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If you’re looking for a philosophy-related holiday this summer, you could do a lot worse than go to Holland. Philosophy Now’s roving correspondent Sue Roberts reports that the attractions include:

  • Spinoza’s house at The Hague, which is preserved as a museum of his life, and has a statue of him outside. To visit the house, make an appointment first by phone (Spinozahuis, Paviljoensgracht 72-74, The Hague, tel. 070- 3605008)
  • Amsterdam’s Hotel de Filosoof, in which each of the 25 rooms is decorated to illustrate a different philosophical idea or cultural motif (there’s a Socrates room, a Goethe room and so on). The hotel is run by philosopher Ida Jongsma, who is very helpful and also most knowledgeable about the city. (Hotel de Filosoof, 6 Anna van den Vondelstraat, 1054 GZ Amsterdam, tel. 020-6833013)
  • The hotel is the meeting place of the Association of Practical Philosophy. Several of the association’s members run professional philosophy ‘practices’, and are consulted by citizens worried by questions of ethics or metaphysics.
  • Amsterdam has many other attractions too, but take care, as street crime is pretty bad in some districts.
  • In Utrecht there is apparently a ‘philosophy cafe’. We have no first-hand information about it, so if you should go there, please let us know what it’s like. (Filosofisch Café Averechts, Lijsterstraat 49 te Utrecht, tel. 030-710916)

Voices from the ether telling you what to do?

Don’t worry – it’s just The Moral Maze, Radio 4’s regular panel discussion on ethical issues. Chaired by Michael Buerk, it examines whatever moral question has been in the news over the previous week. Recent topics have included abortion, trade union rights and moral education in schools. A series of expert witnesses are interrogated by the regular panel of four, who then hammer out the arguments with much noise and enthusiasm. The panel sometimes includes Roger Scruton. The show goes out live on Thursday mornings at 9.05 am. Recommended.

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