Piers Benn

Conundrums and Controversies

Blog debut

1 Comment

Welcome to my blog debut. I shall try to be aware of the dangers of rambling, or posting just for the sake of it. My purpose will largely be to comment on topical issues, books or articles I have read or interesting things I have noticed. But stating what I shall be writing about is rather like stating ‘areas of future development’ on an appraisal form; you have a vague idea of what you are meant to be saying and you know that this will not relate much to reality. You know that this doesn’t really matter, but also that stating plain facts in a modest way will not advance anything. So here goes.

Here’s an initial thought. For some reason, I have just been watching the episodes of ‘The Office’. The set bears a disturbing resemblance to where I worked between 2000 and 2006. David Brent does no discernible work and is a hopeless, self-deluded loser. That is why he is (at least moderately) funny. But there’s a strange, touching twist at the end: after all his empty boasting of playing the field with women, actually meets a woman he could be happy with. His loser-dom may yet find redemption. But does this take away from the comedy, or add a needed touch of compassion? And when comedy is cruel – which it sometimes is – is that an objection we should take seriously?

Author: piersbenn

Welcome to my blog. I am a philosopher and author and have held a number of academic posts. Since 2013 I have been a Visiting Lecturer at Heythrop College, University of London and an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University New York (based at its London Centre). My latest book is 'Commitment' (Acumen Press 2011). My research and teaching expertise is mostly in Ethics, and especially Medical Ethics. I am also interested in Philosophy of Religion and aspects of Political Philosophy. I have blogged for the Times and the Independent and have done many talks and media interviews.

One thought on “Blog debut

  1. This is just a test to check I can edit comments.

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