The Open university in it's infinite wisdom has decided to merge three of the 4 pure maths courses currently offered into a third level 60 point course entitled Further Pure maths. This means that the current courses

M338 topology, M336 Geometry and groups and M381 logic and number theory are being phased out.

More alarmingly the new course is dropping the logic part from the number theory course, the applications of group theory to geometry from the Geomerty and groups course and discussion of continuity in terms of open sets, a major part of any topology course, will be replaced by a discussion in terms of convergence of sequences in metric spaces. In compensation there will be an introduction to rings and fields. There is also a move of courses to an October start.

However as far as I am concerned I shall be sticking to the Old courses. Given that fees will probably skyrocket over the next few years. My plans to do a degree in Maths followed by the MSc and a similar exercise in Philosophy over the next 5 years will probably have to be extended to seven or even eight years.

I have also been reassured by people on the first class forum that two key courses namely approximation theory and functional analysis in my plan for the maths MSc will not (despite the misleading rubric on the course site) be phased out so I can do the MSc courses in a more logical order. Also I'm swithering as far as philosphy is concerned whether or not to specialise in Analytical philosophy for which the infrastructure is not really there for part time study via distance learning at postgraduate level or Continental Philosophy for which there is a distance learning MA available via Lampeter University.

http://www.trinitysaintdavid.ac.uk/en/courses/postgraduatecourses/maeuropeanphilosophy/

I'll talk more about the difference between Analytical philosophy and Continental philosophy later but my mind is tending towards trying to understand both schools of thought and the Lampeter MA does seem to give a good grounding in the area of Continental Philosophy. Given that most people have heard of Kant, Nietszche, Heidegger and Foucault but not say Michael Dummett, Hilary Putnam, Kripke or Davidson (All leading lights in contemporary analytical philosophy) then it is clear which has had the more impact on society as a whole. Also the chance to read in depth such classics as The Critique of Pure Reason, Nietszche's Genealogy of morals and Heidegger's Being and time seems to good to miss.

The first priority is still the Maths degree followed by the MSc and also to complete my undergraduate philosphy eductation by doing the Philosophy of Mind OU course next year, followed by some of Geoffrey Klempners Philosophy Pathways modules especially Philosophy of language and Metaphysics.

http://www.philosophypathways.com/programs/pak2.html

So the timetable for the Maths courses over the next few years looks like

Feb 2012 - Oct 2012 Topology (M338), Group Theory M336, Philosophy of Mind

Oct 2012 - July 2013 Number theory and logic (M381) / Mathematical methods and fluid mechanics(MS326) also do Geoffrey Klempners pathways modules.

October 2013 Start Maths MSc with Caclulus of Variations

Also 2 modules from Lampeter University MA

Writing about Philosophy and Hermeneutics

2014 Approximation theory and Applied Complex variables

Year 2 of Lampeter MA Kant and Nietzsche

2015 Functional analysis and either Analytical Number theory 1 or Fractals

Year 3 of Lampeter MA Heidegger and Directed reading on one book probably

Adorno's Negative dialectics

2016 Dissertation For both Math's MSc and Lampeter MA

2017 onwards see what my options for doing a part time Phd in either maths or philosophy are.

This will take me upto the age of 60 by which time I should be able to move to part time work whilst concurrently doing a part time PhD, at the minute the demands of a full time job mean my options are fairly limited. This extended period also gives me time to save a bit more money for the course fees.

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