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Halcyon actively monitors change covering more than 150 key elements of life.

The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on Twitter at the beginning of 2023 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

A Mundane Comedy will be Dominic Kelleher's new book, published in early 2023. Extracts will appear on this site and on my social media accounts the final quarter of 2022. Please get in touch with any questions or thoughts.

Philosophy

On David Hume

David Hume

 

Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them - David Hume

 

When I was studying, inter alia, Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh many years ago, local boy made good David Hume was a name never far any philosophy professor or tutor's lips.

Aeon wrote movingly of Hume's life:

"While Hume was lying aged 65 on his deathbed at the end of a happy, successful and (for the times) long life, he told his doctor: ‘I am dying as fast as my enemies, if I have any, could wish, and as easily and cheerfully as my best friends could desire.’ Three days before he died, on 25 August 1776, probably of abdominal cancer, his doctor could still report that he was ‘quite free from anxiety, impatience, or low spirits, and passes his time very well with the assistance of amusing books’."

On Friedrich Nietzsche
Nietzsche
Halcyon In Kal… 23 January 2023

 

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star - Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Ah, Nietzsche. Always so fashionable, always so little understood and even so little read, although the young man I vaguely remember being enjoyed Beyond Good and Evilin which he argues that the good person is not the opposite of the evil person; good and evil, rather, are different expressions of the same nature, which bubble to the surface by complex and nuanced currents of potentiality and choice.

What's Changing? - Civility

Civility

 

Please see below selected recent civility-related change.

 

See also:

 

October 2022

  • A team of scientists called for urgent research into the nature and causes of civilisational collapse. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said discussion of collapse has been dominated, so far, by philosophers and artists, and called for scientists to start studying ‘collapse mechanisms’ and how we can collectively adapt so as to avoid them.

 

June 2022

On Legacy

Christopher Hitchens

 

As people try to come to terms with the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II and on the 21st anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I was reminded of this earlier post on legacy...especially the words in bold.

In the last months of his life, a physically weakened Christopher Hitchens travelled to the Texas Freethought Convention and while there, an eight-year-old girl asked Hitchens what books she should consider reading. Intrigued, Hitchens spent 15 minutes chatting with the youngster and sketching out a reading list (below). His last words to her? "Lots of love...remember the love bit..."

On Henry David Thoreau
blog image
Halcyon In Kal… 6 May 2022

 

In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau swapped his busy schedule in Concord, Massachusetts, for a wooden hut he built himself near Walden Pond. We had the privilege to visit Walden in July 2012; it exceeded expectations in its tranquility and beauty - and the swim in the pond itself was unforgettable.

Writing in the winter of 1843, shortly after Margaret Fuller’s mentorship made him a writer, the twenty-five-year-old Thoreau awakened to a snow-covered wonderland and marvelled at the splendour of a world reborn.

On Jean-Paul Sartre
Sartre
Halcyon In Kal… 21 April 2022

 

Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism

Jean-Paul Sartre, whom I studied at university and whose work has interested me ever since, introduces us to the idea of our absolute freedom. While he admits that we are limited by some physical and social circumstances, he places us utterly in charge of ourselves.

On Albert Camus

Camus

 

I was first attracted by Camus, "prince of the absurd" when I was 16. Camus still fascinates me, now well beyond what would have been his 100th birthday, and 60 years after his premature death in a car crash in Burgundy (it's said that he was found with an unused train ticket in his pocket - he'd planned to go by rail to Paris to rejoin his wife and children, but had accepted at the last minute the offer of a lift from his publisher).