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Murasaki53 "Murasaki53" (London)

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Hannah Arendt [DVD] [2012]
Hannah Arendt [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Barbara Sukowa
Price: £9.50

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This release Is unsuitable for anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing, 8 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Hannah Arendt [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Just thought that I would post this review for anyone with hearing loss. The movie is partly in English and partly in German. The sections in German are subtitled but not the sequences in English. Unfortunately, Barbara Sukowa's English accent is especially strong, so I could only partly understand what she was saying and had to give up after 10 minutes. This is a pity as what I saw of the movie was superb. Shame on Soda Pictures for not including optional subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. Fortunately, The US Region 1 release does have them, but you will need to import a copy and own a multi-region DVD player to view it.


The Philosophy Foundation: The Philosophy Shop- Ideas, activites and questions to get people, young and old, thinking philosophically
The Philosophy Foundation: The Philosophy Shop- Ideas, activites and questions to get people, young and old, thinking philosophically
by David Birch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.62

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best teaching resources I have read, 28 Oct. 2012
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As a teacher of Religious Studies and Philosophy at secondary school level, I am constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to get my students to think for themselves, especially as so many of the existing textbooks for GCSE and AS/A2 Religious Studies are ponderously written and unimaginative. This particular publication is therefore something of a treasure trove, as the various contributors simply geyser original thought experiments, stories, poems and questions onto the page, ideas that cannot fail to engage the pupils who are fortunate enough to encounter them. I have only just finished the book, but even after a cursory browse of the contents when it first arrived through the post, I couldn't then resist spending the next hour or so re-working one of the stories ('Louis' Goodness Detector') for a Year 13 introductory lesson on the difficult topic of meta-ethics, which worked brilliantly when I taught it the next day. The actual story itself was aimed at pupils aged 10 or over, but my class of 17 and 18 year olds - who are not easy to impress - derived just as much enjoyment from it and were still fully stretched in the way that gifted and talented students need to be, because they sensed so many of the possibilities that were inherent in the accompanying stimulus questions. More recently, Andy West's contribution ('Bat Girl') proved to be so successful with a Year 12 class who were being introduced to the topic of animal rights, that I was left wondering whether the author might be related to the actor Adam West. Additionally, I have made several pages of notes on how to integrate many of the other 'Thoughtings' into my existing schemes of work. In closing, I should also point out that the sheer adapability of so much of the content of this inspiring collaboration would undoubtedly make it useful for teachers of Philosophy and Religious Studies in higher education, and I can well imagine many an undergraduate seminar being enlivened by the adoption of the approach taken to the teaching of these subjects, which is usefully set out in the introduction to the book. All in all then, this is a quite superb and much needed contribution to the territory of philosophical education, and I applaud Peter Worley and his associates for putting together such a stimulating and invaluable resource.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2013 3:16 PM BST


You Kant Make it Up!: Strange Ideas from History's Great Philosophers
You Kant Make it Up!: Strange Ideas from History's Great Philosophers
by Gary Hayden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better pop philosophy books around, 12 Nov. 2011
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This book is a rather late addition to the ever expanding genre of 'popular philosophy' and for this reason is possibly in danger of being overshadowed by the efforts of more prominent and established authors like Stephen Law, Julian Baggini, Mark Rowlands and Gary Cox. But this would be a pity as although he isn't breaking any new ground here, Hayden is arguably the best writer of the lot. Somehow, within these pages, he pulls off the considerable feat of presenting the ideas of the great Western (and occasionally Eastern) philosophers in a style which is crisp, concise, clear, and highly entertaining. The only other writer in this field who has achieved such a feat of clarity - an art in itself - is Nigel Warburton in his brilliantly accessible ' A Little History of Philosophy'.I think it is also fair to say that in most cases Hayden manages to do so without diluting too much of the profundity of what was being argued. I have therefore posted this review in the hope that it will reassure potential buyers that 'You Kant Make It Up' is as worthy of a place on your bookshelf as other recent publications by Baggini and Law.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2012 6:31 AM BST


Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole
Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole
by Stephen Law
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful for 'A' Level Religious Studies teaching, 23 July 2011
As a sceptically inclined teacher of Religious Studies, I was very pleased to discover this book. It actually covers a good deal of the content of the Philosophy of Religion syllabuses presently offered by examination boards in the UK and does so in a very clear and often amusing manner. Special highlights are the extensive treatment of the evidential problem of evil and the critique Law offers of creationism. I'm not sure that this is widely known but Religious Studies 'A' Level offers one of the best opportunities to encounter the thinking and writing of prominent atheists such as Bertrand Russell, A.J. Ayer and Richard Dawkins. Personally, I wouldn't be overly concerned if Religious Studies morphed into Philosophy at secondary level as there is emerging evidence that engaging with philosophical ideas from an early age boosts longer term attainment levels (as Law himself has noted in another excellent book of his - The War For Children's Minds). But in the meantime, those sceptics who would like to see Religious Studies disappear from the secondary curriculum and are, perhaps,celebrating its omission from Michael Gove's EBacc possibly need to realise that the philosophical element in this subject is something vital that surely needs to be both retained and promoted. Returning to the book itself, many (not all) of the current recommended textbooks offered by the OCR Board on the Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics are ponderously written and uninspiring. Law's book is therefore to be welcomed as a corrective to much of this stodgy fare. Indeed, Law seems to have positioned himself as the 'Anti-Vardy' in this territory (and if readers of this review are baffled by this term they just need to find out more about one of Law's colleagues at Heythrop). In closing, I would just like to add that my only reservation about the book is its treatment of ineffability, delightfully encapsulated in Law's phrase 'Effing the Ineffable'. The octagenarian philosopher Bryan Magee has recently had something to say about the difficulties of communicating the transcendental in a brief and superb article that can be freely accessed and read online by typing in his name along with the title: 'Intimations of Mortality'. For those who don't know him, Bryan Magee's 'Confessions of a Philosopher' is one of the greatest autobiographies written by one. He is not a religious believer but offers a different perspective from Law on the significance of ineffability and it would be great to see a revival of interest in Magee's writing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2013 1:46 PM BST


The Great Philosophers: The Lives and Ideas of History's Greatest Thinkers
The Great Philosophers: The Lives and Ideas of History's Greatest Thinkers
by Stephen Law
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful for 'A' Level students/General Reader, 10 April 2010
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I agree with the previous reviewer about the lack of depth in this textbook. But Stephen Law is a very clear writer and his accessible and imaginative style makes the book very useful for A/S and A2 students of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Religion. It is the kind of introductory work that will hopefully inspire students at this level (and the general reader) to go on to explore the ideas of the philosophers mentioned in more detail. It can also be enjoyed for its own sake. And so - all in all - I would certainly recommend it (though the full price of the hardback edition does make it an expensive acquisition and so I would opt for a cheaper used or new copy off this website).


Philosophy of Religion for A2 Level
Philosophy of Religion for A2 Level
by Hugh N. Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.94

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly idiosyncratic textbook that probably should be avoided, 3 April 2010
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TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT ENCOUNTER THIS REVIEW: ONE OF THE AUTHORS OF THE BOOK HAS RESPONDED SO THOUGHTFULLY TO THE CRITICISMS I ORIGINALLY MADE OF IT THAT I HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO ALTER MY RATING TO A MORE POSITIVE ONE. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO APOLOGISE TO MR WILKINSON FOR THE RATHER MEAN-SPIRITED TONE OF THE COMMENTS BELOW. MY CONCERNS ORIGINALLY AROSE BECAUSE OF WHAT I BEGAN TO UNCOVER WHEN I STARTED TO READ AROUND THE TOPICS A LITTLE, AS WHAT I FOUND IN THE SECONDARY (AND OCCASIONALLY PRIMARY LITERATURE) SEEMED MUCH AT VARIANCE WITH POINTS THE AUTHORS WERE EMPHASISING, WHICH IN TURN GAVE ME CAUSE TO DOUBT THEM. HAVING READ THROUGH MR WILKINSON'S VERY DETAILED RESPONSE, I NOW FEEL COMPLETELY REASSURED. IN FACT, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO DELETE THIS REVIEW ENTIRELY, WERE IT NOT FOR THE FACT THAT MR WILKINSON SEEMED SO COMMITTED IN HIS REPLY TO SEEKING CLARITY ABOUT THE ISSUES DISCUSSED (RATHER THAN MERELY ENGAGING IN THE KIND OF POINT-SCORING A PHILOSOPHICAL QUARREL OFTEN CAN DESCEND INTO), THAT PERHAPS OUR EXCHANGE SHOULD BE PRESERVED. IN FACT, I HAVE RECENTLY PURCHASED SEVERAL COPIES OF THIS BOOK (AND THE EQUIVALENT A/S TITLE) AND THESE ARE CURRENTLY BEING PUT TO GOOD USE BY OUR A/S AND A2 STUDENTS. IT ONLY REMAINS FOR ME TO APOLOGISE A SECOND TIME FOR NOT AMENDING THIS REVIEW MORE PROMPTLY. I'M SO BUSY THAT I HAVE HAD TO WAIT UNTIL HALF-TERM TO DO SO.

Right at the beginning of this book, these authors make a big song and dance about 4 'myths' that their book is trying to 'correct'. First of all, they dispute the claim that 'falsification is about meaning'. Well, this may be true for Karl Popper but is it for Antony Flew (who is central to the A2 syllabus on this very issue)?
Here is a little quotation from 'Theology and Falsification':
"..to know the meaning of the negation of an assertion, is near as makes no matter, to know the meaning of that assertion. And if there is nothing which a putative assertion denies then there is nothing which it asserts either; and so it is not really an assertion. When the Sceptic in the parable [John Wisdom's well-known Parable of the Gardener] asked the Believer, "just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even from no gardener at all?" he was suggesting that the Believer's earlier statement had been so eroded by qualification that it was no longer an assertion at all.' To me, this sounds like Flew is very much concerned to associate falsification with meaning.
Secondly, the authors are concerned to dispel 'the notion that Gilbert Ryle was a materialist'. Ryle is said to have disliked `...isms'. But then some people deny all sorts of things about themselves that are nonetheless true. Can this be said of Ryle? Here's an extract from the entry for Ryle in Honderich's Oxford Guide to Philosophy (authored by Geoffrey Warnock):
`There constantly obtrudes [in The Concept of Mind]...a more extreme ontological thesis, that, contrary to what ordinary ways of speaking suggest, there really are only physical objects and physical happenings, and that all talk `about' minds is really no more than a certain way of talking about bodies. Ryle often denied, and critics often asserted, that his books preached behaviourism. The fact is that it both did and it did not, in different passages.'
Next, Wilkinson and Campbell turn their attention to 'the curious accusation that D.Z. Phillips and Gareth Moore are or were anti-realists'.
I raised the issue of D.Z. Phillips with one of the foremost authorities on Wittgenstein's impact on the Philosophy of Religion. Here is an extract from his reply: 'This issue is complex, since DZP always rejected the "anti-realist" label, seeing the realism/anti-realism debate as completely fruitless and an example of language idling.However, given the terms of that debate, if one is going to have to place DZP somewhere, he would have to go in the anti-realist camp.'
Finally, the authors take issue with the way in which John Hick's notion of eschatological verification has been understood in certain quarters. Here, thankfully, they seem to be making a fair point. But by now the reader could be forgiven for having serious reservations about this textbook.
It is also possibly significant that Wilkinson and Campbell take pot shots at other authors elsewhere in a somewhat high-handed manner. For example, they claim that Sarah Tyler and Gordon Reid's books should be 'avoided' as 'they contain major errors of philosophical understanding'.
I am unable to make a judgement call in this instance as I am unfamiliar with the writing of Tyler and Reid. However, I will leave it to others to assess whether this claim of Wilkinson and Campbell seems more applicable to their own publications. In choosing a suitable OCR textbook I would therefore go with Libby Ahluwalia's less skewed contribution.
One final concern: if the issues I have mentioned above are particular hobby horses of Wilkinson and Campbell (and they certainly seem to be) then it also seems reasonable to worry a little about the fate of examination candidates who depart from the party line in their scripts.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 20, 2012 2:45 PM BST


Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007]
Love Exposure (2 discs) [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Takahiro Nishijima
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £6.98

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up there with Kurosawa, Ozu, Naruse et. al., 21 Feb. 2010
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I normally only watch films by classic Japanese directors and don't bother with much modern Japanese cinema because it is simply flash, gory or shallow. But while this movie begins in a similar fashion, about two hours in it changes gears and becomes emotionally affecting. Yes it dwells on perversions and is as violent as Kill Bill in places but eventually it dawns on an open-minded viewer that there is a humanistic and strangely Zen-like message in its anti-utopian, iconoclastic approach to the strictures of Japanese society, family life and institutional religion. And its celebration of dysfunctionality only helps to emphasise this point. In summary, I profoundly disagree with the negative reviews posted on here. This is one of the few modern films that has the profundity and depth (though quite deliberately none of the subtlety) of Ozu, Naruse, Mizoguchi,Kurosawa,Yamanaka, Shimizu and other great Japanese auteurs of the past.


Jewels
Jewels

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars US Release information, 4 Aug. 2008
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This review is from: Jewels (Audio CD)
This isn't a review. I'm just passing on information. Although the US release of 'Jewels' is much cheaper than the European release it's identical in terms of the elaborate packaging. So if you want to save a few quid order the US version.


From the Vaults Vol.1: Live in Retford '79
From the Vaults Vol.1: Live in Retford '79
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £8.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked classic, 24 Oct. 2006
The record label who issued this CD (Voiceprint) have rightly been castigated by Fall fans for not improving the sound quality of this and the other 'Live From The Vaults' releases and for retailing them at full price. However, this live performance is ferocious - the poor sound notwithstanding - and deserves more attention than it has received. In particular, the version of 'No Xmas For John Quays' is unhinged, a wonderful climax to a set that frenziedly builds up the tension throughout. At the moment, I prefer this to the more highly regarded live releases 'In A Hole' and the difficult to find Reykjavik CD.


The Atrocity Exhibition [DVD]
The Atrocity Exhibition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Victor Slezak

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for Ballard's Own Contribution, 15 Aug. 2006
What the previous reviewer has overlooked is a quite extraordinary commentary on the film by JG Ballard that is one of this Disc's extras and highlights. Throughout the 80 minutes that this commentary goes on for Ballard throws out a stream of ideas and comments on Modernity that help to illuminate both the original book and the movie. Atrocity Exhibition is, obviously, both avant-garde and, to a degree, impenetrable, but Ballard functions like the most well-informed Tour Guide you could imagine and makes the whole thing accessible. It also has to be said that Jonathan Weiss does his bit to get the most out of Ballard too, so much so that by the end I was also inclined to view the film itself more generously. If you are contemplating a purchase, be reassured that listening to Ballard speak alongside Weiss's imagery might be the best way to experience this DVD. Either way, I would thoroughly recommend it as a wonderful companion to the novel. Even if you have the annotated version be aware that Ballard's contribution here is also very different from his asides in that edition.


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