Introduction to Living Philosophy : Scottish Philosophy Site
Welcome to Living Philosophy.org.uk, the website of The Radicals. This drama group promotes the Scottish enlightenment. It promotes its heritage, particularly in the classics, and its legacy in David Hume and Adam Smith especially and those who have followed them in laying a new foundation of constructive but critical philosophy for creating a better world. Every performance of The Radicals begins with the lighting of a peace candle and the words, "I light this candle for Wisdom - Justice - Compassion - Integrity, the four words on the mace in the Scottish Parliament that are offered as the standard of the wisdom and integrity of the Scottish radical enlightenment - for a more just, a more compassionate and - thereby - a more peaceful world." Each performance ends with the unfurling of the United Nations flag.
Our philosophy plays & commentary
These plays were written by Rev Dr Wally Shaw, a teacher and philosopher, as a study guide for those teaching philosophy to help in examining the philosophy of these great men. They are an effective way for philosophy students to dramatise and roll play in the life of these great philosophers as a tool for understanding their philosophy and their environment and are a valuable teaching philosophy resource.
These philosophy plays were well received at the Edinburgh Festival Fring over the 5 years of productions with favorable reviews and attendance in the hundreds.
These plays are available to purchase at our shop on Lulu bookshop.
The play "Adam Smith - Making Poverty History" as performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2008 is available to buy on lulu bookstore.
The play "Jeremy Bentham The Pursuit of Happiness" as performed at the Edinburgh Festival 2007 is available to buy on lulu bookstore.
The play "David Hume - Citizen of the World" as performed at the Edinburgh Festival 2005 is available to buy on lulu bookstore.
The play "Socrates Last Days and Legacy" as performed at the Edinburgh Festival 2006 is available to buy on lulu bookstore.
Notes on how to use these teaching philosophy lessons & philosophy study aids
These philosophy plays and study guides are a great resource for dramatizing and roll playing in a study group.
If you are interested in how to use these philosophy study guides then please see our section on Teaching Philosophy where there is information on how to use these plays. These philosophy plays were written by a philosophy teacher for his students to dramatise and immerse themselves in the life and times of these philosophers.
Our Philosophy Play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
What is Philosophy?Rev Dr Wally Shaw
"The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence."
Philosophy comes from two Greek words ΦΙΛΟΣ (pronounced filos and meaning “love”) and ΣΟΦΟΣ (pronounced sofos and meaning “wisdom”). Philosophy is about the love of wisdom. The study of Philosophy can be used as a tool that can aid all aspects of living and relationships. The real subject of philosophy is oneself and the examination of oneself, one’s relationships with other people, and one’s relationships with objects and ideas. Philosophy is, therefore, about the world within us, the world between us, and the world around us. And this world is not just the world of objects, but of thoughts, of ideas, and of values. Philosophy demands an honest look at ourselves and at life. Besides philosophies of life, there are philosophies of education, of science, of psychology, of politics, of religion, of practically everything. And it is philosophy that offers a constructive, critical examination of everything.
Rev Dr Wally Shaw
All our basic questions are within the domain of philosophy. And it is through philosophy that our best answers are to be found.
The paths down which you now will travel are all part of the road of philosophical enquiry. The paths, in one sense, are called Metaphysics, Epistemology, Logic, Ethics and Aesthetics. They respectively cover all the questions about existence, knowledge, reasoning, morality and beauty. Sometimes when you will be on one path you will have to make a detour down another before you can get back on the main road. But where these paths cross is the road of philosophy. In another sense, the paths bear the names of the philosophers who have traveled down them. And because you are the one traveling down all the paths, where the paths cross is you.
You now begin your journey over 2500 years ago (when the classical philosophers began their journey) by meeting Socrates who has been called the Father of Philosophy. To give you a running start, you will meet several philosophers before his time who will help you to get on your way. As you make your journey, time will continue to pass. And during this time you will be asking questions about the meaning of time itself and how it relates to you.
So, how do you begin? You begin with yourself. For you are not reading about philosophy, you are living it to better understand yourself and your relationships to the world within, the world between and the world beyond. For you are the place where all the paths of philosophy, its parts and its people, cross.
To help seek objectivity and to help avoid prejudice by taking a multi-cultural approach, some commonly used terms are replaced by others: e.g. in dating, AD and BC (Anno Domini and Before Christ) are replaced by CE and BCE (Common Era and Before the Common Era). To help seek accuracy, dates which are not definitely known will be preceded by c., abbreviation of the Latin word, cira, meaning “about”.
Please see another article "Why study philosophy?"
Our Philosophy Plays, Philosophy Activities & Philosophy Lessons
Please see our webpage on how to use our philosophy plays in your philosophy lesson on the Philosophy and legacy of David Hume, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham and Socrates for your University Philosophy, High School Philosophy and College Philosophy class. We have had great feedback and reviews of our philosophy plays as performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as a resource for those wanting to study and learn about philosophy.