In these rudderless Covid times, metaphysics is the only saviour

·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA</span>
Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

John Harris observes “an apparent belief that things were now so messed up that whether individuals were taking precautions or not was really not all that significant” (To mask or not to mask? That shouldn’t be the question). The reason that things are so messed up is that the government has shown no respect for facts, reason or morality. Rudderlessly adrift in a fathomless sea of its own creation, it has floated for too long on epistemological and moral relativism, where what is true or false, good or bad, right or wrong, is determined solely by how many people subscribe to a proposition. This is akin to saying: “Eat shite, 50 billion flies can’t be wrong.”

The Covid crisis has taken its toll on mental as well as physical health, and people are unable to know any longer how to think or feel, giving rise to endless anxieties and conspiracy theories. My own method of keeping sane is to recall some of the undergraduate lectures I attended in metaphysics and moral philosophy – subjects that at the time I thought had only intellectual appeal, but which today have more relevance than ever. So thank you, Edinburgh University department of philosophy, for keeping me grounded 50 years later.
Dr Allan Dodds
Bramcote, Nottinghamshire

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