Practical Philosopher
Director of The Conversation Agency

Ideas are like objects that we sculpt with a mix of reason and passion, and our struggle with philosophical ideas begins early on. Once we start to articulate this struggle and enquire, so begins a life-long engagement with the questions most fundamental to our interactions with the world.

Ayisha

Throughout childhood we receive adult versions of what is real, true, right, wrong good and so on. These replies together with our own observations and experiences make up our individual map of understanding and inform our notions of love, family, friendship & community.

The Conversation Agency aims to provide the opportunity for young and old to engage with big ideas in a stimulating joyful, playful and creative way.

I have a BA degree in Philosophy, Comparative Religion and Social Anthropology from Manchester University. My philosophical studies had little relevance to me until some years later: whilst watching The Transformers, a television programme on practical philosophy, I witnessed a group of disenfranchised young people come to life through the excitement of experimenting and playing with ideas. I realised that the way they were connecting the ideas to their own lives was the key to their engagement, and that this was precisely what I had so missed in the academic university setting.

After some research I discovered and enrolled on a Masters course that focused on the value of incorporating philosophy into our lives. The course was an MPhil in ‘Philosophical Inquiry’ at the University of Glasgow combining the academic study of Philosophical texts with training in group dialogue across all ages. This was run by Dr Catherine McCall who had studied with Matthew Lipman (Philosophy 4 Children) and appears in Socrates for six year olds. I completed the MPhil in September 1997, including a dissertation on the connections between how we think and what we feel.

I have over 12 years experience in the arts and education – working on project design, management, delivery and evaluation.

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