Great to chat Ben and to see all the work you’re doing with philosophy. What were your earliest experiences with philosophy and has your perspective changed over time?
It’s changed a lot throughout my life. I studied philosophy at school, starting back when it was called theology and philosophy for GCSE, and then at A level and what captured me was the philosophical aspect.
So we ran through things such as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Epicurus. The big hitters of the time. It was very much Western philosophy and that interest then flowed naturally into my university degree.
The real reason why I ended up doing it at uni was because, at that time, I didn’t know what to study. My background was military, so my intention was to join the Royal Marines. But I wanted to get a degree and enjoy university at the same time.
My perspective was that philosophy, because there are no right or wrong answers, would be perfect. I thought: “I basically can’t get it wrong! I just have to argue really well”. That was my illogical teenage reasoning for choosing philosophy. Thankfully, I got really into it as I realised how well it teaches you to think.