Opinion / Chess, Football, Cricket, Sport

Chess and Philosophy

I head towards the end of my Master’s degree programme with University of Buckingham. My paper will be on What is Chess?  The problem with philosophy is that one issue drifts inexorably into another and it’s next to impossible to write something self-contained that is not either hugely over-detailed (boring) […]

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Gender Categories and Philosophy

Here’s a question. What are some philosophical aspects of the increasingly bewildering ‘gender identity’ battlefield? Here is a transgender weight-lifter setting new records: The organization Save Women’s Sports also drew attention to Gregory on Facebook. “Mary was born a man and is very proud of this cool new trophy from […]

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Wittgenstein and Chess

Ludwig Wittgenstein! There’s a name for us newbie philosophy fans. Wittgenstein burst into the tranquil Cambridge life of the then mighty philosopher Bertrand Russell and was soon arguing with him intensely about the presence or absence of a rhinoceros in the room. Or was it a hippopotamus? Wittgenstein often used […]

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Tottenham Shed Spursitude

My new piece for The Spurs Web on how Tottenham have moved on to a completely new level in the past two seasons. Nothing like this since 1961. A LONG time ago. Look at the season goal difference stats: In the first sixteen years of the Premier League era Tottenham […]

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More Chess and Diplomacy

A canny reader spots a fine reference to chess in Sir David Omand’s evidence to the Iraq Inquiry (pp 56/57): The second point that strikes me is that greater care is needed in threatening the use of military force to back up diplomatic measures. It is quite an easy thing to […]

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Tottenham – Berahino and Negotiation

Here’s my first piece for Spurs Web on what the Saido Berahino transfer (or not as it turned out) saga tells us about Negotiation Theory: In international negotiating, Time can be unlimited. Issues drag on for decades if not centuries: Cyprus, Korean peninsula, Russia/Ukraine/Poland/Germany. Brexit? For football transfers Time is […]

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Chess and Diplomacy

My latest DIPLOMAT piece looks at the similarities (or not) between chess and diplomacy: One cliché of diplomacy is that it is like chess. It combines patient strategic manoeuvring with sudden flashes of sharp decisive action. In chess, as in diplomacy, there is ‘objective’ strength: political and economic assets and […]

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Summerising Public Speaking

Becalmed in Olympic Glory and mulling over a gruelling September that might include a passing visit to Tajikistan. Contact established with Helen Sewell at Simply Speaking. Helen looks at public speaking with the keen eye of journalism and science – a mighty combination. Here she analyses the performance of UK […]

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Corbyn Labour: Hierarchy of Norms

One of the great issues in Jurisprudence is the Hierarchy of Norms. Where exactly does law find its moral legitimacy? Can a legal system’s legitimacy be traced back to one ‘Groundnorm’ as Hans Kelsen argued? Legal science, as Kelsen would like it to be, has to describe a legal norm […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (15): Migration

You don’t have to go far in the seething Brexit debate to find that ‘migration’ is a Big Deal, not least as the Labour/Guardian side of the argument smells its own panic. Thus this: Ed Balls’s latest intervention in the EU debate is striking. In today’s Daily Mirror, the former […]

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