What is friendship? Is it a suitable subject for Philosophy? Mark Vernon, author of The Philosophy of Friendship, explores these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Direct download: VernonMixSes_1.MP3
Category:Mark Vernon -- posted at: 7:40pm BST

Can differences in income be morally justified? Should we expect rich people to give their money to the poor? G.A. Cohen, author of a book with the provocative title If You're An Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich? addresses these questions in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Direct download: CohenMixSes.mp3
Category:G.A. Cohen -- posted at: 11:30am BST

Can I trust my senses? Can I tell that I'm not now dreaming? Some philosophical sceptics have maintained that we can't know anything for certain. Barry Stroud discusses the challenge posed by such sceptics in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Direct download: StroudMixSes.MP3
Category:Barry Stroud -- posted at: 8:39pm BST

Philosophers often use elaborate thought experiments in their writing. Are these anything more than rhetorical flourishes? Or do they reveal important aspects of the questions under discussion. Julian Baggini, editor of The Philosophers' Magazine and author of a book which surveys some of the most interesting and imaginative thought experiments philosophers have used discusses thought experiments with Nigel Warburton for this episode of Philosophy Bites. David Edmonds introduces the interview.
Direct download: BagginiMixSes.mp3
Category:Julian Baggini -- posted at: 12:33pm BST

What are the passions and what role do they play in human life? These fundamental questions fascinated Baruch de Spinoza who in his book Ethics gave a highly original account of what it is to be human. In this episode of Philosophy Bites, Susan James explains Spinoza's thought in conversation with Nigel Warburton. David Edmonds introduces the discussion.
Direct download: JamesMixSes.MP3
Category:Susan James -- posted at: 5:12pm BST

Is there a common currency in which we can compare the various ways in which people choose to live? Isaiah Berlin thought not. He argued that fundamental values may be incommensurable. In this episode of Philosophy Bites Henry Hardy in conversation with Nigel Warburton explains what Berlin meant by this. He also reveals in passing that Tony Blair once wrote to Berlin hoping to find an intellectual ally..
Direct download: HardyMixSes.MP3
Category:Henry Hardy -- posted at: 6:48pm BST

What is happiness? Is it a matter of blissful mental states subjectively experienced, or is it, as Aristotle believed, more about a successful life? In this episode of Philosophy Bites Myles Burnyeat in conversation with Nigel Warburton gives a lucid explanation of how he reads Aristotle on happiness.
Direct download: BurnyeatMixSes.MP3
Category:Miles Burnyeat -- posted at: 5:01pm BST

What is philosophy? Does academic philosophy squeeze the life out of some of the most important questions we can ask? Alain de Botton, author of the bestseller The Consolations of Philosophy, discusses his conception of philosophy and the importance of literary style with Nigel Warburton in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Direct download: DeBotton2MixSess_copy.MP3
Category:Alain de Botton -- posted at: 8:43pm BST

Plato's Symposium is the most famous philosophical discussion of love, its joys, risks and pleasures. In this episode of Philosophy Bites Angie Hobbs gives a lively account of what Plato thought about erotic love.
Direct download: HobbsLoveMixSess.MP3
Category:Angie Hobbs -- posted at: 11:01am BST

Is there evidence of intelligent design in the Universe? In the Eighteenth Century David Hume presented a series of powerful arguments against the Argument from Design. In this interview for Philosophy Bites Stewart Sutherland outlines these arguments and demonstrates their continuing relevance.
Direct download: SutherlandMixSes.MP3
Category:Stewart Sutherland -- posted at: 1:08pm BST

What do we mean by 'consent' in a medical context? Is it reasonable to ask for informed consent before performing medical procedures? Is consent even the most important issue. Onora O'Neill challenges some widely-held assumptions in this area in this interview for Philosophy Bites.
Direct download: ONeillMixSess.mp3
Category:Onora O'Neill -- posted at: 10:21pm BST

What is the state? How do individuals combine to lend legitimate authority to those who act on the state's behalf? These are fundamental questions in political philosophy that Thomas Hobbes addressed in the seventeenth century. In this interview Quentin Skinner gives a fascinating account of Hobbes' ideas about the state.
Direct download: SkinnerMixSes.mp3
Category:Quentin Skinner -- posted at: 6:06am BST

Anthony Kenny has recently published a major new four-volume history of philosophy. Nigel Warburton interviews him about this project for this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Direct download: KennyMixSes.MP3
Category:Anthony Kenny -- posted at: 9:53am BST

What is the mind and how does it relate to our bodies? How can something physical think? These are fundamental questions in the philosophy of mind. Tim Crane addresses these difficult issues in this interview for Philosophy Bites.
Direct download: CraneMixSess.MP3
Category:Tim Crane -- posted at: 9:35pm BST

Some people see Philosophy as close to science. In this episode of the podcast Philosophy Bites Jonathan Rée explores the idea that Philosophy is an art.
Direct download: ReeMix.MP3
Category:Jonathan Rée -- posted at: 4:57pm BST

What is existentialism? Is it still relevant to us? Sartre believed that we are free to choose what we make of our lives. Was he right?  In this interview for Philosophy Bites Mary Warnock gives her views on Jean-Paul Sartre's existentialism.
Direct download: WarnockSarMixSess.mp3
Category:Mary Warnock -- posted at: 3:08pm BST

In this week's episode of Philosophy Bites Nigel Warburton interviews Peter Adamson about Avicenna (born in 973) whom he describes as the greatest philosopher in the history of Islamic thought. The discussion focusses on Avicenna's argument for God's existence.
Direct download: AdamsonMixSes.MP3
Category:Peter Adamson -- posted at: 10:36am BST

What makes an action a good one? According to consequentialists this question is decided by the action's actual or likely consequences. In this episode of Philosophy Bites the moral philosopher Brad Hooker explains what consequentialism is and defends it against possible criticism.
Direct download: Hooker1MixSess.MP3
Category:Brad Hooker -- posted at: 7:50pm BST

Are moral choices simply relative, a matter of culture or taste? Are genuine moral disagreements possible? Should we just tolerate different ways that people choose to live?  Nigel Warburton interviews Simon Blackburn on these important questions. In the course of the discussion Blackburn outlines his own quasi-realist position.
Direct download: BlackburnRelMixSess.mp3
Category:Simon Blackburn -- posted at: 12:42pm BST

What is disadvantage? How can we identify the most disadvantaged in society and what should we or governments do about it? Jonathan Wolff, co-author of a new book on the topic, outlines his answers to these questions in this interview for Philosophy Bites.
Direct download: WolffMixSess.MP3
Category:Jonathan Wolff -- posted at: 11:32pm BST

Philosopher Timothy Williamson explains how we can make sense of such vague concepts as 'heap' or 'red' or 'bald' in the process outlining his own solution to what are usually known as Sorites Paradoxes. Williamson gives a precise account of what 'vagueness' means, how it differs from ambiguity, and why this matters.
Direct download: WilliamsonMixSess.MP3
Category:Timothy Williamson -- posted at: 6:59pm BST

Are all our thoughts simply physical events in our bodies? Can we give a purely physical account of the conscious human mind?  David Papineau believes that we can. In this interview for Philosophy Bites he explains what physicalism is, why he believes it to be true, and how it can be defended against a range of criticisms.
Direct download: PapineauPhys.mp3
Category:David Papineau -- posted at: 9:37am BST

Is belief in the existence of a God or gods the equivalent of believing that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden? Or can it be defended on the basis of reason or evidence? In this interview for Philosophy Bites  Anthony Grayling gives a philosophical defence of atheism and explains why he believes it to be a well-grounded and ultimately life-affirming position to hold.
Direct download: GraylingA.MP3
Category:Anthony Grayling -- posted at: 9:50am BST

Infinity is a difficult concept to grasp and one that introduces several paradoxes. In this interview for Philosophy Bites, Adrian Moore, author of an important book on the subject, gives a clear and stimulating introduction to the philosophy of infinity.
Direct download: Moore.MP3
Category:Adrian Moore -- posted at: 12:24pm BST

How should we live? John Stuart Mill, one of the great thinkers of the nineteenth century thought that we should maximise happiness. Here Roger Crisp, author of an acclaimed book on Mill, explains Mill's utilitarian ethical theory.
Direct download: Crisput.MP3
Category:Roger Crisp -- posted at: 2:18pm BST

Edward Craig, editor of the Routledge Encylopedia of Philosophy and author of Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction gives an interesting angle on the nature of philosophy, how it relates to other kinds of thinking, and what makes good philosophy good.
Direct download: CraigPhil.MP3
Category:Edward Craig -- posted at: 6:36pm BST

Should members of a minority group be left to lead their lives as they see fit, even where their values differ from those of the majority? Anne Phillips, author of a recent book on multiculturalism, addresses the difficult question of how people from different cultures can live together without conflict.
Direct download: PhillipsMulti.MP3
Category:Anne Phillips -- posted at: 11:32am BST

How important is beauty in architecture? Is a concern with beauty mere asetheticism? Alain de Botton, author of The Architecture of Happiness, discusses the nature and value of architectural beauty in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Direct download: DeBotton1.MP3
Category:Alain de Botton -- posted at: 9:21am BST

Is wine tasting a purely subjective matter? Why should we value the experience of drinking wine? Philosopher Barry Smith, editor of a new book on the philosophy of wine, Questions of Taste, explores these and related issues in this interview.
Direct download: SmithWine.MP3
Category:Barry Smith -- posted at: 9:55am BST

Testimonial injustice occurs when others fail to treat you seriously as a source of knowledge. In this interview Miranda Fricker, author of a recent book on the topic, explains this concept which lies at the intersection between epistemology and political philosophy.
Direct download: FrickerMixSess.MP3
Category:Miranda Fricker -- posted at: 4:46pm BST

What is the meaning of life? This is a basic question for all of us. There is also the possibility that life has no meaning whatsoever. In this interview John Cottingham explains his vision of the kinds of meaning that we can find in our lives.
Direct download: CottinghamMix.mp3
Category:John Cottingham -- posted at: 4:19pm BST

What is evil? Is it consistent with the existence of a benevolent God? In this interview Stephen Law gives an original take on this traditional philosophical problem.
Direct download: LawEvil.mp3
Category:Stephen Law -- posted at: 9:57am BST

What can philosophers contribute to public life? Mary Warnock who sits in the House of Lords and has chaired two important commissions discusses how her training in philosophy prepared her for these roles.
Direct download: WarnockPublic.mp3
Category:Mary Warnock -- posted at: 11:03pm BST

What is the nature of reality? Is the world as it appears, or is there something timeless behind the world of appearances? Simon Blackburn discusses one of the most famous images in Philosophy: Plato's cave.
Direct download: BlackburnPlato.mp3
Category:Simon Blackburn -- posted at: 10:32pm BST





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