A couple of months ago my PhD supervisor recommended that I read The Arch of Knowledge by David Oldroyd. The book provides a concise (if you call 400 pages concise!) history of the philosophy and methodology of science. In other words, it's about how knowledge is created. My supervisor said I should read it because doctoral students need to understand this stuff.
When I took on this challenge, I expected to skim read the book and move on. However, after persevering with the densely packed text for a couple of weeks, the opposite has happened. Famous philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Galileo, Hume, Popper) and their theses have slowly become real. I've been drawn in. Along the way, I've gained an insight that may well enable me to frame my research in a new way (I'll expand on this in a separate post later). If this insight has legs (I think it does), it should be good for governance research all round.
Reading Oldroyd has provided another (unexpected) benefit. My vocabulary has been expanded—albeit mainly with Greek and Latin phrases like ex suppositione, ex ante, a priori, and a posteriori—by quite some margin. Now if I can get my wife's agreement to allow Greek and Latin alongside English, I might have half a chance of beating her at Scrabble!
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Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.