About Duncan Simpson

a Londoner who writes on philosophy, history, politics and theology. Simpson originally trained in the natural sciences before taking up post-graduate studies in philosophy at Birkbeck College London specialising in modern political thought. He has worked in the biotechnology sector for over nine years. Current focus includes the intersection between the history of religion and contemporary current affairs and the legacy of ancient Roman political and legal thought. He maintains the Askesis blog.

Desiring and Acting Differently: A Sketch Towards a Critique of Consent

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1. As I write the verdict in the retrial of footballer Ched Evans has just recently been announced. The verdict itself is a shock but what is even more disheartening are the facts of the trial; that the complainant’s personal sexual history was used against her after the judge made a rare exception to allow it as evidence and that the family and partner of Evans was known to have offered a cash reward for information leading to his acquittal. The repercussions of this verdict and the precedent that the judge’s exception may set will undoubtedly be felt for years … Continue reading

Beyond the Circus: The EU Referendum

With the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU less than two weeks away and after a brutal campaign that feels like it’s been going on forever it’s perhaps not surprising that a degree of fatigue is setting in. Indeed the public “debate” has been continually marred by the suspicion that this has more to do with factionalism within the Tory party than any genuine popular will, and the continued spectacle of government ministers tearing strips off each other in public is about as politically engaging as an episode of Jeremy Kyle. Exasperated audience members on Question Time cry “I … Continue reading

Reframing the Present: Secularisation and the Rule of Law

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“God is himself law; therefore law is dear to him” Sachsenspiegel (Saxon Law) of Eike von Repgau, Early 13th Century Of all the grand narratives supposedly put to the sword during the era of post-modernity secularisation seems peculiarly resistant. While we are familiar with critiques of Western progress, cultural superiority and ethics, the narrative that would have us believe we in the West live in predominantly irreligious societies, and thus have passed through some process by the name of secularisation remains common wisdom. This idea is implicit in the way we see ourselves and how we frame our dealings with … Continue reading