Why Eric matters to us all

Professor Eric Matthews died this time last year.

Yesterday I attended a conference in honour of Eric Matthews in Aberdeen. I have put together this short film based on some of that conference. The film begins with Eric’s wife Hellen and ends with one of his PhD students, Dr Martin Wyllie.

Whilst I did not know Eric well, we met many times at the annual Royal College of Psychiatrists (for Scotland) Philosophy Special Interest Group. The last time I met Eric was in Stirling, 25th November 2016, where I was one of those presenting some thoughts. Eric sat in the audience and listened to me nervously express concerns about ‘Improvement Science’ and my worry that this mechanical (industry-based approach to well-being) did not seem to consider ethics as integral to its approach.  It was Eric’s nods, smiles, and gentle affirmations that sustained me (he was aware that I had departed from the flock).

It was through my interest in Eric’s philosophy that Martin Wyllie, one of Eric’s PhD students, became my best friend. Eric lives on in many – and Martin is one of those.

So, I would suggest that one reason, amongst many others,  why Eric Matthews matters to us all is because ethics matter.


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