“You just have to realise that dirt doesn’t matter.”

How I learned to (sort of) manage housework

At 37 years young, I developed a routine for housework and managed to stick with it. This might not seem like a big deal for many of you, but it has always been a big struggle for me: the clothes piling up unwashed, heaps of stuff in every corner gathering a film of dust, the whole thing just building up into something so huge that I couldn’t face it. Many times I tried to deal with the mess, got everything clean and tidy, and vowed that it wouldn’t get bad again, but somehow it always did. Part of the issue was that I didn’t even notice the mess until I started tripping over things or finding it hard to find stuff that I needed: I was so caught up in whatever else was going on in my life that I didn’t really see it. Seeing is a lot of the battle.

I’ve now been managing with my routine for nearly two years, so it seems to have stuck this time. My house will never be a pristine show home – there’s a certain amount of mess, and sometimes things build up a little, but I now don’t reach the point where it all feels out of control and I feel ashamed of it.

I don’t normally share this kind of stuff, because of the gender stereotypes associated with sharing household cleaning tips on social media. It’s also a weird kind of thing to put on a philosophical tutoring/proofreading blog, but I thought I’d make an exception this time, since I know that I have friends who have the same problems that I do.

Below I will share what worked for me, but your experience might be different.

  1. Dirt Doesn’t Matter

The first, and most important, part of the battle was dealing with my own self-defeating and self-critical feelings about mess and dirt. The thing to remember is that despite the messages that you get from all over the place, BEING MESSY DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BAD PERSON. For some people this might be an ethical issue in the broadest sense-that having your crap in order can be part of a flourishing life-but it is certainly not a moral issue (there is very little out there on Aristotelian virtue ethics and household cleaning. Perhaps that should be remedied).

Messy people are not lazy, uncaring or dissolute: they are very often quite the opposite. I thought I knew this – I had recognised it intellectually, but the more progress I made with developing a housework routine, the more I discovered that what had held me back was the mean voice in my head that parroted stuff I didn’t really believe about what a terrible person I was. I’ll say a little more about that voice later.

There is shame involved in this, and shame is one of the most demotivating things there is: shame keeps people stuck in cycles of self-damaging behaviour of all kinds. Not everyone feels like this: the philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe was asked how she managed to hold together her astonishing academic career while caring for a vast brood of children (I wonder if any male philosophers have ever been asked about this). She replied “You just have to realise that dirt doesn’t matter.” Her home was famously filthy, and she had a constant stream of student and academic guests round without batting an eye. In a sense, she was right: dirt doesn’t sully your soul – it isn’t the thing that determines whether your life was a success.

Still, for some of us it makes us anxious, and makes our lives generally more miserable and inconvenient. If you, like me, feel this way, you can develop strategies for dealing with it, but in the end those strategies are more likely to succeed if you remember Anscombe’s attitude. Dirt doesn’t matter.

2. Create a routine, but be flexible

If there’s one thing that you can learn from Aristotle, it’s that habits of thinking, feeling and acting only become graceful and natural after putting in a bit of groundwork, and this groundwork can sometimes feel irritating and clunky.

I made a list, well, actually several lists: things that I needed to do every day (e.g. emptying the compost bin, wiping kitchen surfaces), things that I needed to do once a week (properly clean a particular room), things that I needed to do once a month (dusting ceilings for cobwebs, clearing out and cleaning the fridge, etc.), and things that I needed to do every year (clear out the understair cupboard, clean or replace light fixtures, shampoo carpets, etc.)

Once I had those lists, I assigned days to the weekly tasks (with Wednesday free for the monthly task) and weeks of the month (1-3) for the monthly tasks, with the fourth Wednesday free for an annual task, some other random thing that needed doing, or just giving myself a break. Weekends were left without any tasks assigned.

I have daily to-do lists with work tasks that I keep in a notebook. I make all the lists for the whole of the next week on a Friday. That allows me to close the notebook on a Friday afternoon and let chaos reign for the weekend. If you’re like me, disciplined routines can be hard work, so it’s important to give yourself some time to be your ungoverned spontaneous self.

Once we had decided which tasks I would do, and which would be jobs for my husband, I started adding all my housework tasks for each day to the daily to-do list. Ticking them off gives me a nice little buzz. It’s important to include some tasks that take very minimal time or effort, so that you have something to congratulate yourself for even on the hardest days.

If something comes up on a particular day, you can shift things about – just move them to a different day, or cross them off if you decide they don’t matter all that much. Dealing with the whole list is much more important than completing it – dealing with it can mean rescheduling items, abandoning them because they aren’t important, or doing them. If you keep rescheduling something, this might be something you’re a bit anxious about, so ask yourself why and think about what changes you can make. If something gets crossed off almost every time, maybe it doesn’t actually matter and shouldn’t go on your lists anymore.

The important thing for me is to make the lists and keep looking at them, so that I am consciously addressing what I need to do, rather than putting it out of my mind and letting the anxiety fester in the background. Even if an entire list is either crossed out or rescheduled for other (specific) days, that is an achievement, because I am facing stuff and have thought about it. Even with this, you can give yourself a pass and not look at it if you are ill or overcome by major life circumstances, but make sure you always come back to the system and pick up where you left off.

The main points here are (1) that this is about developing habits, which takes a long time. It can feel awkward and annoying at first, but the more you do it, and return to the routine if you fall off the wagon, the more it gets built into your general way of living, and (2) it’s as much about a way of looking as it is about what you actively do. If you make it a habit to see your space in an attentive way, action will often follow pretty naturally. Sometimes now I even clean and tidy stuff without looking at a list!

3. Rome wasn’t cleaned in a day

One mistake I always used to make was having a huge spring clean that would burn me out, so that I didn’t want to do any other housework for at least a week. I found that things got better when I realised that the task ‘clean living room’ didn’t necessarily mean that I would have a pristine living room at the end of it. To begin with I just set the aim of getting it a little more clean and ordered than it was the last time that I did it, and gradually things improved.

I set time limits on it so that I didn’t waste too much of my life on something as inconsequential as wandering around with a microfibre cloth.

4. Audiobooks

A kitchen gets cleaned much more easily if Oliver Sacks is saying interesting things to you about the peculiar functioning of the human brain while you are doing it.

5. A job can be worth doing without being worth doing well

Today is Thursday. Thursday is kitchen cleaning day, but I really wasn’t feeling it. I spent 5-10 minutes doing superficial tidying and then ran a cloth over the surfaces. While doing that, I saw various things that would take a bit more time and effort to clean properly. I have seen them and I am aware of them – those will get done on a different, more energetic, Thursday.

Some days completing the task can be pretty much a symbolic gesture. If you do a really crap job of one of your scheduled tasks, you have still done it – tick!

6. Be your own judge and legislator, but sometimes you can make-believe that you aren’t

We have a robot vacuum cleaner. He is stupid but keen to please. He needs to get his exercise by vacuuming once a day (alternating upstairs and downstairs). I need to clear the floor to stop him getting tangled in things and eating stuff he shouldn’t. Obviously my duty to this machine is purely imaginary, but pretending that I have this stupid but endearing pet is helpful and fun.

One of my daily tasks is a ’10 minute tidy’. I set a timer on my phone and run around like the clappers getting everything looking more or less straight. You know that accusing moralistic critical voice that I mentioned? I’ve turned her into an imaginary judgmental relative who has announced that she will be coming to visit in 10 minutes time: I don’t really care what she thinks, but I want a share of the inheritance. I get to mock that critical inner voice, but still put it to a useful purpose.

Both of these externalised characters – the stupid but friendly assistant and the picky relative – allow me to view my space from a different perspective. Have you had the experience where you are about to have a visitor at short notice and suddenly you start seeing things that you haven’t seen before? It’s that kind of shift in perception that does the work here.

7. Conclusion

There are plenty more things that I could share here: specific stuff about how to get that ring of grime off the inside of the bath, or how to sort and put away laundry with minimal time and effort, but there are a million YouTube videos on all that stuff. These are the things that helped me get into a space where doing all those little specific things even became possible. I hope some of it might be helpful to you too.

Still mystified after essay feedback? Try an essay health check.

Are you wondering how you can improve your grades in philosophy essays?

Sometimes it’s hard to understand why you keep getting the marks that you do, or why you always fall just short of a grade boundary. Perhaps you understand why you got the feedback you did on a particular essay, but you need help working out how you can put that into use in future work.

I offer a detailed personalised essay “health check.” Here’s how it works:

1. Contact me for a quote

2. After we have agreed to proceed, you send me:

  • The essays you have submitted so far (and any others that are in progress)
  • All marks, comments and other feedback you have received on the essays
  • Your course outline and/or module outlines
  • Your department’s marking criteria
  • Anything else you think is relevant

3. I read all your essays, and use my experience as a tutor and lecturer in philosophy to determine areas of strength, and areas that require more work. I send you a written report detailing what areas need more work, and what you need to do to improve.

4. After reading your report, you can (a) leave it at that and work independently on the areas that need improvement, (b) request written exercises and advice tailored to your needs, (c) request subject-specific or study skills tuition. I also offer a proofreading service if you want to reach towards your full potential with academic writing in English.

Why philosophical writing needs philosophical proofreading and copy editing.

It has been a while since my last update here at Flourishing Philosophy. I have had a steady stream of tutoring, proofreading, and other philosophical work. I have also just started my training as a counsellor. This is a new and exciting thing, with a lot of connections to my philosophical work, and I will certainly post some thoughts about that here at some point.

Today though, I want to say a little bit about what I do when read philosophical writing for clients.

You may have used a proofreading or copy editing services before. Typically a proofreader will check your work for errors in formatting, grammar, and spelling when it is close to its final form. A copy editor will check your material for grammar and spelling, but also for stylistic problems. There is a little more to it than that, and the distinction is not clear-cut, but that’s the basic gist of it. When I do work of this kind, I don’t make a rigid distinction between proofreading and copy editing, because each client’s requirements are individual. I calculate my rates according to how long it will take me to complete the work, and will sometimes factor in discounts based on the client’s individual circumstances.

So why would you choose to have your work read by someone who is a specialist in philosophy? There are any number of reasons for this, but I will mention three.

The first (and least interesting) is that I am likely to be familiar with technical terminology that you use. It might be important, for example, that your work is being read by someone who understands the difference between egoism and egotism, or between cynicism and scepticism.

The second reason is that philosophical audiences are particularly sensitive to ambiguities in language, and that this can sometimes make or break your writing. When I do basic proofreading, I won’t usually identify all the ambiguities that appear in a piece of writing, while I will do my best to check for any ambiguity or unclarity when copy editing (as I said, the difference is not clear-cut, and I can do as much or as little of this as required). However, even correcting grammatical errors can sometimes reveal these ambiguities: something as simple as the placement of punctuation can make a dramatic difference to the meaning of a sentence. A non-specialist reader will typically ‘correct’ this error to whatever feels right or looks most elegant on the page. When I encounter these cases, I take a little time to consider the range of possible alternatives and make several suggestions for how the sentence might be correctly worded and punctuated. This is obviously more useful than a process that results in you having to go back and correct all the corrections, but it does more than that: sometimes it can highlight important distinctions that can greatly improve the quality of your argument.

The third reason for using the services of someone who knows your discipline is perhaps the most contentious: style matters! I don’t just mean that it helps people to understand your words (although that is obviously true) but that a philosopher’s style of writing is not easily divorced from the substance of what they are saying. Many of my favourite philosophers create a whole conceptual landscape, and their writing invites you to enter their world and have a look around. Writing style, especially the use of metaphors and imagery, can open up new ways of seeing. One of the ways that I can help you is by trying to engage with your whole project, and helping you to convey your arguments in a way that will invite your audience into your conceptual world. For example, when you are talking about a concept or phenomenon, are you reaching for a general atmosphere that is more mechanical or more organic? Are you using the language of qualia, phenomena, appearances, or subjective experience? Often, terms that might superficially be taken as near-synonyms carry a rich set of associated images or historical connections. By using the services of someone who is experienced in philosophical teaching and research, you can more easily create the conceptual landscape that you need.

VIDEO: Emotivism and Emojis

A little gimmick for explaining emotivism – easily transferable to the classroom.

The basics:

  • Logical positivism: statements are only statements of fact (the kind of thing that can be true or false) if there’s a way of testing them through science or observation.*
  • They can still be meaningful and false, provided that they can be tested (I should have made this clearer in the video!)
  • Moral statements don’t pass this test, so if they aren’t statements of fact, what are they?
  • A.J. Ayer: they are expressions of emotion. This view is called emotivism.
  • Expressions of emotion are different from statements about how I feel (because those can be true or false).
  • You can demonstrate this with emojis: “Liz is angry” can be true or false, but a little angry face emoji can’t be true or false because it adds mood, not factual statements.

*Statements about logic and maths are a slightly complicated exception. I’ll say more about that in a more detailed resource (to follow).

The Fern Model of Writing

That thing that you are writing might look better as a fern. Yep. One of those green frondy things that grows in damp corners.

Dark Green fern growing among logs

Before you conclude that I have totally lost my mind, let me explain. I often talk to people who are having difficulty jumping to the next stage up with their writing: maybe they have written short essays before, but now they need to write an 8000 word dissertation. Suddenly they need to hold all their thoughts together over a much longer and more complex piece, and it’s hard to see how the thing can have any shape to it. Sometimes they might be moving on from undergraduate dissertations to a masters thesis, or a PhD, or even a hefty book. How to you even begin to think about structuring a BIG THING? This is where I think that the fern analogy can help.

Here’s the basic summary if you don’t have much time:

  • Tiny parts of ferns look much the same as the bigger bits that they comprise, and the bigger bits look like the whole fern of which they are a part.
  • They do this by following the same basic rule at different scales.
  • You can think of your writing in the same way: a section is like a mini-chapter, a chapter is like a mini-book.
  • By applying the same simple rules at different scales, you get a surprisingly complex finished product.
  • This breaks down at a certain scale because the basic units create limitations. This is true of ferns and of your dissertation, thesis, or book.

Ferns are amazing!

When we moved into the house where we now live, we inherited a shady, damp, north facing garden, overcanopied with several mature fruit trees. For several years I tried to grow showy flowers, but nothing really stuck. I decided to give in and work with plants that loved those conditions, and many ferns are the perfect candidates.

Gradually I became fascinated with these plants. I’m in good company: the amazing neurologist Oliver Sacks was a huge fan, and just about everyone during a certain period in the nineteenth century. Importantly for us, they have also often been objects of interest for mathematicians.

Optional historical bit:

Pteridomania was the name given to the Victorian fashion for ferns. Between the 1850s and 1890s, fern designs were everywhere: on crockery, fabric, glassware, and even gravestones (death, of course, was another Victorian preoccupation).

I’ve heard it said that fern collecting was regarded as a suitable activity for young women because ferns reproduce asexually, so unlike flowers, it wouldn’t lead them to have impure thoughts. This sounds to me like one of those myths about Victorian censoriousness, like all that stuff about covering table legs. Nonetheless, there was definitely a view that appreciating ferns, unlike appreciating flowering plants, involved a certain sophistication and a well-trained attentive eye that could enjoy the subtler beauty of the natural world. The hobby allowed many young women to spend time in wild places alone, which must have been incredibly liberating.

So why do maths fans like ferns so much? There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, many ferns have a form that is very close to a fractal. Fractals are patterns that look the same at different scales. If you zoom in on one part, it will resemble the whole. Zoom in on part of that, and it will resemble the larger part, and so on. This picture shows a baby Japanese shield fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) that I’ve been growing in a pot, ready to transplant to a pile of slowly rotting old logs.

A complex branched fern. It is pale green to light reddish-gold, and in a large pot with some smaller bright green ferns of different shapes.

You can see that there are a number of branches coming out from the main stem. Each of these branches looks like a smaller fern. The leaves coming out from the branch look like miniature versions of the branch itself.

Another reason why maths geeks often love ferns is that the new emerging ferns form interesting spiral shapes, which can in some cases be described according to the Fibonacci sequence.

A spiral fern frond

This connects with the fractal thing in a really cool way – the emerging main stem of the fern is wrapped in a tight spiral, and inside that are the curled up branches, each itself a smaller spiral with the same properties. Inside each of those spirals, the miniscule leaves are curled into tiny spirals of their own. As the whole thing gradually unfurls, the spirals on every scale unwrap themselves, revealing a living moving dynamic piece of mathematical loveliness.

Complexity from Simplicity

Why do ferns often look like this? One reason is that they are among the oldest plants still surviving on the planet. The first ferns emerged around 360 million years ago, well before flowering plants allowed for sexual reproduction. In evolutionary terms they are really quite simple. Although the final shape of the fern looks very complicated, it is created by following exactly the same rules on lots of different scales.

Flowering plants and animals are rather different from this: the different parts of our bodies look very different from each other, our organs don’t much resemble our bodies as a whole, and our different bits work in different ways. That means that you need loads of different rules to make an organism like us, according to which bit you are making and what job it needs to do. For ferns on the other hand, you simply follow the same rule over and over again at different scales, until you get from your one simple rule to an object that looks very complex.

Writing like a Fern

Good pieces of writing in English-language philosophy often resemble ferns, not just because they are very old and sexless (although there’s often that) but because the parts have a similar structure to the whole.

Think about the short 1500-word essays that you might write in the first year of an undergraduate degree – these typically have an introduction in which you provide context for what you will say, a main body where you make your arguments, and a conclusion where you sum up what you have argued. Usually, for each argument, you also want to give a mini-version of this structure – you explain what you are about to do, do it, and then tell the reader what you have done. So we can already see something like the fern shape here. When you scale it up, to a MA thesis, your chapters might be about 1500 words long, and they will ideally look a bit like those first year essays (although rather better, you might hope) but when you put them together, they also look much the same shape as a whole. In turn, a PhD thesis or a chonky book might look rather like a collection of MA theses, which when put together also have a thesis shape.

So how do I do it?

What does this mean in practice? Well one way to do it is to think about your BIG question, and work out which smaller questions you need to answer in order to answer it. Then each of those smaller questions will involve answering even smaller questions. This could be one way to determine how to split up your thesis into chapters, chapter sections, and maybe even subsections. Think of it as the fern unfurling. In your introduction you are showing the tight little spiral of the main stem: inside that are all the other smaller spirals at every scale, but we can’t see them yet. Then it unfurls in the main body of your thesis: each chapter begins with the tightly spiralled branch in the chapter introduction, which then unwraps itself as the chapter goes on, and so on.

Real-World Limitations

Mathematical fractals can go on forever: you can keep zooming in indefinitely, and each part is a microcosm of the whole. In the everyday world of plants and animals, things don’t work like that. Eventually you get down to scales where different rules need to apply, whether we’re talking about the level of plant cells (which, even in ferns, don’t look like tiny ferns) or whether we’re talking about departing from the everyday to the quantum level where really weird stuff starts to happen and none of the normal rules for anything seem to apply. In fact, it starts to break down much sooner even than the cellular level – when you look at the lobes on a fern leaf, they look a little bit like the leaf (and the branch, and the fern…) but they are already starting to look less detailed.

This is equally true in writing, where the way that language works imposes some limitations on how far down your fern structure can go. Some analytic philosophers are fond of saying that the sentence is the basic unit of meaning. I’m not sure if that is absolutely true, but it seems to apply here. A sentence cannot be a microcosm of a thesis, because it can’t really announce what it will do at the beginning, say the thing, and then summarise what it has said. A paragraph can do this to a certain extent, but in a much shorter simpler way than a multi-paragraph section.

The author’s clunky drawing of a fern, showing the main stem, branches and leaves

So if you’re stuck on structuring your thesis or dissertation, try breaking it down, then break each section down further, and so on. What are the lobes, leaves and branches of your fern? Finally, there’s no point in making something as beautiful and apparently complex as a fern without showing people what you have done, so remember always to make it clear through introductions and conclusions – look! I made a fern!

And with all that said, I think it’s time to do some gardening.

The Ridiculous Thesis Generator… a fun exercise for essay planning and writing introductions

One of my favourite jobs here at Flourishing Philosophy is providing a little extra help to students who want to improve their academic writing.

In philosophy, and I’m sure in many other subjects too, it is best to learn through doing the actual thing. If you want to write better essays, you need to write plenty of essays! More than this, at undergraduate level and beyond, the form of a philosophy essay should be at least partly determined by its content: different questions and arguments lend themselves to different ‘shapes’ of essay.

But sometimes it is helpful to focus on a particular aspect of the process, and at times the content can make this daunting. It can be hard to think about how to structure and introduce your arguments when you feel all churned up and anxious about whether the arguments actually work.

So this is where I use my super-hi-tech and highly sophisticated Ridiculous Thesis Generator. Here it is in all its complex glory:

That’s right, you are looking at three piles of notecards, each of which is a different colour.

On each set of notecards, I have written a different part of a thesis or statement to be argued for.

  • The middle (pink) set are the sort of thing that you might recognise from exam questions (“…can explain…”, “…provides evidence for…”, “…can solve the problem of…”, etc.) You get the sort of thing.
  • The last (blue) set are also vaguely recognisable from essay questions (“solipsism”, “moral obligation”, “freedom”). I also included a slight wildcard: “zombies”. This is actually a philosophical concept, but I was pushing it a little with that one.
  • The first (green) set are mostly random nonsense that I cooked up with the help of my very obliging friends on Facebook (“politicians”, “mosquitos”, “biscuits”, etc.)

A student can then choose a card from each pile at random to generate the Ridiculous Thesis that they will defend.

So you can end up with combinations like this:

Text is written on three coloured notecards, and reads “Mosquitos provide evidence for solipsism”

I have at least a few friends who take this one to be trivially true:

Text is written on three coloured notecards, and reads “Cats are morally superior to God”

What next?

Well, the student is given a set amount of time to come up with some arguments, no matter how ridiculous, for the equally Ridiculous Thesis. This does not have to be very long (I gave 2-3 minutes). This part would work very well as a small group exercise.

It is important to stress that while arguments are needed, they don’t necessarily need to be very good. I don’t even know what good arguments would be for some of these.

In a recent version of this exercise, an amazing student I’m currently helping chose this combination. Since we were holding the session online, they picked by choosing a number instead of drawing one of the cards.

Text is written on three coloured notecards, and reads “Tom Cruise provides evidence for the existence of zombies”

My student did not focus on philosophical zombies, instead choosing to consider the terrifying undead creatures from horror films. After a couple of minutes, they came up with these fabulous arguments:

  • Cruise’s strange appearance resembles that of half-dead beings.
  • Cruise frequently associates with lumbering crowds of creatures which move as one great mass and seem oblivious to the reasons and concerns that motivate most humans.
  • Cruise’s diet would not sustain a living human being.

Now, before I am faced with a whacking great lawsuit from the Church of Scientology, I should stress that these do not need to be persuasive arguments, and there is no requirement for anyone to believe that they are true. The point is that we have three points written down, all of which support the Ridiculous Thesis. This is a game, and the Ridiculous Thesis is not being genuinely asserted (it is ridiculous, after all!)

So then we examine these points and look at how they might fit together, and how they result in the Ridiculous Thesis as a conclusion. In this case, my student decided that the first two points were supportive of the positive thesis that Cruise is a zombie. The third point was more of a negative argument suggesting that he is not a living human being. Often, the negative case (what something isn’t) works well at the start, so we put it there, with the other two following on from that.

But remember that the thesis being argued for is not that Cruise is a zombie, but that he provides evidence for their existence. So, even though it might look like it is stating the obvious, we need to connect those points. So we can say something like:

  • If Cruise is a zombie, then zombies exist
  • If there are reasons to suppose that Cruise is a zombie, then Cruise serves as (defeasible) evidence that zombies exist.
  • There are reasons to suppose that Cruise is a Zombie (namely, those offered above, that he does not seem to be human, and that being a zombie is a better explanation)
  • Therefore Tom Cruise provides evidence for the existence of zombies

So there we have it! A ridiculous argument for a Ridiculous Thesis, but importantly it has a structure that is starting to look like the stucture of an excellent philosophy essay.

All that was left was to write a mock introduction, which included this overview with a little additional explanation and clarification (see my guide here). This took around five minutes.

After that, we practiced exactly the same exercise with a real question from a past exam paper, and suddenly, the whole thing seemed less scary.

But maybe that was just because it wasn’t as scary as zombies!

New Resources Page

I have a new page on the Flourishing Philosophy site, dedicated to providing free resources for teaching and learning.

Right now, you can check out my guide to writing an introduction to an undergraduate level philosophy essay, but there will be plenty more to come!

Check back here in the next day or so, when I will share a fun and low-stress exercise for practicing introduction writing with students.

Welcome to Flourishing Philosophy!

My name is Liz McKinnell, and I have spent many years working in academic philosophy. I am now starting out as a private tutor, and also providing help and resources for teachers and for anyone else who wants to know more about the wonderful and perplexing world of philosophy.

I will also (fingers crossed) soon be starting to train as a counsellor, and I am fascinated in the ways that thinking philosophically can help us to lead more flourishing lives.

So this is where the name comes from: I want to help you flourish in your study of philosophy, but I also want to help you use philosophy in a way that will make you flourish.

This site is pretty basic so far, but as time goes on I will be uploading plenty of helpful resources and activities for students, teachers, and anyone who has a passing interest in this amazing subject.