P A T H W A Y S T O
P H I L O S O P H Y
Glass House Philosopher Monday, 1st August 2005
"Tree ferns are the great ancestors of the modern plant kingdom, dating back between three and four hundred million years. A stegosaurus might have breakfasted on a fern just like this impressive specimen spreading out its long daintily carved fronds just a few feet from where I am sitting...
"The Winter Gardens Sheffield is one of the more pleasant places to be on a muggy grey Monday. Ten years ago — long before this vaulted glass ceiling was so much as a scribbled sketch in an architect's note book — I was penning my first drafts of Pathways, a couple of miles up the road in the Botanical Gardens...
"I had just finished my two term Metaphysics course for final year philosophy students at Sheffield University. The lectures eventually became the basis for the Pathways Metaphysics program.
"My carefully typed lecture notes were originally intended as the first draft of a second book I hoped to write, as a follow up to Naive Metaphysics. Meanwhile, I was determined that they should be put to good use.
"As the sun beat down, I wrote longhand. I drew up lists, made diagrams, drafted sentences and paragraphs that eventually became Pathways: the six programs, Following your pathway and Writing a philosophy essay...
"Long ago evolution discovered the recipe for making a simple leaf. With perfect logical consistency, nature realized that you could make bigger and bigger structures just by adding more of the same. And so the great tree fern eventually appeared, towering above the other plants in the Prehistoric forest. The Pathways programs evolved in much the same way..."