Ottoline Online: the NCH academic blog



Education, Tutorials, and the Socratic Method

The tutorial model of teaching employed at NCH is, in some ways, based on the Socratic method of education. According to Socrates, education is a matter of drawing out what is already (innately) known. Thus, in Plato’s dialogue,

Pedagogy and the Varieties of Knowledge

In this post, I want to discuss three kinds of knowledge, and then relate them, briefly, to tuition at NCH. In particular, it has been claimed that there are three kinds of knowledge pertinent to higher education.

At the Ottoline Club

“J S Mill’s Philosophy of History”, a talk by Dr. Callum Barrell, Lecturer in Politics & International Relations. As a colleague whose research interests are decidedly interdisciplinary, Callum duly delivered a talk that straddled the faculties. His main thesis was that John Stuart Mill developed over a period of years a philosophy of history which very much informed his mature political ideas and in particular his proposals for political change.

The Many Faces of Intelligence (23 May 2017)

Intelligence manifests itself in a variety of ways. This panel will discuss the many faces of intelligence – whether natural or artificial – from both scientific and philosophical points of view.

Upcoming: Why Literature Matters

Professor Greg Currie, Professor Bernard Harrison, Dr Penny Pritchard, Sir Roger Scruton and Lesley Chamberlain will each voice their views on whether and how literature matters, and particularly whether it matters to the understanding of human psychology and morality, or whether such things are better left to 'specialists'. There will then be 30 minutes of discussion between panelists, and the final 30 minutes will be open to reactions from the floor.

Donald Trump’s election in the US, and the ‘Brexit’ referendum in the UK, are the most visible outcomes of a change in political mood across Western democracies. In the Netherlands the party of Gert Wilders leads others in polls. France’s presidential election next March between Marine le Pen and Nicolas Sarkozy could easily result in a victory for the former. The Pegida movement in Germany and across Europe is gaining support. Norbert Hofer is close to becoming Austria’s president in the re-run election in December.

Parliament Can Stop Brexit

Professor A C Grayling, Master, New College of the Humanities — The government has been reminded that it is responsible to Parliament, and that the outcome of the advisory referendum of 23 June has to be debated in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Why Brexit Must Be Stopped by Professor A C Grayling

When we ask Parliament to debate whether the ‘advice’ of the advisory referendum should be taken, and when we ask Parliament to debate whether or not to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, we are asking for the same thing.

I write to ask if you could very kindly advise me as to why it is that Parliament is not being given the chance to debate and vote upon the outcome of the referendum held on 23 June 2016 on the UK’s membership of the European Union, with a view to deciding whether or not to take the ‘advice’ of the advisory referendum. A decision to not take that advice would keep the UK in the EU and end the turmoil into which the country and its economy have been plunged; a decision to follow that advice would then, and only then, mandate the Government to begin considering how it will take the UK out of the EU and to find a new place as a solo entity in our complex world.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑