Philosophy Podcasts

by Brian on April 5, 2012

Recently Kevin Drum asked his readers for podcast recommendations. I learned two big things from his nice summary of the replies.

One is that the In Our Time archives have now been made available. This is a very nice thing for the BBC to do, and I suspect I’ll be spending a lot of time listening to them over the forthcoming months.

The other is that there is a lot of demand out there for philosophy podcasting. As well as In Our Time (which has over 60 philosophy programs in its archive), there were a lot of recommendations for David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton’s Philosophy Bites.

So in the interest of satisfying that demand, I thought I’d post a link to a couple more philosophy podcasts, and see if CT readers had suggestions for more.

Philosopher’s Zone is a weekly philosophy show on Australia’s Radio National. It features a mixture of public lectures, interviews with philosophers, and programs on specific topics.

The 10-Minute Puzzle is a new podcast series out of the Northern Institute of Philosophy centre in Aberdeen. It basically does what it says on the tin: introduce a philosophy puzzle and some of the natural solutions to it in 10 minutes.

The links I’ve posted so far have a pretty high concentration of male presenters. But I’m sure that if I knew more about what was available, that imbalance would be somewhat corrected. So, any further suggestions?

{ 23 comments }

1

Mark Eli Kalderon 04.05.12 at 7:44 pm

The talks at the Aristotelian Society are now podcast. See here:

http://www.aristoteliansociety.org.uk/proceedings/podcasts_papers.html

4 out of 10 of the posted podcasts are by women.

2

Brian 04.05.12 at 7:48 pm

That’s really good of the Aristotelian Society to do that – thanks!

3

Barry Stocker 04.05.12 at 7:54 pm

New Books in Philosophy
http://newbooksinphilosophy.com/
Presented by Robert Talisse and Carrie Figdor

Elucidations
http://philosophy.uchicago.edu/podcasts/elucidations.html
Monthly. Grad students interview philosophers

History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps
http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/
Peter Adamson, KCL

4

dictateursanguinaire 04.05.12 at 8:07 pm

PB has a really good range of guests, though usually leaves me wanting for more. A lot of times, in the short time span, they will only cover the basics — which definitely serves a purpose. But it straddles a weird line between functional-informative and like, discussion/analysis. And oftentimes the discussion (I listened to a particularly disappointing one on Kierkegaard recently) is kind of banal. Still, very appreciative that they are even doing the project at all.

5

Andrew 04.05.12 at 9:26 pm

I really like “The Partially Examined Life” – three philosophy PhD dropouts, several years on, picking texts and discussing them in depth (sometimes a couple of hours, and that’s the edited version). They aren’t necessarily experts (at the risk of incurring the wrath of Brian Leiter, they have a bias towards continental philosophy and are sometimes surprisingly ignorant about historical political philosophy in particular), but it’s interesting to hear three intelligent people discussing real philosophy.

http://www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/

6

Carol 04.05.12 at 9:43 pm

On Being with Krista Tippett tends toward interviews with religious/spiritual leaders and thinkers, but includes all faiths and traditions.
http://being.publicradio.org/

7

praymont 04.05.12 at 9:50 pm

There are some philosophy podcasts at Rationally Speaking: http://www.rationallyspeakingpodcast.org/archive/

And there are discussions in contemporary analytic philosophy at Philosophy TV: http://www.philostv.com/

8

praymont 04.05.12 at 10:00 pm

Also, Backdoor Broadcasting has an impressive archive of philosophy podcasts:
http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/?s=philosophy

There’s another good archive at WHY Radio:

http://www.philosophyinpubliclife.org/Why/previousshows.html

9

praymont 04.05.12 at 10:37 pm

Oxford has a bunch of philosophy podcasts: http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/keywords/philosophy

10

Brian 04.05.12 at 10:39 pm

Thanks everyone so far for all the good links. I’ll compile everything into an update to the post some time over the weekend, assuming more stuff comes in.

11

Ari Kohen 04.06.12 at 1:06 am

I’m not sure how philosophical exactly you’ll find this podcast, but I do a weekly podcast on heroism with a colleague that always touches on questions of ethics and morality. There’s some psychology, some literature, some political science as well, and many weeks we have a guest join us: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-hero-report/id497972879

12

tomslee 04.06.12 at 1:17 am

Not really philosophy, but you mentioned In Our Time, so maybe I can point out that Eleanor Wachtel of the CBC is simply the best interviewer of authors I’ve ever heard. Her interviews on “Writers and Company” and “Wachtel on the Arts” are available from here and here respectively.

13

tomslee 04.06.12 at 1:27 am

I should add that she’s been doing this for 20 years, and the latest is an interview with Adrienne Rich rebroadcast from 1994. Over time Wachtel has mastered the art of the minimal interview, giving the author open-ended questions and letting them be the focus. She wasn’t quite there in 1994, but at some point I am convinced that she will achieve the ultimate: a complete interview without asking anything at all.

14

Substance McGravitas 04.06.12 at 3:25 am

Eleanor Wachtel of the CBC is simply the best interviewer of authors I’ve ever heard.

The John le Carré interview was nearly perfect.

15

sean matthews 04.06.12 at 10:19 pm

How you you get the ‘over 60 philosophy programs in its archive’ value for ‘In our time’? There are about 14 programs that I can find.

16

Jen Cypher 04.06.12 at 11:17 pm

The CBC program Ideas often has philosophy as a theme. The ran a series on ‘the birth of the modern public’ that was very good, available on iTunes. I also enjoy Eleanor Wachtel’s interviews and her very wide-ranging array of guests.

17

ChrisTS 04.06.12 at 11:39 pm

@dictateursanguinaire (what a handle!) #4:

I like PB’s pods precisely becuase (a) I can send intro-level students to listen to them and (b) I think they are a good bridge between professionals and the public (something we need).

18

Robert Silvey 04.07.12 at 12:53 am

John Perry and Ken Taylor of Stanford host Philosophy Talk every week. It’s in the form of a spirited conversation, accessible but probing. They describe it, accurately, as “the program that questions everything . . . except your intelligence.”

19

nick s 04.07.12 at 5:07 am

The ran a series on ‘the birth of the modern public’ that was very good, available on iTunes.

I’ll second that and provide the link to CBC’s page. The Ideas strand (and Writers and Company) are consistently high in quality, and don’t suffer from the standard problem of In Our Time, which is that the more you know about a subject, the more awkward it is to listen to Lord Melv and his guests.

20

Nemo 04.07.12 at 9:27 pm

Robert M.Price is a former minister with a Ph.D in theology and a second Ph.D in New Testament. He has lost his faith and does a lot of writing on rationalistic Biblical criticism ( he now doesn’t believe Jesus even existed). He does a truly awesome podcast called “The Bible Geek” multiple times a week. This may sound less than exciting but trust me, it’s a lot of fun (example: whenever he talks about Moses he does so in a spot on Charlton Heston impression). The link is here

http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/biblegeek.php

Price has recently started a second podcast called “The Human Bible” which is sponsored by the Center for Inquiry. This comes out every two weeks. It is more basic and Price is more restrained than on The Bible Geek. The link for this one is here

http://www.thehumanbible.net/

21

maidhc 04.07.12 at 9:39 pm

In Our Time is available as streaming audio for all shows, I believe. If you have an XP system or older, you can record these yourself and make MP3s out of them. If you have a more modern system, you would have to run a cable from the speaker output to the microphone input or something like that.

The site says all shows will be available as downloadable podcasts. However, that is not currently the case. The most recent shows are there as podcasts, and some of the older ones, but not all.

IOT covers a wide range of topics, mostly to do with science, history and the history of ideas. The guests are usually respectable academic experts. I’m not sure about the comment from nick s above (MB is a pushy interviewer, I admit), but I’d say if you don’t know that much about a topic, IOT will give you a quick ramp-up on the conventional wisdom.

I like some of the other podcasts from CBC and ABC too, not necessarily just about philosophy. BBC 4 and 4 Extra also have some good documentaries, but these are available only for one week as streaming audio only. 4 Extra also has a lot of radio drama, old comedy shows, etc. BBC 2 and 6 do some music documentaries. (There is a big one on Frank Sinatra coming up, if you are a fan of his.)

22

tomslee 04.07.12 at 10:04 pm

I’d say if you don’t know that much about a topic, IOT will give you a quick ramp-up on the conventional wisdom.

My hit rate is about 50%, which is not bad at all. I’ve found several of them very worthwhile.

23

praymont 04.08.12 at 6:08 am

Cambridge University’s philosophy podcasts are at http://www.sms.cam.ac.uk/institution/PHIL — I think they’re also on iTunes.

There are some podcasts in continental philosophy at Stanford’s ‘Entitled Opinions’ at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/fren-ital/opinions/

The excellent Open Culture site lists a bunch of on-line philosophy courses at http://www.openculture.com/philosophy_free_courses

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