Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Today again began with a lecture on the philosophy or law – or Jurisprudence – except this time it was by John Finnis. I thought it was weird, last term, having someone else try to explain his natural law views, rather than him come in himself. I guess he doesn’t waste much time with undergraduates, but these lectures are presumably aimed at those taking Finals in 4 weeks’ time.

After that, I had a few free hours to do some reading over material for the afternoon’s classes, and also email my supervisor the 18,000 words I wrote last week - putting the ball in his court at the start of term - before attending the Public Policy Unit’s Political Economy lunchtime seminar on Issue Preferences and Measurement Error. It was quite different from what I expected (based on Michaelmas term). There were only five in the audience, and I didn’t recognise any of the others – they seemed to be economists. Thankfully lunch was provided, but after peering suspiciously at several sandwiches, I only got cheese ones. Not very healthy. Also the paper-giver over-ran in that horrible ‘just one more quick point’ way, that in the end resulted in me getting up and leaving at 2:05.

The reason was I had to be at Oriel for David Charles’ seminar on Nicomachean Ethics. Him being a leading figure in Aristotle scholarship, that should be quite good, although I think we got his main ideas in his lectures in Michaelmas. Still, the Nicomachean Ethics is now another core philosophy paper for PPE undergraduates, so it would be a good one to add to my teaching repertoire. Thankfully the class finished just before 4, so I just had time to pop into the Tutorial Office in college and pick up a new Bod card to replace my broken one.

I spent a while reading the papers in the GCR, and grabbed a spot to eat, before attending Jonas Olson’s class on Recent Work in Reasons and Values. I’m still not sure what I think of Scanlon’s ‘buck-passing account’. It may be pretty close to what I think, but explained in different ways, or completely different Hopefully we’ll see as term goes on.

The problem with 5-7 seminars is missing first hall in college. I hadn’t opted for formal, so ended up getting a Hassans to watch in front of the Villarreal vs. Arsenal Champions League semi-final. (Well done to Arsenal, though Gilberto should’ve been sent off for kicking out in the first half…) A wine and cheese/chocolate night had been planned in the GCR, but after several of us emerged at half-time before promptly returning to the bunker to watch football, the others joined us there. Watching football with a glass of red wine, and Brie in a baguette is a surreal experience, but then, I guess it was a European match (and Arsenal are a French club…)

Afterwards, we went and played some doubles pool. Becca and I beat Emily and Chris 2-1 and Claire and Georgie 1-0. The one we lost was where Becca potted the black – though she’d already potted most of our reds and actually been playing really well (I’d just said something about her winning single-handedly, before she lost it single-handedly). Over the other frames, I played some pretty good pool too though – once potting three in a row off Chris’ break, and also getting to sink all our winning blacks (thereby making me look a bit better)

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