Tuesday, 7 December 2010

News Agenda

News Agenda

The I paper:

The ‘I’ is a new paper, which comes from the same people that produce the Independent. It has been introduced to give a more condensed version of its ‘mother’ paper, for the people who have little time during the day to get their news, such as commuters or businessmen and women. It has been described as a better alternative to the free newspapers, such as the Metro. The first edition was published on the 26th October 2010, so it is yet to have any exact figures of circulation or it’s audience.

It seems to be more interested in the economy and money judging by the order of news. On the 18th November the front page story was that of a ‘boom’ in auction houses, and it explained that even though the world is in recession, there is still millions being spent. Similarly, the next day, the front page was that of how tax money was being spent. The Royal engagement was set back as far as page six, like the Independent, showing its lack of interest in the Royal family. In contrast, the Daily Mail thought it was important to put information on the Royal wedding on the front page.

Another one of the main stories in the ‘I’ was that of the UK’s ‘bailing out’ of Ireland financially, again showing its interest in the economy. In comparison, the Daily Mail set this story back on page four, which is still high up the order, however it chose to publish a story about benefit thieves before.

Radio Breeze:

Radio Breeze is a local radio station in Hampshire, with three different stations covering 3 different areas: Portsmouth, Chichester and Isle of Wight; Southampton and New Forest; and Winchester and North Hampshire. The type of music is the ‘feel good’ kind. The type of artists you would find would be Michael Buble, Gloria Estefan or Matt Monro. The tag line of Breeze is ‘the smoothest sounds in the South’ which gives you an idea of the genre of music to be expected.

There is some information on the website about Breeze’s target audience, explaining that it targets 35-64 year olds, and that it has a slight female bias. Like the ‘I’ paper, it claims to be targeted at those who lead a busy life, so they can come home at the end of a busy day and ‘chill-out’.

The news on Breeze is very brief and is generally local. Stories found ranged from people being jailed around the area, to robberies and local sport. It also takes some time to discuss news from all over the United Kingdom, such as the Royal wedding – although it was more about the hope of an extra days bank holiday. There were on average 6-7 stories in each bulletin, lasting around 3-4 minutes. The main story would last around the one minute mark, and then the rest ranging from 15 seconds – 40 seconds, depending on whether or not they have a piece of audio to go with it.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

HCJ - Semester One - Lecture Four


An enquiry concerning human understanding.

In lecture four of our HCJ module we were lectured on David Hume, and were asked to read 'An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding' for the seminar that followed. In the first part of this post I will discuss my ideas and thoughts on the reading set, giving some direct quotes from it and making my own judgements.

Firstly the book begins to describe the term 'moral philosophy' and the ways in which different people treat it and how it can be perceived. Firstly it discusses moral philosophy in the terms of mankind in that the man is first and foremost 'born for action' and I think that it is trying to say that men are the most important beings, it believes that they are perfect and not to be discussed or questioned. On the other hand moral philosophy can be treated as a reasonable being, meaning that human nature can be speculated or questioned. It perhaps even asks us to study what makes mankind 'tick' - what makes us feel happiness, sorrow and excitement? This can be linked to the way in which some philosophers we have discussed believed in that they saw the human being as a 'ticking' object which was run like a mechanism, or a clock (such that can be seen on the cover of Russell's 'History of Western Philosophy' book).

The next part of the reading that stood out to me was the description it gave of a philosopher: 'a philosopher...little acceptable in the world...lives remote from communication with mankind, and wrapped up in principles and notions equally remote from their comprehension.' This is intriguing, as it seemed to describe the philosopher as someone who has no contact with the 'outside world', or anyone outside the four walls he sees everyday. His ideas also never leave the four walls as they are completely rejected by anyone that they are met by. I think this is a contradiction of what we have already studied so far this year, as it is clear that philosophers like Descartes, Newton and More all wanted their notions heard and had them published in some cases, and although they were stil rejected in some regions, they must be important ideas else we would not be studying them, up until the present day.

David Hume

Causation is the production of an effect by a cause, or something 'causing' something else. This was one of Hume's biggest ideas, in that he totally rejected it. Hume believed that nothing in the world caused anything else to happen, and that anything that seemed to be a cause is in fact 'all in our head' so to speak. I find this completely barbaric that Hume rejects causation and he thinks that it is just a coincidence that the red billiard ball with move upon the white billiard ball touching it. He says that there is not enough evidence for it to be true, to me the evidence is right there, clear as day, and I think science proves that. The force that the billiard que hits the whit ball with is passed on to the white ball, which then hits the red ball with a decreasing force, which then causes the red ball to move. I can see where he is coming from, but I think it is completely far-fetched to believe that somewhere in the world there is a sort of magnet that is causing the red ball to move at precisely the same time the white ball comes into contact with it. On the other hand, I do believe that Hume is correct in saying that just because I am hear typing this blog right now, does not mean I will be in 5 second. Well firstly I could punch in a 'secret code' into my laptop that results in all of my life's work being completed, but in fact that has not happend, but something more likely is that the world could be hit by an asteroid or one of the huge nuclear weapons on the planet could be set off.

Another aspect of David Hume that interested me somewhat was 'The Verification Principle' - so unless something can be verified or falsified it was 'un-important'. This again in my opinion is slightly barbaric, but it is his own opinion and not something he is stating as fact. In Hume's opinion God is not real as he could not be proven and therefore even discussing him was totally pointless (hence Hume being an extreme atheist). So because God can not be verified he is not real, therefore not important. On the other hand saying that a glass will break when thrown on the floor is important as it can be verified, or proven. Even though Hume has these ideas I personally feel he contradicts his atheism slightly in saying that God is not real because he can not be proven, but in the same breath it can't not be proven, so therefore can not be 'falsified', therefore there is no evidence to say that God is in fact a myth.

So that was my brief notes on Lecture/Seminar four. A bit of a tricky subject for me it has to be said, but I think my head is some of the way around it!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Haye Vs Harrison!

The eagerly anticipated boxing match between the World Champion, David Haye, and the one time Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison took place last night. What was supposed to be the fight of the year turned out to be quite a disappointment, with the first two rounds providing little, if any action, and the third seeing Haye defeat Harrison by 'technical knock-out' (TKO) after a series of heavy blows. Even though it was a great victory for Haye, I am sure that some controversy will come out of the post-fight interview.

Being a bit of a gambler myself I was shocked to hear that David Haye claimed that he 'knew' he would KO Harrison in the third round and bragged that he had piled on the money in the expectation that he would do this. He also said that his friends and family had put a lot of money on Haye finishing Harrison in the third.

I don't exactly know the ins and outs of match fixing and fraudulent gambling, but I am pretty sure that something isn't right there. Boxers notoriously brag about their capabilities and expectations so it could well be a case of 'I told you so', when in fact it was just a coincidence. This will probably be brushed under the carpet and forgotten about, but to me this was more controversial and shocking than the fight itself!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Peter Cole's view on newspapers

Cole discusses two mid-market papers: The Daily Express and the Daily Mail. From what I understand a mid-market paper is not too much of a serious paper (broadsheet) nor is it a red-top (tabloid) but it is in-between the two. Cole mentions a few statistics of which I will not go into detail, but it is important I think that we recognise the Express sells less than a quarter of what it did in 1955 than what it does today. Cole explains that the Express seems to like its controversy and conspiracy stories, for instance he talks about it's obsession with Princess Diana, and Madeleine McCan. It seems to find advancements and 'new evidence' all the time where as none of the other papers do. The Daily Mail is the other mid-market newspaper, and it's stories are evidence for this. A lot of it's stories are aimed negatively towards the welfare state and criticise it for draining tax payers money, the tax payers being the main bulk of it's readers. They often do free giveaways such as CD's and DVD's and are almost always directed at a family audience.

Tabloid newspapers are often called 'red-tops' , because they always have a red top. They are associated with the working class, and The Sun, is Britain's number one selling newspaper. They re famous for their quick read stories and they offer a lot in the form of crime, sex, sport and stars. The main target audience is that of C2DE and a more younger audience, with red-tops dominating under 35 year old readers. On the other hand, we have broadsheet newspapers which are seen as the complete opposite to the tabloids. They used to be printed on large paper, but other than The Telegraph, they have all averted to the smaller easier to manage, smaller papers. They have a lot more text and reading in them, as oppose to the red-tops. This is because the readers of the broadsheets are generally more educated and more affluent. They are often doctors, teachers or lawyers who do not have a lot of time to watch television so they get their information maybe on the train on the way to work in the morning, or on the way home. Broadsheets, like the mid-markets do adopt the scheme of giveaways, consisting of CD's, DVD's and posters. The majority of the broadsheets appeal to an older audience, however papers such as the Guardian have introduced the G2 which attracts a younger demographic.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

WINOL - 3/11/2010

A brief overview of my opinions an criticisms of this weeks WINOL bulletin.

Overall I thought this week's bulletin was done to a very high standard, with the first presenter Jake, doing his part to an exceptional standard, he seemed vert confident and did not stutter at all, similarly all the reporters seemed to be the same.

The first criticism that I have is minor, but I thought it may have been better to pick a quieter road at the end of the second report on prisoners being able to vote. It seemed that the reporter was being drowned out at times, but nothing too major.

The story about parking I thought was very good overall, and I thought that the interviews and the shots away at the car parking signs and parked cars really hit home with the issues that we are having, the one thing I would say is that Chiz could have sounded a bit more enthusiastic, sorry mate haha!

During the sports, Mikey Smith impressed with his reporting as did Will and Karen, personally I could not fund anything to fault them on.

Obviously when the second presenter came on she had a slight stutter at the start and seemed a little bit nervous, but slowly seemed to get more confident. The only other issue I had was when the camera angles seemed to confuse her, or maybe they were shooting from the wrong camera.

Overall, a good bulletin, but a few things that need ironing out. It does seem like they are getting better week by week!

HCJ - Semester One - Lecture Three

These are my notes from the reading from lecture three.

Joseph Addison - The Spectator No. 476

Addison discusses method in speech and writing throughout this piece. He firstly discusses the difference in writings: firstly writings that have regularity and method are set out to stick to a certain topic, and perhaps follow certain guidelines, therefore not straying off topic creating a clearer understanding. On the other hand, he describes the second form of writings as 'essays'. Maybe these pieces run on too long and have not set guidelines, and the meaning off these writings are often lost.

Addison points out that the writings of more methodical kind can be seen in works from Tully and Aristotle, whereas the more essay forms are found in Seneca and Montaigne.

What I also got from Addison was that people who question, or want an answer are men of great learning and genius. So what I think he was trying to say here was that people who wrote in methodical ways are not. If I am right in thinking this then he somewhat contradicts himself by saying that such work can be seen from the likes of Aristotle, someone who was clearly a man of genius.

Method writing gives an advantage to the reader and to the writer in that its is not complicate and it is easier to understand. A quote to support this from the reading was 'his thoughts are at the same time more intelligible, and better discover their drift and meaning, when they are placed in their proper lights, and follow one another in a regular series, than when they are thrown together without order and connection'.

Addison also discusses how thoughts and conversations are used in the same way. He argues that many people who have arguments or disputes do not talk in methodical terms as they steer away from the original subject quickly.

Addison gives Tom Puzzle as the prime example of the 'immethodical' man - I think what he is trying to say is that his opinions are not clear enough to make us believe in them, but they certainly plant a seed of doubt in our minds. Maybe his writings get too confusing for the reader to fully comprehend.

The Royal Exchange:

The writer of The Royal Exchange to me was discussing his love and admiration for the way that the whole world comes together to form one. It explains how we get one part of our clothing from one part of the world and another part of our clothing from another. It also discusses how we could not live without trade from around the world, and that fruits from one part of the world compliments food that we are eating from another part.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Well, I don't think anyone predicted that

Despite England having a dreadful World Cup (aside from a refereeing perspective) there was one thing that could put a smile on our faces: The German's secret weapon was an octopus named Paul, who could apparently predict the results of games.

Paul would pick a box with the right countries flag on it and get inside, and this box would be the team that would win that particular match. Seems a bit far-fetched, but shockingly, Paul predicted 100% correctly in the entire tournament. Well for Germany matches and the final, still pretty impressive!

After the World Cup it became known that Paul was in fact English born and not German, and the Germans had stolen him from us. Pretty much like they did with their entire national squad. To name a few Podolski (Polish), Klose (Polish), Ozil (Turkish) and Boateng (Ghanaian). Finally, something for us patriotic Englishmen to be proud of!

However, on October the 26th, the Weymouth born octopus was found dead in his tank in Germany. He will be remembered throughout the world for his predictions that left many stunned, and I think i speak for everyone when I say he will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Journalism Now - The history of major wholesale news reporting agencies

News agencies are organisations that provide news coverage to newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations. Some examples of news agencies are Reuters, the Press Association (PA) and Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Reuters is one of the most important news agencies to be formed. It is a London based agency and was opened by a German man called Paul Julius Reuter. It began by transmitting stock market quotations between London and Paris via the new Calais-Dover telegraph cable. The organisation continued to grow, soon extending to the whole of Britain and parts of Europe. It also began transmitting economic and general news. The reputation of Reuters was rapidly increasing, and in 1865 it had it's most important scoop. The story was that of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. It was the first agency in Europe to provide news of this development, and it is believed that this story is one of the major reasons for Reuters' success. In 1883 it began to transmit messages electronically to all London newspapers, making the distribution of news even faster. Reuters are famously known for objective reporting, but during the two World Wars it was subject to pressure from the British Government to serve national interests. This went against the objective view that it had, but in 1941 it managed to avert this pressure by making itself a private company with the new owners forming the 'Reuters Trust'. This effectively safeguarded the organisations independence and neutrality.

The Agence France-Presse is one of the most important news agencies. It was originally founded under the name Agence Havas, by Charles-Louis Havas, and was the first international news agency in the world. It provided information to many French newspapers, periodicals and magazines. It was this agency that influenced the formation of other agencies such as Reuters in Britain. It originally began distributing news via traditional methods, such as carrier pigeons and horse-drawn carriages. In 1842 France's railroad system was built, meaning distribution was made easier and quicker. Three years later the telegraph was invented meaning the AFP were able to distribute their news around Europe. It was all going very well for the organisation, until it was stripped of it's distribution service during World War Two. Just before the end of World War Two it was reborn under the new name Agence France-Presse. Journalists in the resistance seized the Paris headquarters as France was liberated from Nazi occupation. Like other news agencies, the organisation had a strong belief to be objective, and in 1957 it formed a statute that defined the independence and freedom of it's journalists. Article two from this statute reads 'Agence France-Presse may not under any circumstances take account of influences or considerations that would compromise the accuracy or objectivity of the news; it must not under any circumstances pass under legal or de facto control of an ideological, political or economic group'. It wanted the reporters to be fast, fair and accurate, and under no circumstances be influenced otherwise.

The Press Association (PA) is another example of a news agency that is committed to providing fast, fair and accurate news. It was founded in 1868 by a group of newspaper owners. The aims of the Press Association was to produce a more accurate and reliable alternative to the telegraph companies. One man who joined the Press Association, Chris Moncrieff, has written a book on the history of the organisation, 'Living on a Deadline'.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

HCJ - Semester One - Lecture Two

John Locke is a very important figure when discussing empiricism. He had many ideas about the social contract, or the way in which people agreed to be ruled.

During the lecture it was put across that Locke's work and opinions are only key to his time, and that the context of his work and findings were extremely important. Others do believe that Locke would maintain the same beliefs even in todays world - personally I do not feel that the time in which Locke lived played an important role in his beliefs. Locke's 'state of nature' can be seen as an example; 'everyone enjoys a natural freedom and equality but obey natural laws' - We do live in this sort of environment today, in that we obey laws put out by the government, and everyone does have the freedom to do as they please within the laws. Even though this outlines some of Locke's ideals, he may not be happy with it all together when he sees it put into practice.

Descartes was one for thinking that we were born with set ideas imprinted onto our mind, however, Locke disagrees with this notion and I would have to agree with him. In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding he outlines that all of our knowledge comes from experience: 'All our knowledge is founded'. It was also mentioned in the lecture that there is test where by you can think of anything you know in your brain and it can be traced back to an earlier memory or experience where you learned this piece of information, I do not know about anybody else, but I certainly do not have anything in my brain by which I cannot recall how it was learned. For instance a baby is not born with the ability to talk or walk; hence it learns from parents or others around it, this is why an English baby with English parents will learn English, on the other hand a Spanish born baby with Spanish parents will not automatically talking English! The way by which Locke says we get this knowledge is through sensation, using our God given senses to take the information we are given. Locke is not a man who dismisses religion as he does believe that God has given us a brain which is capable of reasoning, but not given us ideas before we are born. 'I think, it will be granted easily, that if a child were kept in a place where he never saw any other but black and white till he were a man, he would have no more ideas of scarlet or green' - a quote from Locke outlining his belief that if you were only exposed to certain things like colours of black and white, you would not know of any other colours at all, thus backing up the point that we are not born with imprints or ideas already in our heads.

Locke: 'To ask, at what time a man has first any ideas, is to ask, when he begins to perceive' - you can only have ideas once you can perceive, you can only begin to perceive once you are born - you are born with no ideas. 'foetus in the mother's womb differs not much from the state of a vegetable' - This is a quote from the reading which I found quite amusing but at the same time quite important. He likens the baby in the womb as a vegetable, something that cannot perceive or think, therefore it will have no thoughts or impressions, how can it be then that we are born with ideas in our heads?

Locke begins to question the soul and the body and if they are two separate things. He asks himself if the soul is still thinking whilst the man is sleeping; and if so doe this mean that the soul is experiencing joy, happiness, sorrow and pain whilst the man is non the wiser. 'For to be happy or miserable without being conscious of it, seems to me utterly inconsistent and impossible' - this could back up his claims that the soul and body are two persons in that he believes that the soul does think whilst you sleep and therefore does experience feelings but the person is not conscious of it. Locke then goes on to discuss even further possibilities of the soul leaving the body whilst we sleep and taking up someone else's body to do its thinking. He even goes on to suggest that two people could share a soul - At this point in the essay I find it hard to grasp the concept that Locke is getting at although I can see why he may think that. Personally, I believe that any thought made whilst asleep is conveyed as a dream and is a reflection on previous days events and this is the reason as to why we may not remember the dreams, because we have already lived them. The reason why Locke believes we do not remember the souls thoughts when we wake is that the soul does not have organs or body for the thoughts to leave an impression on.

Locke seems to like playing with the idea of dreaming and is it the soul that makes us dream. He describes dreaming as irrational and frivolous, therefore making it insignificant, so he concludes that this is the reason why the brain may forget to remember it.' And I say, it is as possible that the soul may not always think; and much more probable that it should sometimes not think, than that it should often think, and that a long while together, and not be conscious to itself, the next moment after, that it had thought.' What I think Locke is trying to say here is that he believes the soul to be thinking on some occasions but not on others, even though he does argue that it is impossible to prove. What I also get from this is that he believes the soul to not be aware of its thoughts.


So in todays 'briefing' for Journalism Now we were shown the latest WINOL bulletin, to which we were asked an opinion of; what was good? What was bad? Could anything be changed to make it better?

Firstly I will start off with a good point, to which there are many. The presentation as a whole I thought was done to a very high standard. The presenters of the show were both confident, well spoken and their voices kept the listener intrigued. Sure there was one or two stutters between them, but such things are seen on proffesional news stations, so it cannot be faulted greatly. The presenters were at all times very proffesional in the way they spoke, but also gave the feeling that they were your friend and that they were extremely relaxed, especially when it came to the presentation of the BJTC Award.

I thought both Jack and Julie were extremely professional and well spoken in their pieces, if I could criticise anything it would be that the first interview that Jack had, seemed to be drowned out a little by background noise, and perhaps he could have selected a better place. Also when the camera was on Jack in the MMC the quality of the recording was incredibly inferior to that of the rest of the prodcution.

It was mentioned in the lecture that perhaps one of the sports commentators was slightly monotone and did not seem enthused by reporting what he was seeing - after listening again, I think they were referring to David and the Winchester City Vs Hayling United match. The commentary does seem to be a bit lacking and even seems a bit rushed in places, but personally I think it is a good effort overall.

One of the main issues I had with the bulletin was the order of the news stories. During the lecture everyone identified the tuition fees as the most important story, this has me asking then, why was it not first? The story of foreigners not being able to use their ID's seems an insignificance when compared to this story, and in my personal opinion has no right to be first up.

When all said and done, I think it was an extremely good effort from everyone, and look forward to seeing more in the future! I hope this helps!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

HCJ - Semester One - Lecture One

Having missed my first lecture back I have not got the notes, however from my own knowledge and reading, I have typed up some notes that will hopefully help!

The move away from the authority of the Church to the increasing belief of science is a key factor when discussing the periods of 'medieval' history and 'modern' history. Churches were the dominant force in medieval history, however the States began to replace them. Even though this is the case, it was mainly the Church and religion that had an influence on philosophers during the middle ages. The rejection of the Church was seen as a negative move, whereas the acceptance and move towards science was seen as a positive one. There was a huge difference between the authority of the Church and that of science in that the Church, or religion, set aside certain rules concerning morality, human hopes, and the past and future of the World. On the contrary, science was based on probability and was open to change. The move away from the Church meant a growth in individualism, this was seen as a bad thing in some cases as too much individualism led to anarchy. Even though those of the Church did not want to relinquish control, it seemed as though they were fighting a losing battle, as it was the result of practical science that led to certain advancements including that of machinery.

Bertrand Russell seemed to have a strong liking for Niccolo Machiavelli and goes as far as to describe him as a 'man of supreme eminence in political philosophy'. Machiavelli's philosophy is that of a scientific one and claims based on his own experience and evidence, thus making him an empiricist. At the time when Machiavelli's interest in politics was growing Girolamo Savonarola was in charge, and he obviously had a great impact on Machiavelli as they shared some of the same views. Both were very hostile towards the renaissance and the blatant corruption within the government. Machiavelli had two important works, 'The Prince' and 'Discourses'. The Prince was written in an attempt to give advice on how a Prince may gain and retain power, reasoning for this may be because Machiavelli believed that most of the rulers or people of power had not gained their positions in a fair way, and were therefore corrupt. In Discourses Machiavelli's belief in religion is shown in that he creates an ethical hierarchy, or a list of people, from important to not. His most favoured and important people are the founders of religion and his least favoured are the destroyers. Machiavelli believed that the closer you were to the main Churches in Italy, the less religious you actually were, and he also believed that the 'evil conduct has undermined religious belief'.

During the 17th century there were many advances in science thanks to four important figures of that time:
1) Copernicus - He was a religious man, and it was this reason that he was reluctant to publish a lot of his findings, although he did not make them a secret. He was devoted to astronomy and he believed that the Sun was the centre of the universe, and that the Earth has a 'twofold motion' - diurnal, so it moves in its own circle, and annual revolution about the Sun. This was known as the heliocentric theory (Copernican theory)
2) Kepler - He was also a religious man and carried on the works of Copernicus regarding the heliocentric theory. Kepler was influenced not only by Copernican, but by Pythagoras as well. His great achievement however, was that of his three laws of planetary: The planets describe elliptic orbits, of which the sun occupies one focus; the line joining a planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal times; and the square of the period of revolution of a planet is proportional to the cube of its average distance from the Sun.
3) Galileo - 'Acceleration' was his main achievement. The Law of the falling bodies: no matter what the shape or size of an object the acceleration is constant and it will not change.
4) Newton - proved Kepler's three laws are equivalent the the proposition that every planet, at every moment, has an acceleration towards the Sun. He also concluded that 'force' is the cause of change of motion. Newton could be described as the man who tied up all the loose ends (if any) for the three previous mentioned Philosophers.

Francis Bacon is seen as an important figure during the European Enlightenment, such is true that Bertrand Russell feels it important to dedicate a chapter in his book. Bacon grew up around the Parliament and State affairs due to his family being heavily involved. Bacon himself entered Parliament at the age of twenty-three and in 1618 became Lord Chancellor. After two years he got into trouble for taking bribes and was forced to live the remainder of his days as a book writer. One of his most famous books was 'The Advancement of Learning', from which it is said the saying 'knowledge is power' was originated from. Bacon's philosophy was practical in that he wanted to give man the power over the forces of nature by the means of scientific discoveries and inventions. He did accept religion, and he would not argue with the government over it. He believed that reason could show God's existence, but everything else in theology could only be proven by revelation. Bacon rejected the Copernican theory, and he also did not see the importance of mathematics.

Mathematics was an important part of the European Enlightenment, and unlike Bacon, Hobbes was an admirer of this method. Hobbes was a very well educated man, such proof can be taken from the fact that he translated 'The Medea of Euripides' into Latin iambics at the age of fourteen, and by fifteen he went to Oxford University where he was taught scholastic knowledge. Hobbes was most famous for his Leviathan - one of the publications of this was the way he felt about democracy, describing it as evil. At the time of its publication it was widely rejected and it was seen to offend refugees, and being that Hobbes was living in France, it done him no favours that it attacked the Catholic Church; this extremely offending the government, forcing him to flee back to London. It was not long that Hobbes' writings were being investigated for atheism in London, mainly due to superstitious fears being aroused at the time due to the Plague and the Great Fire. The main content of the writings included ideas such as 'imagination is a decaying sense, both being motions', and 'imagination when asleep is dreaming'. He also goes on to discuss the importance of speech, in that without words we could not conceive any general idea, and without language there would be no truth or false. He also goes on to discuss the way in which our lives are governed, and how all men come into communities to each with a central authority. He believes that the supreme power of a community, be it a single man or a group of people is called the Sovereign, and they have unlimited rights and powers.

René Descartes is often considered the founder of modern philosophy. Bertrand Russell explains, I think, importantly how the use of Holland in the seventeenth century was key. Holland was the only country where there was freedom of speculation, with most philosophers having to have their books printed there. Descartes was a sincere Catholic although he was supportive of the advancements of science, and it is for this reason he tried to persuade the Church to be less hostile towards the new findings. Descartes' most important contribution to mathematics was that of co-ordinates. He has two very important books: 'Discourse on Method' and 'Meditations'. It was in these that Descartes most famous passage was written. Descartes spoke of 'Cartesian doubt', by which he made himself doubt everything that he could manage to doubt. So for instance me sitting here typing up a blog on Western Philosophy, might actually not be what I am doing. It could be a dream and I could be in bed asleep, or in fact I could be insane and imagining the whole thing through hallucinations. The only thing that Descartes did not doubt was his mind: 'I think, therefore I am', makes mind more certain over matter, and my mind more certain than minds of others.

I have done a previous blog on Sir Thomas More and Utopia, so thought it would be a waste of time re-typing my notes so instead I will just post a link below:


To any first years I hope this helps, I have been here and done this before, the first time not being so successful, but hopefully this time around will be different.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Radio bulletin 4

In the presentation of the recent budget, Alistair Darling has announced that the threshold for stamp duty on first time buyers has doubled from one hundred and twenty five thousand pounds, to two hundred and fifty thousand pounds. This increase will mean that around one hundred and thirty six thousand first-time buyers will be exempt from paying tax on the value of their house, however Darling plans to raise the duty to five percent in order to fund the increase.

We spoke to a student at the university of Winchester, Matthew Maidment who himself is a first time buyer of a property in Southampton:


Radio bulletin 3

In the presentation of the recent budget Alistair Darling has announced that cider has incurred a thirteen percent increase, meaning a seventy-five centre-litre bottle will now cost nine pence more. This has left many cider consumers angry especially considering wine, beer and spirit duties will only rise by five percent.

We spoke to a Winchester local:


(Written in way of a script, so numbers written as words)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Radio News day - Week two

Winchesters three prospective MP's were this week questioned on the ban of fox hunting, and whether the constant debate to overturn this ban was correct. Steve Brine, Martin Tod and Patrick Davies were the three to take part in the debate and were hoping to get the votes of local countryside campaigners and farmers, just months before the general election.

We asked local Councillor, Daryl Henry, of Colden Common and Twyford her opinion;

In: ...Its very difficult
Out: a different matter...

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Return of the Beck

When Manchester United drew AC Milan in the last 16 phase of the Champions League, I do not think anybody could have predicted the emotions displayed at the full time whistle. The occasion saw David Beckham, a United legend and supporter return to his former club.

Being a Manchester United supporter myself it was hard not to wish a man who I had idolised in my younger years luck, and secretly maybe wanted him to score (although I failed to mention that to the lads in the pub).

Manchester United fans gave Beck's a tremendous reception and personally I think that meant more to him than the scoreline, which he pretty much overshadowed! Beckham even joined in the recent campaign against the Glazer families control of Manchester United by donning the green and gold scarf at the full time whistle, at which point he was almost in tears.

Personally, I hope this is not the last time we see Becks at Old Trafford. Maybe a bit far fetched, but it would be nice to see him return to his old club to see out the rest of his career.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Radio News day - Week one

Winchester's long standing Fire Station is set to be relocated to Easton Lane in Winnall in 2011 after a deal was done to turn the old one into affordable housing, something there has been much demand for in recent years.

Bergate Homes are the company that have secured the deal giving the fire station a chance to cope with an ever increasing staff load by relocating to a larger site.

We caught up with the Station Manager of Winchester Fire Station, Dave Turner, to ask his opinion on the relocation.

*AUDIO CLIP* http://edublogs.tv/play_audio.php?audio=6480


The development of the new housing is said to be costing around £10 million, with the new fire station costin £4 million.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Immanuel Kant - HCJ - Lecture 2

HCJ – Lecture two



Immanuel Kant was the last influential philosopher in the theory of knowledge, following on from people we have covered such as Locke, Berkeley and Hume. Kant was a liberal thinker and his ideas on noumenal objects were supportive of those same ideas that Hume and Berkeley had. Kant believed that when you looked away from an object, or stopped perceiving it, it stayed there, but was not the same; when you begin perceiving the object it becomes phenomena. So if you was in a room with no windows and no doors, then Kant would have believed that anything outside of that room was different to what it would be if it were being perceived through a window. Berkeley had a similar notion in that he believed when you do not perceive something it does not exist, or that it flashes in and out of existence, Berkeley believed that God was to blame for this. This would have been because at the times of his philosophy, anything un-explainable was considered an act of God. Hume, however believed that there is no causation in nature, only in our minds the objects are there; anything that you can see is in one’s eyes only.

Kant’s morality

In Kant’s opinion something is only good if it can be legislated as a universal law. This was in opposition to utilitarianism, which is the greatest good for the greatest number. Kant would believe that making all the money would bring all the pleasure. However, utilitarianism would reject this notion as not everyone can be rich. The morality by which Kant lived by also included the theory that any kind of lie is bad, and that the whole World ending would be better than someone telling a lie. So telling an axe murderer where your friends are so he can kill them would be better than lying to save them. Regardless of the outcome, the intent one has is most important. Kant believed that if you were doing something morally right in order to gain respect than it was wrong, but if you were doing something morally right, just because you know it is morally right than it is a good thing.

Friday, 12 February 2010

HCJ - Lecture 1 - Semester 2 - Liberty/Liberalism

In the first semester we discussed certain philosophers who believed that the individual should have more power, therefore more freedom. These philosophers include people such as John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In order to achieve the Liberalism and to give power to the individual each should be given the equality of opportunity, however also freedom should be more important than equality itself. This fits in nicely with the views of three important Liberal figures: John Wilkes, Mary Wollstonecraft and J.S Mill.

John Wilkes:

Wilkes was an ugly fellow and was somewhat well known for his bad looks! Although this is the case, it did not deter from the fact that he was man of strong opinion and actually established laws that journalists use today. He was a very rebellious character and a member of the Hellfire Club, which were a group that pretty much did whatever they pleased. Wilkes was also the co-writer of, what was at the time, described as the dirtiest poem in the English language: 'Essay on Woman'. It was for his rebellious behaviour that he was liked so much by common people of England, and was elected Mayor of London.

Wilkes importantly for us today established a law that allows us to report on parliament. This consequently giving journalists of the time more freedom, and therefore more power. This links in well with the notion of liberalism and giving the public more knowledge on what actually happened in the politics of their country. In 1762 the 3rd Earl of Bute, John Stuart was appointed Prime Minister by King George III. This was extremely opposed by Wilkes, and he showed his hatred for the King and Stuart when he, although it could not be proved, published a newspaper opposing the King's 'North Briton', with the 'South Briton'. The South Briton was a much loved newspaper, and included scandalous insults on Stuart and the King, including one story claiming John Stuart was having a relationship with the King's mother. The King done everything in his power to stop Wilkes, including bribery and prosecution; neither being successful. In Issue 45 of the South Briton, the publisher accused the King of being a liar, to which a general warrant was issued and Wilkes was arrested. There was no proof and Wilkes consequently sued the government. This sort of behaviour was generally unheard of at the time, however Wilkes won the case, displaying a further power for the individual and a greater step towards a liberal England.

It began to go down-hill for Wilkes when his 'Essay on Woman' poem was read aloud in Parliament by Lord Sandwich (the inventor of the sandwich!) causing pandemonium. Wilkes fled to France, but upon his return was arrested. This did not cease his popularity though, as he regained his seat from prison, however the house voted Wilkes incapable of being elected. Wilkes also pushed for more freedom in the form of complete male suffrage, thus giving every man the ability to vote. This because at the time only people of certain standings within the community had the vote.

Mary Wollstonecraft:

Mary Wollstonecraft had a very hard early life, her father was obsessed with public standing, which led to his inevitable downfall, and she was forced to work as a governess in Ireland for extremely poor pay. She had an extreme passion for education and most importantly, giving women the same education as men. She believed that women were only given this education by which they were taught superficial things such as how to cook, clean or sew; the things that were expected of a woman in those days. She believed that women ere entitled to a freedom of knowledge and that they should be given the equality of opportunity. In Mary's opinion, women were too quick to accept this education, and she was in general critical of women as a whole, and not men, who may have been seen as the people to implement this method of education.

Wollstonecraft would have supported John Locke's theory that the human has nothing in their mind to start off with, and that everybody starts with this 'blank slate'. The majority of men at the time would have believed this applied only to men, whereas Locke and Wollstonecraft believed it to be all humans. She published her first book, 'Thoughts on the Education of Daughters', this was described as a 'self-help' book that gave women advice on not only how not to accept the conventions of education, but also gave etiquette and morality advice, as well as guidelines on how to care for infants.

Another philosopher who intrigued Wollstonecraft was Jean-Jacques Rousseau; even though she was in awe of him she was also critical of him; Mary was fully supportive of the French Revolution and the tearing down of the old regime, which was mainly driven by Rousseau, however, she had previously pleaded with the leaders of revolutionary France to ignore Rousseau's views of women and to grant them full equality.

Wollstonecraft's most famous publication was the Vindication of the Rights of Women; this was diagnosis of the current state of female manners, and was not an attack on society for treating women the way they did, but rather aimed at middle class women to ask them why they were accepting these conventions. It metaphorically put a mirror in front of the female population, and was seen as a well needed wake up call. The vindication was given a very warm response.

J.S. Mill

J.S. Mill was an important figure for political liberalism. He was a son of a philosopher, and was grandson to Jeremy Bentham, the creator of utilitarianism. He was a very smart young man, however this could have been seen to be his downfall when at 20 he had a nervous breakdown. William Wordsworth was an important figure in his life, and his poetry helped him through his tough time. Mill was a big supporter of liberty and said that 'freedom of speech is an absolute, never silence an opinion'. This something that Descartes would have approved in. Descartes believed that until something was proved beyond reasonable doubt then it could not be dismissed. Therefore, one persons opinion is as important as 100 peoples opinion. The notion Mill had was 'do and think what you want as long as it does not harm anybody'. Examples we had in the lecture was a policeman can get drunk everyday, as long as he is sober for his day of work.

Utilitarianism is the greatest good for the the greatest number and was a method thought up by Jeremy Bentham, primarily to help aid the poor law reformation in England. He believed that individuals should have economic and personal freedom, separation of Church and the State, freedom of expression, equal rights for women and laissez faire, which is free trade. All of these beliefs were held in high regards and taken upon knot only by Mill, but by others including Mill's father, James, and political leaders such as Robert Owen.