the author, and on the other, the instrument, of the censorship. Which of these aspects is emphasised also importantly helps to shape how self-censorship is viewed normatively. Focusing on authorship tends to lead to seeing self-censorship as a voluntary act of self-restraint, while focusing on the self-censor as instrument presents it as one specific form of ordinary censorship. It is the tension between these two aspects that accounts for the moral ambivalence that can be felt towards the practice of self-censorship.

I encourage you to get in touch with the authors, if you would like to read these papers.

July and August proved to be extremely busy, but productive months: we continued to prepare the Royal Institute of Philosophy Invited Lectures, the Keele Forum for Philosophical Research Annual Lecture and a conference on the “Morality of Law: Kantian Perspectives”, for which registration opened a few days ago. For more information, visit the Forum for Philosophical Research website.