Thomas Scarborough

Many people would seem to lead a life of more or less orderly progression.  One may graduate, work abroad, or marry, yet for all such variety the experiences are by and large common to the times in which we live, or mere excursions into another world. 

I consider that I was blessed with a deeply contradictory life.  This, I think,  above all, became the source of my philosophical interests.  It all comes back to me sometimes in a confusion of images: skimming over lagoons in outrigger canoes, intercontinental travel in passenger jets, Rahm Kuchen und Kaffeklatsch, and African dances.  These might have been mere episodes in my life, if it had not been for two things.  Firstly, I was not a mere visitor.  This was my life in full.  Secondly, I didn't ever emerge from the contradictions.  But that is another story.

I was born fifteen years after World War II, of British and German parents.  I didn't speak until I was two, and then in two languages alternately.  My mother claimed that I had first wanted to be sure to speak without mistake.  My father's father had built an extension to his farmhouse, to offer a halfway house to America for God's own people.  My mother's father was personally appointed by Adolf Hitler, to office in the Ukraine.  This indicates no dark secrets, but serves to symbolise the contradictions.

The photo shows me at bottom left, on Tarawa atoll, seated in front of my father.  My younger sister appears towards the bottom right of the photo.  My father, a recruitment officer for the London Missionary Society, was unable to recruit a missionary for remote islands in the Central Pacific, until my mother pointed out to him that it was he.  And so, at four years of age, we embarked on the long voyage, by ship, to the deep blue Pacific.  The histories captured in the photo still intertwine.

In short, I sought, through the years, to reconcile the different worlds which I had inhabited, the dichotomous experiences, and the deep emotions which they stirred in me.  This, I think, is what philosophy ultimately seeks to do.  It seeks to reconcile poetry and physics,  fact and value, reason and feeling, freedom and determinism, and so many things besides. 

Education:  DipTh (Honours) from the Bible Institute of South Africa in Cape Town, MTh (cum laude) from the Dept. of Systematic Theology at the South African Theological Seminary in Johannesburg, and MA (cum laude equivalent) from the Dept. of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Also: Propaedeutikum at the now STH (Basle), credits from the now LBC (London) and from UNISA (Pretoria). Journal published in five fields: philosophy, theology, electronics, gnomonics, and organology.


docmartincohen said...

Hmmm... actually it was just a typo!

Hullo Thomas!

May I make the first comment, on your new page.

Looking at 'Welfare Economics: A Release Approach' - suggest you have a very clear opening line explaining the idea - 'the release' is otherwise a bit of an esoteric term (with the tortoise metaphor only making sense to the cognoscenti...)

As ever, if you have a personal tale to include too, why not do so - maybe even start form that? And then work to the general?

Anyway, just some ideas.

docmartincohen said...

(Now the page will need 'tidying up' for sure...!

Thomas O. Scarborough said...

Thank you, Martin. I appreciate that. It could be an important theme I think. Just a matter of putting it across. I've given the draft to a friend, an (ex) Lloyds futures broker to look it over.

I happened to delete your deleted comment, which I see has unfortunately deprived your dramatic entrance ("Hmmm...") of its meaning ...

docmartincohen said...

It's a bit like Russell's paradox isn't it....

Great picture, btw!

Post a Comment