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Michael Wilkinson (Hove, East Sussex United Kingdom)

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Gillette Fusion Proglide Sensitive 2-in-1 Alpine Clean Shaving Gel - 170 ml
Gillette Fusion Proglide Sensitive 2-in-1 Alpine Clean Shaving Gel - 170 ml
Price: £2.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Leaky canister, 22 July 2015
The gel itself is very good, but the stuff leaks all day from under the plastic top. Design is very poor. I have tried two cans so far and each has had the same problem. The blue stuff is hard to get off the bathroom cabinet.


The Verdict
The Verdict
Price: £4.49

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many errors spoil a story with great potential, 1 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Verdict (Kindle Edition)
There were interesting parts but the plot meandered inconsequentially in places and there were just too many errors of fact. Others have noted mistakes such as ignorance of English court procedure. American witnesses may 'take the stand' rather than go into the witness box, but this book even falls into the elementary error of having the judge underline a ruling by banging his gavel. British judges do not use gavels - they simply use their verbal authority. To think of the European Court of Human Rights as an EU institution is a fundamental error.

It is also a pity that neither the author nor his editor corrected fundamental errors of English usage, for example, 'X was stood in...', or 'X was sat ...'
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 22, 2014 8:08 PM BST


Magnificat: 500 Years of Choral Masterworks
Magnificat: 500 Years of Choral Masterworks
Price: £70.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb collection, 3 Feb. 2014
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These are some of the finest recordings from Universal back catalogues covering a range of special recorrdings. There is much from John Eliot Gardiner, including the Monteverdi Vespers. Transfers are clean and the overall value exceptional.


Seelöwe Nord
Seelöwe Nord
Price: £2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story let down by errors and poor English., 13 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Seelöwe Nord (Kindle Edition)
This is a very good story, but reading it was hard work because of the repeated errors of English. A good editor was needed to do something about the poor punctuation, especially in direct speech, and the author's anachronistic use of language. In 1940, nobody used many of the terms found here - 'train station', 'hopefully' being some examples - and people like Churchill and Alan Brooke speak in the military jargon of the last 20 years, not as the careful users of language they were. The errors were so frequent and so irritating that they detracted from the enjoyment to be gained from the story - a real shame.


Philosophy of Religion for A2 Level
Philosophy of Religion for A2 Level
by Hugh N. Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.67

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Reading the Original Texts, 13 Aug. 2012
You may ignore the star rating but Murasaki's comments deserve a reply. I would say firstly that Murasaki does not engage with my arguments as given in the text for the views I hold, and misleadingly gives the impression that the entire book is about those issues.

In response to all points, my account of the views of authors is based entirely on their own statements. It has been my experience that authors' own statements are pretty good prima facie evidence of what they believe.

I think part of Murasaki's problem is to assume that if someone is not easily placed in this category, then he must be in some opposite one, which is a bit like saying that if someone is not a Rangers supporter then he must support Celtic - there are other options.

1. On the Falsification debate, Murasaki is guilty of selective quotation. I invite a second look at the grammar of the Falsification debate. Nowhere does Flew assert that believers do not permit their beliefs to be falsified: he says that it often seems to people who are not religious as if there were no occurrence that would count as a disproof of the existence of God. Note the 'often' is not 'always'. But the important grammatical point is that Flew goes on to ask a question: "I therefore put to the succeeding symposiasts the simple central questions,'What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you a disproof of the love of, or of the existence of, God?'". The point is that this is a question rather than any statement of a view. As we know, Hare ducks the challenge with his unconvincing notion of bliks (roundly criticised by Flew, Mitchell, and - later - by Hick), while Mitchell attempts to rise to it, asserting that Flew has mis-stated the believer's case and saying that it would be a failure of faith as well as of logic to deny the evidence against the existence of God.

It is also worth noting that throughout his career Flew was careful to point out that falsification was the demarcation between the scientific and non-scientific, not between the meaningful and the meaningless. There is important evidence in the editor's preface to 'New Essays in Philosophical Theology', in which the University debate was famously anthologised. The editors of this were Flew himself and MacIntyre. On page ix of the first edition they say: 'It should be sufficient here to repudiate the popular misconception that 'all the philosophers are Logical Positivists nowadays': and to ask that this volume be judged on its arguments, and not be forced into some preconceived matrix of misunderstanding. The second thing which the contributors share is a concern with theological questions, and a conviction that these call for serious and particular treatment. (Whereas the Logical Positivists used to reject all theology holus-bolus as so much meaningless metaphysics.)' Notice how Flew distances himself from a concern with whether something is meaningful. It is worth also noting that the questions Flew asks in the debate would themselves be meaningless on Logical Positivist principles.

2. On Ryle, Ryle rejects false 'either/or' categories. The conclusion he draws, after his examples of the university, the division, and team spirit is: 'First, the hallowed contrast between Mind and Matter will be dissipated, but dissipated not be either of the equally hallowed absorptions of Mind by Matter or of Matter by Mind, but in quite a different way.... The belief that there is a polar opposition between Mind and Matter is the belief that they are terms of the same logical type. It will follow that both Idealism and Materialism are answers to an improper question. The 'reduction' of the material world to mental states and processes, as well as the 'reduction' of mental states and process, presupposes the legitimacy of the disjunction "either there exist minds or there exist bodies (but not both)'. I cannot see how we can therefore assume that Ryle was a materialist. He does in Chapter XI of 'The Concept of Mind' suggest that his view might be stigmatised as maaterialist but is careful to point out that his approach is philosophical, not the reductionism of scientific materialism. He is an analytical philosopher, examining the use of concepts - he is not advancing an ontological position and cannot be equated with the crude reductionism of a Skinner.

3. Despite Phillips' clear statements that notions such as 'realism' and 'non-realism' were conceptually confused terms, Murasaki insists that he was really a non-realist, whatever he might have said. Again, this is to assume that someone is necessarily in category b if not clearly in category a. As well as to Phillips' own statement, 'Theological non-realism is as empty as theological realism. Both terms are battle-cries in a confused philosophical and theological debate.' (Wittgenstein and Religion, p.62), I would suggest Murasaki look at Bloemendaal's 'Grammar of Faith: A Critical Evaluation of D. Z. Phillips's Philosophy of Religion', especially pp 358 - 359 and Mikel Burley's forthcoming: 'Contemplating Religious Forms of Life: Wittgenstein and D.Z. Phillips' which describes his position as beyond realism and non-realism. That seems to me about right. Again, it is not a matter of 'either/or'.

4. Murasaki concedes my point on Hick. This seems grudging since it is Hick's own point, made whenever he wrote about eschatological verification, and missed by too many. It is an essential qualification.

Overall I am baffled by Murasaki's method. I cannot argue with an unnamed Wittgensteinian, but I think I can justify my statements as based on close textual reading. The desperate need to attempt to do philosophy by assigning people to categories - apparently forcing them in despite their own protestations - is too often an excuse not to engage directly with what the philosophers themselves have written. It is not enough to learn just from a textbook without critical examination of the primary sources, and I hope our textbook encourages people to go beyond secondary description.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 30, 2012 7:31 AM GMT


The Nine Symphonies And Other Orchestral Works
The Nine Symphonies And Other Orchestral Works
Price: £16.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 8 July 2012
This is a superb set, despite any passing doubts about recording quality in the Sea Symphony or odd bits of phrasing elsewhere. For me the two highlights were the Pastoral, which is utterly beautiful (and I was privileged to hear Handley conduct it at the Cadogan, in his last London appearance), and the London Symphony. There is much to admire in Hickox' version of the original but I think the revision more organically coherent and, in this performance, deeply moving. These though are the highest peaks in a range of mountains. As well as the symphonies we have probably the finest of all recordings of 'Job', certainly one for my Desert Island.


String Quartets - Stenhammar Quartet
String Quartets - Stenhammar Quartet
Price: £20.94

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Music, 20 Sept. 2009
Lars-Erik Larsson's music is too little known in this country, with perhaps the exception of some of his string music. he was a significant figure in Swedish music, writing in a variety of styles. In his Twelve Concertinos (also strongly recommended) , as here, it is the lyrical which is to the fore. This music is a charming use of the quartet form, perhaps in British terms closest to the pastoral school of the first half of the twentieth century.Not, perhaps, essential listening, but one to which I will return many times. The playing is excellent, from a quartet to whom this style of music is natural.


Advanced Religious Studies
Advanced Religious Studies
by Sarah K. Tyler
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too many errors, 16 Feb. 2007
This book is very well presented and looks immediately attractive, but I warn my students not to use it, especially for Philosophy of Religion - the sections on this are full of significant errors. Misunderstandings from other textbooks are uncritically repeated, there is too little reliance on primary texts, and uncertain expression - perhaps reflective of the authors' own uncertainties - can lead to further misinterpretation. I cannot comment on other areas, but for philosophical material, stick to Brian Davies.


No Graves as Yet (World War One Novel 1)
No Graves as Yet (World War One Novel 1)
by Anne Perry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New and Subtle series, 5 May 2004
I thought this Anne Perry's best book for ages, with original perspectives on a complex and misunderstood period. Admittedly, a little of the story stretches credibility, there are a couple of tiny slips about cricket in the first two pages - but then there is no appearance of her awful court scenes, and fewer Americanisms than in recent books have crept into the language. What impresses is the moral depth with which she imbues the tale - there is a sense of the complexity of human life, and especially in reactions to death, but as they would have been understood in 1914. Most astonishing is the extraordinary grasp of the spirit of Hegelian Idealism which was central to British academic life at the time. She does not discuss the optimism in human progress, Hegel and his British disciples are not mentioned (a lesser writer would have worn the scholarship on the sleeve), but the characters are filled with that spirit and some of the complacency it engendered. It is one thing to capture the material detail of an earlier age, but so much greater, as here, when the spirit is caught on the wing. I look forward to the next episodes in this rich new enterprise.


Seven Dials
Seven Dials
by Anne Perry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best, 17 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Seven Dials (Paperback)
This book is an interesting mixture of Anne Perry at her best and worst. Her best lies in her ability to give reality to her characters - one cares so much about the maid, Gracie, and her so solid beau, Tellman, who are becoming characters as familiar as the Pitts and Aunt Vespasia. The sensitivity to social nuance and self-consciousness remains as striking as ever, and there is an interesting diversion when Pitt visits Egypt in search of clues - a journey undertaken both ways with remarkable celerity for the steamboat age. The different aspects of London's rich and poor are sketched with the customary deftness. Unfortunately, the plot offers scope for one of Perry's deadly courtroom denouements. These are always let down (whether by author or editor) with an unEnglish understanding of British courts. Witnesses take the stand, and do not go into the witness box, and legal behaviour is far closer to the contemporary American courts than anything in a Victorian court (here called US-style, 'courtroom'). Pitt even visits a corpse in the 'morgue' (sic.). Research needs as ever to be done on English usage - English people talk to people, not with them. These errors across so many books are a blemish in a writer of high talent. Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy.


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