Elephant Juice Soup Company – Ethical Business in Edinburgh Case Study

Importantly, however, it also taps into the charitable aspect of Campbell’s business plan. Because every time someone buys a soup from his vintage Type H Citroën van, he has pledged to feed one hungry person, at home or overseas. His charity plans are still in their embryonic stages, but Campbell has lots of connections he hopes to use in order to achieve his goal. “Choosing a healthy product to deliver the promise of ‘one feeds two’ was important as I wanted the customer to improve their own diet while also helping others suffering from malnutrition,” he says.

Hunger has been cited by the World Bank as the most serious threat to the human race and kills more people than Aids, TB or malaria. “The problem is also a threat in the UK,” says Campbell. “Recent figures show over three million people are at risk.”  (Scotsman.com)

You could use this as an example of ethical business, or as something to consider from a utilitarian or kantian standpoint… and it’s here in edinburgh too…

For IB folk you might even want to consider Nozick and Rawls….

who are you?

Again, I haven’t watched this, but if you are an IB Philosopher who would like to appeal to more ‘scientific’ evidence in support of your arguments it might well be useful… Also have a look at Baggini’s The Ego Trick for further help….

Family Guy and Plato Revision Lesson

In Seth MacFarline’s Family Guy, The Griffin family find themselves amongst the few survivors of the much hyped Y2K meltdown. On discovering an infinite food source the take it on themselves to create a new society – and everybody’s favourite idiot is in charge.

Watch the clip/ episode (“Da Boom”) and write a short essay answer (50mins planning and writing) explaining the relevance of this to what you have learnt about Plato from reading The Republic.  This will be your first practice at a philosophy exam type question, so remember be precise and analyse your hearts out.


Plato & Aristotle on God – ib philosophy of religion

here are the slides from today’s class if that’s useful, remember to finish the Plato reading and listen to the podcast for next day…

For the podcast click above

click above here for the question sheet

And finally; Here are the five discussion questions for next week:

what is the form of the Good? (& sun similie)

what is the philosopher ruler like?

what is the difference between belief and knowledge, for Plato? (& the line)

how does the cave fit with Plato’s other ideas?

having read the same book as the soldiers in to end all wars, how does Plato’s philosophy fit with the film?

Understanding Reincarnation – Revision Help for RMPS


One criticism often directed at Buddhism is a questioning of the relationship between the doctrines of atatman (no soul) and reincarnation. Some question the two teachings compatibility completely where others, more thoughtfully, question why I should seek to accumulate good karma in there is, in reality, no ‘me’.

The answer to this oft-repeated conundrum is, to my limited knowledge, most clearly explained in the conversations of Nagasena and King Milinda. The dialogue begins in the second chapter of Book II. The King jumps in at the deep end by asking it it is the same or another who be reincarnated and is frustrated by the monks answer that it is in fact neither of these suggestions.

To explain further Nagasena establishes that we have some sense that we are the same person as the younger version we remember ‘being’. To explain this idea he give the following example:

‘Suppose a man, O king, were to light a lamp, would it burn the night through?’ ‘Yes, it might do so.’ ‘Now, is it the same flame that burns in the first watch of the night, Sir, and in the second?’ ‘No.’ ‘Or the same that burns in the second watch and in the third?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then is there one lamp in the first watch, and another in the second, and another in the third?’ ‘No. The light comes from the same lamp all the night through.’

‘Just so, O king, is the continuity of a person or thing maintained. One comes into being, another passes away; and the rebirth is, as it were, simultaneous. Thus neither as the same nor as another does a man go on to the last phase of his self-consciousness’

Melinda then requests another example. And it is this one I find most helpful for it explains something of the nature of karma as action (the lit. translation), preserving the notions of cause and effect associated with samsara.

‘It is like milk, which when once taken from the cow, turns, after a lapse of time, first to curds, and then from curds to butter, and then from butter to ghee. Now would it be right to say that the milk was the same thing as the curds, or the butter, or the ghee?’‘Certainly not; but they are produced out of it.’‘Just so, O king, is the continuity of a person or thing maintained. One comes into being, another passes away; and the rebirth is, as it were, simultaneous. Thus neither as the same nor as another does a man go on to the last phase of his self-consciousness.’

In each of these processes the transition is slow; so slow it might not be noticed. That the process happens, however, in undeniable. Like this, we are changing all the time, we are continued from another self but we are not the same as that self. This is true throughout our wanderings of the wheel of life. Once reincarnated the change is identical. No more different, no less.

Pascal’s Wager Revision Summary

I’m not sure how much use this is for people anymore but if you’re studying Pascal’s Wager it might be helpful – click on the image for a larger version. Also be sure to check out the video here which is a pretty good introduction to his idea…

Coming soon to IB Philosophy….

Everybody has heard of Jason Bourne, but why is it we don’t think he should be brought to justice for all the assassinations he carried out under the auspices of the Blackfriar project?

To help us on our way we will seek help from John Locke, seventeenth century philosopher and his Essay Concerning Human Understanding.