Tuesday, 17 February 2009


- Empiricism vs. A-Priori

If you follow the empirical approach, then you are always chasing definite and conclusive evidence for something, so I guess facts and figures are a good place to start. For example, symptoms of the recession; you would want to physically see evidence that proves Britain is in a worse financial state than 12 months ago...

Tuesday's (17/1) report about a 0.1% decline in the UK's inflation in the last month certainly fits in with the ideals of an empiricist as it is based on fact. I can say that with relative confidence as it comes direct from the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and the subsequent report was published on the BBC News website. It has been documented that the main reasons for the decline, and yet another chapter in this economic downturn, are the falls in energy and fuel prices.

Meanwhile, my A-Priori example comes from Arsenal's Samir Nasri in today's Sun (19/1). The French midfielder said that new signing Andrei Arshavin could be "key" to solving the midfield problems of the North London outfit. Nasri told The Sun the Russian "will give us that little bit more penetration and incisiveness which the team have been lacking recently." Of course there is absolutely no proof that Arshavin will make a difference as yet, but as he is known for his attacking invention, it is a fair evaluation on Nasri's part, thus epitomising A-Priori. If you adopted an empirical point of view on this story, you would say something along the lines of: "This argument will only be valid if and when there is evidence, such as OPTA stats revealing that his average assist rate is higher than all the other Arsenal players."

Tuesday, 10 February 2009


In terms of views on the state, I don't fit into Hobbes or Russo's way of thinking...

In short, Thomas Hobbes said that a state, and state leadership has to be useful as it helps to maintain order. In contract theory, if you obey the state, you will be protected by it in return. In the case of Britain, many would most probably dismiss this, especially the ones who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, but through terrible mis-management of the economy. However, we would then have to question the 'protection' of developed countries from the likes of the United States, Australia and Japan.

Yes, I obey the state, I don't take the law into my own hands (very often!) but I understand how it often can be easy to get frustrated when the media exposes the government for making mistakes that really shouldn't be made by the ruling class. Sometimes it seems the tax-payer is the only party keeping their end of the deal.

What about Rousseau (pictured, right)? The Frenchman believed the concept of the state was flawed: "man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they." Although at the other end of the spectrum to Hobbes, this all seems to extreme. The prospect of the human race being left to their own devices is really not advisable in my eyes. One word. Anarchy.

Rousseau said that the state corrupts and hinders people's ability to flourish. I can accept this to a point, but what about the people whose only speciality would be to create hell for those around them with the absence of police or state control? What about education? What about money, and the use (and abuse) of it?

Maybe we should shelve Rousseau for now, but you never know, if our leaders can't deal with today's unhealthy climate, we might not have much to lose. Look at Germany in 1933!

Thursday, 5 February 2009


Hi, my name is Glenn! I am a student from Southampton studying Journalism at Winchester University. As part of the first year of this course I have been asked to set up a blog to keep track of what goes on in this crazy world, and to add my spin on it. This is what it will be used for, but don't be surprised if I get on my soapbox and start commenting/moaning about something that's totally off the agenda.

Me? Well, I have a relatively comfortable life but anyone who knows me will know that I carry on as if I'm the most hard-done-by person in the universe!

What do I like? Music that doesn't conform to the mainstream, Southampton FC (I may well have to open that can of worms on here soon), Facebook, getting up when I want, being independent...

...What do I dislike? Music that conforms to the mainstream, Portsmouth FC, spending money, getting up early, my job at the co-op, ignorant people...

There are, of course, many other things that I like/dislike...but c'mon, you're losing the will to live already aren't you?!

Anyway, watch this space and I'll try and take a break from my busy teenage life and give you something worth reading.