I don't know what to mention first: so
susanna labour places
(last revised June 2013)
Rowan has a little brother, Stephen and Beth have a second child, I have a second grandchild. Matthew, February 2011.
is a hard-pressed social worker in London. She appears in
Vancouver from time to time. The latest appearance, June 2013, she
coordinated with Stephen so they got to see each other as well as
from the university of Alberta in July, and became a part-timer at
UBC. But I was doing the same amount of classroom teaching that I
did at Alberta, and enjoying it. Still, the new life was
physically more demanding
than the old, because of traveling from downtown to UBC two or three
times a week, and to Bowen for long weekends. And because I'm getting
less mobile. So I am not teaching in 013-014, perhaps not again.
Some of the time that is freed by not teaching will be taken by duties
for the Canadian Philosophical Association, of which I am president for
a year (and will have duties for a following year.)
November 2012: England,
a conference on Evil for me and Susanna's mother's 80th birthday.
At first I thought that the travelling was going to be a
nightmare - I was taken onto the plane in Vancouver in a wheelchair.
But getting across horrible Heathrow on foot the next day was
alright, and the trip was definitely maageable. The birthday party was
a large, successful, and happy event, organised by S and her brother
Alan. Then we drove to Bristol, London, and Essex to see people.
A day with Edith in London. I was definitely less mobile than on
previous trips of this size, but with herlp managed everything.
Summer 2011: Susanna and I travelled with our friends the Golds
to Saltspring Island for four days. I hadn't seen S so relaxed
for ages, and I didn't again for a while. Our
travel plans for the forseeable future centre on getting to know all
the islands and the twisted coast around here.May 2011: last research-funded long trip speaking in many places.
Bristol, Manchester, Geneva, Bern, Bled. Much of this was in the
company of Peter Goldie, a good man and fine philosopher who died in
October. It was wonderful to travel with Peter, engage with him
at two conferences, and listen to his stories. I spent a week in
Geneva, where I had not been since I was a child, and several days in
Bern, which is fascinatingly different.
Susanna and I went to Cuba, to escape the olympics in Vancouver.
Havana, Trinidad, Playa del Este, Havana again. A very puzzling
place, none of my prepared attitudes seemed to fit.
Susanna was head/chair of her department for 18 months, temporarily ending summer 2012.
Paperwork, emails, soothing or standing up to difficult people.
Why do people take these jobs? Why do universities thrown
their best people down this pit? That is over now, and she is trying to write, plus many other things.
One of her two bands has
exploded, but the other is going strong. She has bought a cabin,
not far from our previous house. The plan is that she will live in this small space, and own no more than
she can fit in it while I own no more than I can fit in my tiny
apartment. And she will sometimes share it with me, and always
with numbers of old rescued dogs.
Old dogs. Toby and SuzyQ have been with us for yearse, but now there are new arrivals and, sadly, inevitable departures. Reno joined us for his last months, a
gentle patient good-natured old gentleman, who eventually succumbed just to being very old. Then
we adopted two old dachshunds, Amos and
Baxter - names of sausages - and two fostered miniature dachshunds who
stayed for a while before finding homes. Baxter died. He has been
replaced with two unbelievably old and ugly pugs, Gramps and Junius.
(We don't name them!). So that makes five as I write in the summer of
2013. I think it's too many but S loves them all.
We're have left our interesting exotic house.
It was no place to get old in and no place for old dogs, and
there's always the danger of me falling down the stairs. So we
searched for a small flat house on the island.
Susanna found it and bought it, and that leads to a peculiar plan.
Meanwhile, I sold my modern three bedroom apartment in Edmonton
and bought an old one bedroom apartment in the west end of downtown
Vancouver. That's the way the prices compare. I spend almost half
my time there and treat it as my base. The building has a pool,
and swimming is important to me. I worry how long it will be
possible to stay in the apartment, mostly on my own. Time will tell.
news in summer of 2013 is not encouraging. I'm becoming more lame, and
the neurologists agree that the 2007 diagnosis of ADEM (MS-lite: myelin
gone but no continuing process to take more) was wrong, and it is a
standard progressive MS(*). That does fit my experience of the past
year. For several years I had stayed at about the same state, but
beginning in late summer 2012 the decline was undeniable. I've
had a new MRI, though I do not know yet what it shows. The plan now is
to travel very little and to stay home, finish the logic textbook, and
do what needs doing for the CPA.
There used to be an orthodoxy that people, especially men, whose
first signs of MS are late in life, rarely last long. That's one
reason why I was glad of the ADEM diagnosis. That is less of a
standard view now. My specialist has an alternative view, also
controversial, that the age at which symptoms of a given degree of
severity appear is relatively independent of the time of appearance of
the first symptoms. It is as if the disease has been developing
invisibly, and when it decides to show itself it calculates what face
it should show for someone of that age. So I am as disabled as someone
who has had it since their thirties, but in five or ten years' time
might be no worse off than that person. Might be.
My book on adapting to one's tiny brain, Bounded thinking: intellectual virtues of limitation-management, apeared with OUP in December 012. And by bad planning I had been working simultaneously on another book, Emotion and Imagination,
which has appeared with Polity Press in May 013. In the course of
it I claim to explain why it is
fixed a focus on morality brings characteristic vices: hypocrisy,
priggery, self-righteousness, and worse. After that, I had
thought, I would work on logic and on a line on the disunity of
morality that no one else wants to defend. But the past months
I've been becoming more and more interested in why a well-designed
experiment gives good reasons to believe what it suggests. So,
we'll see, perhaps it will be none of these. They are long-term
projects, and my focus is now shorter. I plan to turn my logic draft
into a textbook in the next year.