Philosophy Bites

By Edmonds and Warburton

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Description

top philosophers interviewed on bite-sized topics

Episode Date
Robert Wright on Why Buddhism is True
19:56

Robert Wright believes that there are a number of key tenets of Buddhism which are both compatible with present day evolutionary theory, and accurate about our relationship with the world and with our own minds. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he discusses Buddhism, reality, and the mind, with interviewer Nigel Warburton. 


We are very grateful for support for this episode from the Marc Sanders Foundation

We are also grateful for the continuing support we receive from donations on Patreon and Paypal.

May 07, 2018
Larry Temkin on Obligations to the Needy
21:04

How can we best help other people? Peter Singer has argued that we should give aid. Despite a lifetime spent believing this, Larry Temkin has started to question whether the effects of aid are beneficial. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he discusses some qualms about Peter Singer's arguments. 

Apr 02, 2018
Sarah Fine on the Right to Exclude
21:10

Do states have a moral right to exclude people from their territory? It might seem obvious that states do have such a right, but Sarah Fine questions this in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

This episode of Philosophy Bites was sponsored by the Examining Ethics podcast from the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University. You can subscribe to Examining Ethics on iTunes or listen to episodes at ExaminingEthics.Org

Feb 14, 2018
Eric Schwitzgebel on Scepticism
18:32

How do I know I'm not dreaming? This sort of question has puzzled philosophers for thousands of years. Eric Schwitzgebel discusses scepticism and its history with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

This episode of Philosophy Bites was sponsored by the Examining Ethics podcast from the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University. You can subscribe to Examining Ethics on iTunes or listen to episodes at ExaminingEthics.Org

 

Jan 11, 2018
Philip Pettit on Robustly Demanding Goods
18:28

What is a robustly demanding good, and what has that got to do with friendship and love? Find out in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast in which Nigel Warburton interviews Princeton Professor Philip Pettit about this topic. 

 

Dec 10, 2017
Katalin Farkas on Knowing a Person
13:58

Philosophers talk about 'knowing how' and 'knowing what'. But what is involved in knowing a person? Katalin Farkas discusses this question with David Edmonds in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

This episode was sponsored by the Examining Ethics podcast from the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University.

Nov 06, 2017
Roger Scruton on Human Nature
18:03

Are human beings fundamentally different from the rest of the animal world? Can what we essentially are be captured in a biological or evolutionary description? Roger Scruton discusses the nature of human nature with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Aug 29, 2017
Anil Seth on the Real Problem of Consciousness
23:08

The Hard Problem of consciousness is the difficulty of reconciling experience with materialism. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, in conversation with Nigel Warburton, Anil Seth, a neuroscientist, explains his alternative approach to consciousness,which he labels the 'Real Problem. Anil is a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow

Jul 19, 2017
Michael Puett on Ritual in Chinese Philosophy
20:05

Why does apparently trivial ritual play such an important part in some ancient Chinese philosophy? Michael Puett, co-author of The Path, explains in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

This episode of Philosophy Bites was sponsored by the Examining Ethics podcast from the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University. You can subscribe to Examining Ethics on iTunes or listen to episodes at ExaminingEthics.Org

Jun 26, 2017
Aaron Meskin on the Definition of Art
17:05

What is Art? That's not an easy question to answer. Some philosophers even think it can't be answered. Aaron Meskin discusses this question on this episode of Aesthetics Bites. Aesthetics Bites is a podcast series of interviews with top thinkers in the philosophy of art. It is a collaboration between the London Aesthetics Forum and Philosophy Bites and is made possible by a grant from the British Society of Aesthetics.

May 30, 2017
Shelly Kagan on Death and Deprivation
23:57

The process of dying can be horrible for many, but is there anything bad about death itself? The obvious answer is that deprives us of something that we might otherwise have experienced. But that leads to further philosophical issues...Shelly Kagan discusses some of these with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Apr 18, 2017
Elisabeth Schellekens Dammann on Disagreement About Taste
20:38

We certainly disagree about aesthetic judgments in a range of cases. But is anyone right? Is there  no disputing about taste? Are all tastes equal? Elisabeth Schellekens Damman discusses disagreement about taste in this episode of Aesthetics Bites. 

Aesthetics Bites is a podcast series of interviews with top thinkers in the philosophy of art. It is a collaboration betwen the London Aesthetics Forum and Philosophy Bites and is made possible by a grant from the British Society of Aesthetics.

Apr 18, 2017
Andy Clark on The Extended Mind
18:06

Andy Clark, who with David Chalmers proposed the theory of the extended mind, explains what he means by this idea in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Mar 18, 2017
Stephen Davies on Art and Evolution
13:17

Why do we have art at all? There must be some evolutionary explanation. In this episode of the Aesthetics Bites podcast series, Stephen Davies discusses some of the evolutionary theories about where art came from in conversation with Nigel Warburton. 

Aesthetics Bites is a podcast series of interviews with top thinkers in the philosophy of art. It is a collaboration between the London Aesthetics Forum and Philosophy Bites and is made possible by a grant from the British Society of Aesthetics .

Mar 01, 2017
Eileen John on Art and Morality
15:34

In this episode of  Aesthetics Bites, Eileen John discusses some of the ways that art explores moral questions. Nigel Warburton is the interviewer.

Aesthetics Bites is a  series of interviews with top thinkers in the philosophy of art. It is a collaboration between the London Aesthetics Forum and Philosophy Bites and is made possible by a grant from the British Society of Aesthetics.

 

Mar 01, 2017
Chris Frith on The Point of Consciousness
16:10

Why do we have consciousness at all? Neuroscientist Chris Frith discusses this question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of Mind Bites which is part of a series made in association with Philosophy Bites for Nick Shea's AHRC-funded Meaning for the Brain and Meaning for the Person project. 

Feb 03, 2017
Keith Frankish on Conscious Thought
11:59

One distinctive feature of human beings is that we can represent aspects of the world to ourselves, and also counterfactual situations. We do this through our conscious thoughts. Keith Frankish discusses this phenomenon in this episode of Mind Bites, which was made as part of Nicholas Shea's ASHRC-funded Meaning for the Brain and Meaning for the Person project.

Jan 14, 2017
Amia Srinivasan on What is a Woman?
19:46

'What is a woman?' may seem a straightforward question, but it isn't. Feminist philosophers from Simone de Beauvoir onwards have had a great deal to say on this topic. Amia Srinivasan gives a lucid introduction to some of the key positions in this debate in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. She is talking to Nigel Warburton.

Jan 01, 2017
Kate Jeffery on Concepts and Representation
16:26

Neuroscientist Kate Jeffery discusses how the brain represents the world. This episode is is part of a short series Mind Bites made in association with Nicholas Shea's AHRC-funded Meaning for the Brain and Meaning for the Person project. That website is open for comments and discussion of the topic of this podcast.

Dec 05, 2016
Anthony Gottlieb on Pierre Bayle
15:02

Pierre Bayle was one of the best-known philosophers in the Eighteenth Century, but his work is now rarely studied. Anthony Gottlieb, author of The Dream of Enlightenment, argues that he should be better known, particularly his work on toleration and on scepticism. 

Dec 02, 2016
Kathleen Stock on Fiction and the Emotions
17:30

How should we understand the emotions that readers feel about fictional characters? Kathleen Stock discusses this question with Nigel Warburton in this, the second episode of Aesthetics Bites, a collaboration between the London Aesthetics Forum and Philosophy Bites, made possibly by a grant from the British Society of Aesthetics.

Nov 12, 2016
David Miller on Immigration
21:00

Immigration is one of the major, and most contentious, political issues of our day. Can philosophy help here? David Miller thinks so. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he speaks to David Edmonds about border controls and their justification. 

Nov 12, 2016
Sophie Scott on the Meaning of Laughter
20:20

What is laughter? What roles does it serve? Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist, discusses this serious question with Nigel Warburton for this episode of Mind Bites, a series made in association with Philosophy Bites as part of Nicholas Shea's AHRC-funded Meaning for the Brain and Meaning for the Person project 

Oct 11, 2016
Peter Godfrey-Smith on Mental Representations
19:04

Do we map the world in our minds? Does that imply that we have a little inner map-reader in our heads interpreting mental representations? Peter Godfrey-Smith discusses these issues with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. This episode is is part of a short series Mind Bites made in association with Nicholas Shea's AHRC-funded Meaning for the Brain and Meaning for the Person project.

Oct 03, 2016
Noel Carroll on Criticism
16:15

Noel Carroll argues that evaluation is a central element of criticism of art, drama, dance, music, and literature.  Nigel Warburton is the interviewer for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. This is the first of a series of 6 interviews on Aesthetics, made in association with the London Aesthetics Forum and made possible by a grant from the British Society of Aesthetics.

Oct 02, 2016
Cecile Fabre on Remembrance
21:37

How should we remember and commemorate those who die in war? What about the enemy dead? Cecile Fabre discusses this issue with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Sep 20, 2016
Jesse Prinz on Thinking with Pictures
21:40

Many philosophers deny the common sense view that we think with pictures. Are they right to do so? Jesse Prinz doesn't think so. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he explains to Nigel Warburton why we need to think again about thinking with pictures. This episode is part of the series Mind Bites, made in association with Nicholas Shea's AHRC-sponsored Meaning for the Brain and Meaning for the Person project. 

Aug 01, 2016
Kieran Setiya on the Mid-Life Crisis
12:32

The mid-life crisis is a well-observed phenomenon. Is there a philosophical angle on this? MIT philosopher Kieran Setiya thinks there is. He discusses it in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

Jul 06, 2016
Catherine Wilson on Epicureanism
17:20

Epicureanism has been caricatured as a philosophy of indulgence. But what did followers of the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus really believe? Catherine Wilson discusses Epicureanism with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

May 30, 2016
Gregg Caruso on Freewill and Punishment
16:42

If determinism is true, can there be any justification for punishment? Gregg Caruso discusses this issue on Philosophy Bites.

Apr 26, 2016
Greg Currie on the Philosophy of Film
19:27

This episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast focuses on several questions about representation and perception in the philosophy of film. Nigel Warburton talks to Greg Currie

Mar 26, 2016
Katherine Morris on Merleau-Ponty on the Body
17:58

Maurice Merleau-Ponty was one of the most interesting of the French phenomenological thinkers, but his reputation has been eclipsed by those of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Katherine Morris discusses some of Merleau-Ponty's ideas about the body in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Mar 02, 2016
Michael Devitt on Experimental Semantics
15:12

Does the word 'Gödel' straightforwardly refer to the person who came up with the incompleteness theory of arithmetic? Some think the best way to find out to ask people about their intuitions on the topic? This creates all kinds of problems, as Michael Devitt explains in conversation with Nigel Warburton.

Feb 14, 2016
Steven Hyman on Categorising Mental Disorders
16:43

Steven E. Hyman discusses the philosophical issues that arise from attempting to categorise mental disorders with David Edmonds in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jan 29, 2016
Leif Wenar on Trade and Tyranny
18:32

Where does our oil come from? Does it matter? Leif Wenar, author of the recent book Blood Oil, argues that Western democracies are compromising themselves by buying either directly or indirectly from vicious tyrants. 

Jan 10, 2016
Katrin Flikschuh on Philosophy in Africa
17:21

In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Katrin Flikschuh addresses the question 'What sort of philosophy is going on in Africa?'

Dec 16, 2015
Carlo Rovelli on Philosophy and Physics
22:26

Some eminent physicists, including Stephen Hawking, have been sceptical of the value of philosophy to physics. Carlo Rovelli, a theoretical physicist with a strong interest in philosophy, disagrees. Here he discusses the relationship between philosophy and physics with Nigel Warburton.

Nov 29, 2015
John Worrall on Evidence-Based Medicine
12:26

What sort of conclusions can we legitimately draw from the experiments that support evidence-based medicine? John Worrall questions some of the received opinion on this topic in this interview with David Edmonds for Philosophy Bites

Nov 17, 2015
Joshua Greene on the Construction of Thought
12:19

We take for granted the fact that we can combine concepts to give new thoughts, and understand the thoughts too. How do we do that? Joshua D. Greene discusses this question in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Oct 31, 2015
Graham Priest on Buddhism and Philosophy
17:52

What is the nature of the self? What is reality? How should we live? These are fundamental philosophical questions. Graham Priest discusses how such questions have been discussed in the Buddhist tradition for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Oct 13, 2015
Jesse Prinz on Is Everything Socially Constructed?
20:27

To what degree is reality something created by us? Jesse Prinz explores this fascinating question in conversation with Nigel Warburton

Sep 27, 2015
Massimo Pigliucci on the Demarcation Problem
23:56

How can you tell science from non-science? Karl Popper argued that the falsifiability of a hypothesis is the mark of science. Massimo Pigliucci is not so sure about that. 

 

 

Sep 13, 2015
David Owens on Duty
12:42

What is a duty and what sort of obligation does it put us on? David Owens explores the nature of duty in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. If you enjoy Philosophy Bites, please consider supporting us via Patreon.

Sep 01, 2015
Kimberley Brownlee on Social Deprivation
17:24

We are a highly social species: we need human contact. But do we have a right to it? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Kimberley Brownlee suggests that this is an ingredient in a minimally decent human life...

Aug 19, 2015
Shelly Kagan on Speciesism
24:33

The philosopher Peter Singer is famous for his attack on speciesism, the alleged prejudice that many exhibit in favour of human interests when compared with the interests of other animals. Here Shelly Kagan outlines Singer's position and takes issue with it. In the process he makes some interesting points about prejudices in general.



Aug 01, 2015
Susan James on Foucault and Knowledge
21:37

Michel Foucault's work explores a wide range of topics; it includes histories of both punishment and sex. He also wrote more abstractly about philosophical topics. One theme to which he kept returning, whatever the topic, was the nature of our knowledge. Susan James discusses this thread in his work in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jul 22, 2015
Larry Temkin on Transitivity
20:57

How do you choose which course of action is best? It seems reasonable that if A is better than B, and B is better than C, A must be better than C. But is it? Larry Temkin challenges this idea, known as the axiom of transitivity.

Jul 06, 2015
William B. Irvine on Living Stoically
13:30

How should we live? is a basic philosophical question. The Stoics had some answers. But are they relevant today? William B. Irvine thinks so. Listen to his conversation with Nigel Warburton on this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jun 21, 2015
Steven Lukes on Power
14:25

What is power? Steven Lukes argues for a three-dimensional account of this concept in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jun 06, 2015
Theodore Zeldin on Philosophy and History
12:09

The historian and writer Theodore Zeldin gives his personal take on the relation betwen philosophy and history in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

Jun 06, 2015
Jesse Prinz on Art and Emotion
20:29

What part do emotions play in our appreciation of art? Jesse Prinz explores the sense of wonder at artworks in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

May 22, 2015
Cassim Quassam on Conspiracy Theories
20:47

What is a conspiracy? Why do conspiracies - real or imagined -  matter to philsophy? Cassim Quaassam explores these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton

May 10, 2015
Tim Williamson on the Appeal of Relativism
13:47

Are all truths relative? That's an attractive idea for many people. Tim Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford University discusses why and attempts to immunise us against sloppy thinking in this area.

Apr 28, 2015
Shaun Nichols on Death and the Self
14:43

How does your view of the self affect your attitude to your own death? Shaun Nichols discusses this question in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Apr 14, 2015
Rebecca Roache on Swearing
17:40

Warning: this episode on the philosophy of swearing includes swearing. Rebecca Roache discusses swearing and whether there are good arguments for refraining from it. 

Mar 29, 2015
Lisa Bortolotti on Irrationality
17:18

We're all irrational some of the time, probably more of the time than we are ready to acknowledge.  Lisa Bortolotti discusses the nature of irrationality with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

Mar 19, 2015
Jonathan Webber on Deceiving With Words
13:32

There are many ways to deceive with words, some of which don't involve lying. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Jonathan Webber considers whether it matters or not if you lie. 

Mar 01, 2015
Simon Critchley on Suicide
17:37

Albert Camus described suicide as the 'one really serious philosophical problem'. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Simon Critchley discusses suicide with Nigel Warburton.

Feb 16, 2015
Christine Korsgaard on the Status of Animals
15:53

Many philosophers argue in favour of the welfare of animals because of their capacity for feeling pain. Harvard philosopher Christine Korsgaard is unusual in using Kantian arguments to defend the status of animals as ends in themselves. She discusses her approach with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Feb 03, 2015
Meira Levinson on the Aims of Education
19:06

What are the aims of education? Meira Levinson discusses this important question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosoph Bites podcast.

Jan 18, 2015
Lucy Allais on Forgiveness
17:04

What is forgiveness? Whom does it benefit? Is it ever obligatory? Lucy Allais discusses these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jan 04, 2015
Who is the most impressive philosopher you've met? A compilation.
38:12

We've collected a range of answers to the question 'Who's the most impressive philosopher you've met?' This includes the late Ronald Dworkin's response along with many others. Some of the answers are expected, but quite a few are suprising. 

Dec 20, 2014
Julia Annas on What is Virtue Ethics For?
15:15

Julia Annas explains what Virtue Ethics is for and how it differs from other approaches to the question of how we should live in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

Dec 20, 2014
Hugh Mellor on Probability
13:44

What is probability? Not an easy question to answer. We thought our best chance of clarity on this question was from Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University and author of a book on the subject, Hugh Mellor...

Dec 07, 2014
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein on Progress in Philosophy
15:30

In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Nigel Warburton interviews the philosopher and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein about whether Philosophy has made any progress since the time of Plato. If you enjoy Philosophy Bites, please support us on Patreon or via the Paypal links on our blog.

Nov 13, 2014
Adam Swift on Parental Partiality
17:27

Most people think it is acceptable to advantage their children, but how far should this go? Adam Swift discusses the limits of parental partiality in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Oct 27, 2014
Keith Frankish on the Hard Problem and the Illusion of Qualia
15:04

Keith Frankish discusses consciousness, subjective experience and the brain in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Oct 11, 2014
Ted Honderich on What It Is to be Conscious
16:39

In this episode Ted Honderich sketches his theory of the nature of consciousness. 

Oct 11, 2014
John Dupre on Genomics
16:11

Genomics is a new approach to understanding our biology, one with far-reaching consequences for our understanding of what we are and where are responsibilities lie. Philosopher of biology John Dupre explains in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Sep 29, 2014
Peter Lamarque on Literature and Truth
17:53

Many people have claimed that one of the benefits of reading writers like Dostoevsky and Shakespeare is that they convey important truths about the human condition. Peter Lamarque is sceptical about this way of speaking about literature. He explains why in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Sep 14, 2014
Jennifer Nagel on Intuitions about Knoweldge
18:40

Knowledge is part of our everyday lives. We know all kinds of things without even thinking about them. But what is going on here? Jennifer Nagel discusses our intutions about knowledge with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast

Aug 31, 2014
Tamar Gendler on Why Philosophers Use Examples
14:25

Why do philosophers use examples? Tamar Gendler explores this question in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Aug 17, 2014
Amia Srinivasan on Genealogy
19:21

Does it matter where our ideas came from? Friedrich Nietzsche famously diagnosed the origin of Christian morality in what he thought of as a slave mentality. Amia Srninivasan discusses genealogical reasoning with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Aug 02, 2014
Seth Lazar on Sparing Civilians in War
15:54

Why is it morally wrong to target civilians in war? Can civilians be distinguished clearly from combatants? Seth Lazar discusses these issues in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jul 19, 2014
Chris Betram on Rousseau's Moral Psychology
19:42

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's insights into moral psychology and its impact on how we live are the subject of this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jul 06, 2014
Roger Scruton on the Sacred
16:05

Is there any place for a notion of the sacred in contemporary life? Roger Scruton believes that there is. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he discusses his understanding of the sacred and the part it plays in our experience of each other.

Jun 24, 2014
Regina Rini on the Moral Self and Psychology
17:51

What can experimental psychology contribute to our self-development as moral agents? Philosopher Regina Rini explores this question in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jun 08, 2014
Simon Blackburn on Narcissism
15:29

Vanity, smugness, narcissism - they're not good, but they're not all the same thing. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Simon Blackburn explores what's wrong with narcissism and how it differs from related concepts.

May 24, 2014
Norman Daniels on the Philosophy of Healthcare
16:58

Should we be striving to reduce health inequalities? If so, how? Harvard philosopher Norman Daniels discusses this question in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

May 13, 2014
Tom Stoneham on George Berkeley's Immaterialism
18:55

George Berkeley was famous for arguing that objects are really just ideas. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Tom Stoneham clarifies what he meant by this. 

Apr 27, 2014
Michael Ignatieff on Political Theory and Political Practice
18:11

Michael Ignatieff was an academic with a keen inerest in political theory before he learnt the hard way about politics in practice. He was an academic who became leader of the opposition in Canada then lost heavily in the 2011 Prime Ministerial election. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he discusses the relationship between theory and practice in politics with Nigel Warburton.

Apr 12, 2014
Stephen Darwall on Moral Accountability
16:57

Moral accountability is at the heart of moral obligation and it reveals much about the attitudes we hold to each otehr. Yale professor Stephen Darwall explains what this means in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Mar 30, 2014
David Papineau on Philosophy and Sport
21:45

David Papineau discusses a range of specific sporting incidents that are of philosophical interest in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. David Papineau has a weblog on philosophy and sport: 'More Important Than That'

Mar 13, 2014
Roberto Mangabeira Unger on Deep Freedom
17:18

Roberto Unger argues that contemporary political progressives have abandoned what 19th century liberals knew: that some ways of living are better than others. In this conversation with Nigel Warburton he argues that we need a different concept of freedom, one that will allow humans to thrive.

Mar 04, 2014
Nicola Lacey on H.L.A.Hart and Legal Positivism
18:23

H.L.A. Hart made significant contributions to legal philosophy. Nicola Lacey discusses his legal positivism in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

Feb 24, 2014
John Skorupski on Normativity
16:57

Some statements are descriptive, such as 'Philosophy Bites is a podcast series'; others are normative, such as 'You ought to tell the truth'. But what exactly is normativity? John Skorupski explores this question in conversation with David Edmonds.

Feb 09, 2014
Tim Scanlon on What's Wrong with Inequality?
14:53

Is a concern for inequality of wealth just a form of envy? Are there good reasons for objecting to inequality? Harvard philosopher Tim Scanlon discusses these questions in converation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jan 25, 2014
Emma Borg on Language and Context
20:36

How much of the meaning of what we say depends on its context of utterance? Is there a role for literal meaning. Emma Borg discusses these questions with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

Jan 07, 2014
Patricia Churchland on Self Control
18:19

Neurophilosopher Pat Churchland discusses the insights that neuroscience can give us into the nature of self control in this episode of the Philosophyh Bites podcast. 

Dec 22, 2013
Jennifer Saul on Implicit Bias
16:01

Implicit biases are tricky. We all have them, apparently, but we don't realise we have them. What are the implications of these biases? Does it, perhaps, go some way to explaining why there are so few women in academic philosophy? Jennifer Saul discusses these questions with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Dec 07, 2013
Adrian Moore on Bernard Williams on Ethics
21:32

Bernard Williams was one of the most brilliant philosophers of his generation. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Adrian Moore discusses his ideas about Ethics.  

Nov 23, 2013
Rom Harre on the Linguistic Turn in Philosophy
15:47

For this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Rom Harre discusses and illustrates the so-called Linguistic Turn in Philosophy, the focus on actual uses of language that was advocated by the later Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin, Gilbert Ryle and others. 

Nov 10, 2013
Robert Talisse on the Importance of Arguments in Politics
18:59

Why is argument so important in politics? Bob Talisse, co-author of Why We Argue (and how we should), explores this issue in conversation with David Edmonds for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Oct 26, 2013
John Tasioulas on Human Rights
21:13

What are human rights? Are they simply legal rights? What is their relation to morality? John Tasioulas discusses the basis of human rights in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Oct 12, 2013
Eric Schwitzgebel on the Ethical Behaviour of Ethics Professors
16:06

You might expect people who specialize in moral philosophy to behave better than other people. Eric Schwitzgebel has done some empirical investigation of whether this is the case, and it doesn't seem to be. What does that show about ethics? Philosophy Bites investigates.

Sep 28, 2013
Alison Gopnik on Hume and Buddhism
15:50

Many people have noticed similarities between what David Hume wrote about the self and Buddhist teaching on this subject. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites archive Alison Gopnik discusses the possibility that there was a direct route of influence.

Sep 14, 2013
David Edmonds on Trolley Problems
17:16

Is it ever morally acceptable to kill one person to save many? Most people agree that in some extreme circumstances this, though psychologically difficult, can be the right action to take. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, Nigel Warburton interviews David Edmonds (co-creator of the Philosophy Bites podcast) about the life and death thought experiments known as Trolley Problems. David Edmonds book about  Trolley Problems Would You Kill the Fat Man? will be published in Autumn 2013 by Princeton University Press.

Sep 01, 2013
Jessica Moss on Weakness of Will
12:58

You think you know what's best but don't do it. We've all been there. For Plato and Aristotle this weakness of will presented a philosophical problem. Jessica Moss explains their contrasting approaches to this topic in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Aug 17, 2013
Michael Martin on Hume on Taste
17:37

David Hume's 'Of the Standard of Taste' focuses on judgements about beauty in writing. Can we say with any authority that one writer or work is better than another? Michael Martin gives a clear analysis of Hume's essay on this topic in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Reliable texts of Hume's works are available from www.davidhume.org

Aug 03, 2013
Samuel Scheffler on the Afterlife
17:43

What do we really care about? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Samuel Scheffler suggests that most of us care a lot about what happens after our deaths, and that affects what we feel about what is happening now and how we value it. 

Jul 20, 2013
Noel Carroll on Humour and Morality
19:23

Must humour be moral? What about jokes that rely on immoral attitudes?  Can they be funny? Are humour and morality simply separate spheres. Noel Carroll explores the relationship between humour and morality in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jul 06, 2013
Daniel Dennett on the Chinese Room
16:29

Can computers think? John Searle famously used the Chinese Room thought experiment to suggest that they can't. Daniel Dennett is suspicious about the way the thought experiment is set up. In this conversation with Nigel Warburton for the Philosophy Bites podcast he explains why.

Jun 23, 2013
Dale Jamieson on Green Virtues
18:53

'How should we live?' is a basic philosophical question. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Dale Jamieson addresses the question in a period when human beings are having devastating effects on the environment. Which virtues should we cultivate in these conditions?

Jun 09, 2013
Simon Glendinning on Philosophy's Two Cultures
16:48

Most philosophers today self-identify as within an Analytic or a Continental tradition. Where did these two cultures of philosophy come from? What role does Continental Philosophy play for Analytic Philosophy? Simon Glendinning investigates these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

May 27, 2013
Leslie Green on Same Sex Marriage
15:39

Is there any reasonable objection to same sex marriage? Les Green discusses this controversial issue from a philosphical perspective with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

May 11, 2013
John Mikhail on Battery and Morality
18:44

Hitting someone, throwing a ball hard at someone's head, spitting at someone: these are all examples of harmful acts, called 'battery' in Tort Law, and most of us judge those who do such things without the victim's implied or actual consent as morally blameworthy. Could widespread aversion towards such acts be due to some kind of fundamental moral principle? John Mikhail discusses this question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Apr 27, 2013
Noel Malcolm on Hobbes' Leviathan in Context
17:19

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, published in 1651, remains one of the great works of political philosophy. Noel Malcolm has recently published a 3 volume scholarly edition of this book, based on decades of research. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he discusses how a better understanding of the context in which Hobbes was writing can lead to new insights. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Apr 14, 2013
Mark Rowlands on Philosophy and Running
11:38

Is there any connection between philosophy and running. Mark Rowlands, who began running to exercise his pet wolf thinks there is. Find out why in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, which was recorded at the 2013 'Words by the Water' Literary Festival at Keswick. Philosophy Bites is made in association with theInstitute of Philosophy.

Mar 29, 2013
John Gardner on Constitutions
17:30

What are constitutions and how are we to interpret them? John Gardner addresses these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in assocation with the Institute of Philosophy.

Mar 17, 2013
Fiona Macpherson on Hallucination
14:37

What is a hallucination? How does it differ from an illusion? Fiona Macpherson of Glasgow University discusses these questions with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Mar 03, 2013
Jeff McMahan on Gun Control
18:54

Jeff McMahan argues against the private ownership of guns in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Feb 17, 2013
Colin McGinn on Descartes on Innate Knowledge
15:07

Descartes believed that we can have knowledge that was independent of experience. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Colin McGinn makes a case for there being some such knowledge. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Feb 02, 2013
Tom Sorell on Surveillance
18:21

What, if anything, is wrong with surveillance? Why value privacy? Tom Sorrell answers these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in assocation with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jan 25, 2013
John Campbell on Schizophrenia
20:00

What can philosophers learn from schizophrenia? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast John Campbell discusses this intriguing question with David Edmonds. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jan 08, 2013
Kendall Walton on Photography
20:18

Philosopher Kendall Walton argues that we can literally see through photographs in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy. 

Dec 23, 2012
Alan Ryan on Freedom and Its History
17:31

Ancient and modern concepts of freedom differ. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast political philosopher Alan Ryan compares and contrasts ancient and modern concepts of freedom in conversation with Nigel Warburton. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Dec 08, 2012
Who's Your Favourite Philosopher?
39:28

To celebrate the launch of our second Philosophy Bites book Philosophy Bites Back, we've released this special episode of the podcast. We asked a wide range of philosophers the question 'Who's your favourite philosopher?' We got a wider range of answers, but some patterns emerge.

Nov 30, 2012
Peter Adamson on Avicenna's Flying Man
13:10

Are we purely physical beings? Is the mind or soul immaterial? These questions have vexed philosophers for millenia. Avicenna, born in the 10th Century, believed he had a thought experiment that showed that we are not purely physical beings, the Flying Man thought experiment. Peter Adamson explains in this interview with Nigel Warburton for the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Nov 26, 2012
Tim Bayne on the Unity of Consicousness
15:07

Is conscious experience unified? A tricky question.  Philosopher of mind Tim Bayne investigates it in conversation with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Nov 11, 2012
Liane Young on Mind and Morality
12:55

An important aspect of understanding morality is accurate description of what happens when people make moral judgments. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Nigel Warburton talks to psychologist and philosopher Liane Young about her experiments designed to shed light on moral intentions. 

Oct 27, 2012
Gary Francione on Animal Abolitionism
16:48

How should we treat animals? Jeremy Bentham argued that we should weigh animal suffering in our moral decision making, and Peter Singer's concept of speciesism is a modern version of that utilitarian approach. Gary L. Francione argues that philosophers like Peter Singer who focus on animal welfare have not gone far enough: what matters is that we shouldn't use animals at all. He calls his approach abolitionism. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Oct 13, 2012
Richard Sorabji on Mahatma Gandhi as Philosopher
17:15

Richard Sorabji discusses Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence in this the 200th episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Sep 28, 2012
Tim Crane on Non-Existence
15:49

How can we talk about things that don't exist? Tim Crane explores this question in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Sep 15, 2012
Michael Tye on Pain
13:02

Consciousness of pain may seem straightforward, but as Michael Tye shows, in conversation with Nigel Warburton, a number of philosophical questions arise from the experience of pain. The Philosophy Bites podcast series is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Aug 31, 2012
Daniel Dennett on Free Will Worth Wanting
15:40

What is free will and why should we care about it? Daniel C. Dennett addresses these questions in a wide-ranging Philosophy Bites interview with Nigel Warburton. Philosophy Bites is made in association with The Institute of Philosophy.

Aug 18, 2012
Patricia Churchland on What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Morality (originally on Bioethics Bites)
19:48

Can science give us any insight into morality? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, originally released on Bioethics Bites, neurophilosopher Patricia Churcland argues that it can. Bioethics Bites is made in association with the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics with a grant from the Wellcome Institute.

Aug 03, 2012
Rae Langton on Hate Speech
15:20

Is it true that words can't harm you? What about hate speech? In the US the First Amendment protects a wide range of free expression, far wider than  is tolerated, for instance, in the United Kingdom. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Rae Langton discusses the phenomenon of hate speech and some of the moral questions it gives rise to. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jul 28, 2012
Molly Crockett on Brain Chemistry and Moral Decision-Making (originally on Bioethics Bites)
16:49

Can moral decision-making be affected by chemical means? And if so, should we use drugs for this purpose? Molly Crockett's research in this area is the basis of this Philosophy Bites interview which was originally released on Bioethics Bites and made in association with the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and with a grant from the Wellcome Institute.

Jul 22, 2012
Huw Price on Backward Causation
16:22

Effects can't precede their causes, can they? The direction of causation is forwards not backwards. But this common belief doesn't mesh with every aspect of contemporary physics. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Huw Price discusses the counterintuitive idea that retro-causation might occur. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jul 15, 2012
Hanna Pickard on Responsibility and Personality Disorder (originally on Bioethics Bites)
16:04

Does a diagnosis of personality disorder exempt an individual from moral responsibility? Hanna Pickard discusses this question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. This episode was originally released on Bioethics Bites which was made in association with the Uehiro Centre with a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Jul 07, 2012
Jonathan Dancy on Moral Particularism
13:44

Is morality a matter of applying general principles? Jonathan Dancy, a moral particularist, thinks not. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he defends moral particularism in conversation with Nigel Warburton. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jun 29, 2012
Tim Lewens on Selling Organs (originally on Bioethics Bites)
18:22

Can it ever be acceptable to sell human body parts. Tim Lewens discusses this increasingly pertinent moral question with Nigel Warburton. This episode of the  Philosophy Bites podcast was originally released on Bioethics Bites and made in association with the Uehiro Centre with a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Jun 22, 2012
John Tomasi on Free Market Fairness
18:26

Is free market fairness an oxymoron? John Tomasi, author of Free Market Fairness, argues that economic freedom and social justice are compatible. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he explains his position in conversation with Nigel Warburton. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jun 16, 2012
Jonathan Wolff on Political Bioethics (originally on Bioethics Bites)
20:06

How should health resources be distributed? Jonathan Wolff discusses this and related questions in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. This episode was originally released on Bioethics Bites in association with the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and made possible by a grant from the Wellcome Trust

Jun 10, 2012
Fiery Cushman on Moral Luck
14:46

Should morality be immune from luck? It seems so. Yet outcomes beyond participants' control seem to affect our judgements of culpability. Fiery Cushman, a psychologist in the area of experimental philosophy (x-phi), has been investigating the phenomenon of moral luck and our apparently conflicting judgements about culpability and luck. In this interview with Nigel Warburton for the podcast Philosophy Bites he discusses his research on conflicting moral intuitions about outcomes, intentions, wrongness, culpabiity and punishment. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jun 02, 2012
Onora O'Neill on Trust (originally on Bioethics Bites)
18:17

Trust is crucial in areas of medicine and health. But what sort of explicit consent should doctors obtain before medical treatment? Onora O'Neill discusses the place of trust in areas of bioethics with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast (originally on Bioethics Bites, a series made in association with the  Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and made possible by a grant from the Wellcome Trust).

May 27, 2012
Adina Roskies on Neuroscience and Free Will
17:48

Some recent research in neuroscience seems to point to the conclusion that free will is an illusion. That's certainly the conclusion that some have drawn. But Adina Roskies is sceptical. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast she explains to David Edmonds why she thinks that that conclusion isn't supported by the facts. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

May 20, 2012
NIck Bostrom on the Status Quo Bias
19:18

Are we systematically biases against changing the status quo? It seems that we are. In this interview, originally released as part of the Bioethics Bites series, Nick Bostrom discusses this tendency and its implications when it comes to making decisions about cognitive enhancement. Bioethics Bites is made in association with the Oxford University Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and made possible by a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

May 13, 2012
Galen Strawson on Panpsychism
11:03

Could everything that exists have experiences? Is there something that it is like to be an electron? This sounds unlikey on first hearing, but in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Galen Strawson argues in conversation with Nigel Warburton, that panpsychism is the best explanation of how things are. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

May 05, 2012
Peter Singer on Life and Death Decision-Making (originally on Bioethics Bites)
16:21

How should doctors, patients and family make end of life decisions? Peter Singer explores questions about euthanasia, abortion and autonomy in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this bonus episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast (originally released on Bioethics Bites). This episode was made as part of Bioethics Bites in association with the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and made possible by a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Apr 29, 2012
Philip Pettit on Republicanism
22:24

What is republicanism? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Philip Pettit outlines the key features of this important strand in political philosophy, one which has a continuing relevance today. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Apr 21, 2012
Jeff McMahan on Moral Status (originally on Bioethics Bites)
18:57

Disagreement about moral status is at the heart of many issues in practical ethics. In this bonus episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast (originally released on Bioethics Bites) Jeff McMahan, in conversation with Nigel Warburton, explores some of the questions surrounding the status of a human foetus, non-human animals, and those in persistent vegative states. Biothethics Bites is made in association with the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and made possible by a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Apr 15, 2012
Adrian Moore on Philosophy and Its History
13:51

What is the point of studying philosophy's past? Is it just to learn about the history of ideas? Is there something special about the history of philosophy that makes it different from the history of other subjects? Adrian Moore, author of a new book on the history of philosophy, The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics, discusses these questions with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Apr 06, 2012
Julian Savulescu on Designer Babies (originally on Bioethics Bites)
21:05

Is it ethical to select advantageous genes and select against disadvantageous genes when having babies? Julian Savulescu, Director of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics in Oxford, discusses this question with Nigel Warburton. This bonus episode was originally made for Bioethics Bites in association with the Uehiro Centre and made possible by a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Apr 02, 2012
Neil Levy on Moral Responsibility and Consciousness
18:35

Do recent discoveries in neuroscience threaten the notion of moral responsibility? Could we have moral responsibility without full consciousness of the significance of our actions? Neil Levy discusses these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Mar 23, 2012
Ronald Dworkin on the Unity of Value
18:26

Is liberty compatible with equality? Many philosophers think it can't be, and that pluralism is the correct response. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Ronald Dworkin argues that there is a fundamental unity of value. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Mar 09, 2012
Guy Longworth on J.L. Austin and Ordinary Language
15:25

J. L. Austin, who died in 1960, was an immensely influential philosopher whose method involved precise scrutiny of ordinary language: the precise words, the contexts  in which they were uttered, and what people were doing by uttering them. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Guy Longworth discusses the key features of Austin's approach. Philosophy Bites is made in associaton with the Institute of Philosophy.

Feb 25, 2012
Philip Schofield on Jeremy Bentham's Utilitarianism
15:19

Jeremy Bentham, legal reformer and philosopher, was an early Utilitarian. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Nigel Warburton interviews Bentham scholar and head of the Bentham Project, Philip Schofield about Bentham's contribution to moral philosophy. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Feb 11, 2012
Nicola Lacey on Criminal Responsibilityhttp
17:40

What is criminal responsibility? Is it a timeless concept, or does it have a historical aspect? Nicola Lacey addresses these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jan 27, 2012
Alain de Botton on Atheism 2.0
15:28

Some atheists despise religion and ridicule it as absurd. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Alain de Botton, author of Religion for Atheists, takes a more pragmatic line, arguing that atheists can learn a great deal from religion. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jan 16, 2012
Kit Fine on What is Metaphysics?http
14:33

Metaphysics is the philosophical study of reality. But what does that mean in pratice, and what are the limits of what it can reveal? Kit Fine addresses the question 'What is Metaphysics?' in discussion with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jan 01, 2012
Brian Leiter on the Analytic/Continental Distinction
17:19

Is there a useful distinction to be made between analytic and continental philosophy? Brian Leiter thinks not. Listen to him in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Dec 18, 2011
Melissa Lane on Plato and Sustainability
14:50

What can Plato teach us about sustainability? According to Princeton's Melissa Lane, author of Eco-Republic, quite a lot. Melissa discusses this topic with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Dec 03, 2011
Tim Crane on Animal Minds
18:45

What sort of minds do other animals have? Tim Crane discusses this intriguing question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Nov 20, 2011
Sean Kelly on Homer and Philosophy
17:43

Homer is a great poet, but is he relevant to philosopy? Harvard University's Sean Kelly believes that he is and that we can glean important insights from studying Homer's work, insights about what it is to be human that might otherwise be overlooked. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Nov 05, 2011
Paul Boghossian on Moral Relativism
17:11

Are moral judgements simply relative to culture? Are moral relativists in the grip of a fundamental confusion, or is that just the view of a philosophical subculture? Paul Boghossian suggests that moral relativism is an untenable position in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy

Oct 23, 2011
Jonathan Glover on Systems of Belief
20:03

Beliefs are important. Wars are fought over conflicting belief systems. Philosophers ask 'What is it reasonable to believe?' Can philosophers, then, give us any insights into what is going on when belief systems clash? Jonathan Glover discusses this issue with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy

Oct 09, 2011
Dan Sperber on the Enigma of Reasonhthttp://www.dan.sperber.fr/
12:59

Our reasoning capacity sets us apart from other animals. But reason is frequently prone to error. Why then did we evolve with a capacity for reason at all?  This is a question that has vexed Dan Sperber - with Hugo Mercier he has been researching the topic. Dan Sperber discusses their research and conclusions with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in assocation with the Institute of Philosophy.

Sep 25, 2011
Philip Pettit on Consequentialism
20:18

Philip Pettit discusses some common criticisms of consequentialism and how they might be met in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Sep 11, 2011
Frank Jackson on What Mary Knew
15:12

Frank Jackson is responsible for one of the most famous thought experiments in the philosophy of mind, one designed to show that physicalism is false. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he talks to Nigel Warburton about this thought experiment and how he has come to doubt the conclusions he originally drew from it. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Aug 26, 2011
Nick Bostrom on the Simulation Argument
14:30

Could you be part of a computer simulation of reality? Sounds unlikely, doesn't it. But Nick Bostrom might make you think again about this. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he discusses the Simulation Argument. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Aug 14, 2011
Luc Bovens on Catholicism and HIV
15:01

Luc Bovens, a philosopher at the London School of Economics argues that Catholic sexual morality should, on grounds of consistency within its doctrine, permit condom use for HIV discordant couples (in which one member has HIV and the other doesn't). Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jul 31, 2011
Peter Singer on Henry Sidgwick's Ethics
12:47

Henry Sidgwick, who died in 1900, is something of a philosophers' philosopher. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Peter Singer explains why he thinks this late Victorian Englishman is so important for the utilitarian tradition and why is ideas continue to have relevance. Philosophy Bites is made in assocation with the Institute of Philosophy

Jul 17, 2011
Victor Tadros on Punishment
19:34

How can state punishment of criminals be justified? Is it right that wrongdoers suffer? Victor Tadros investigates these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jul 03, 2011
Alison Gopnik on the Imagination
15:07

What role does imagination play in our lives? Why do we have an imagination at all? Alison Gopnik investigates these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jun 17, 2011
John Mikhail on Universal Moral Grammar
19:53

Do we have an innate predisposition to form certain sorts of moral judgements? John Mikhail thinks we do. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, in an interview with David Edmonds, he explains why.

Jun 04, 2011
David Eagleman on Morality and the Brain
12:52

Neuroscientist David Eagleman explores questions about responsibility and culpability in the light of recent brain research in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

May 22, 2011
Simon May on Love
15:05

Can love be defined? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Simon May, author of a recent book on the topic, argues that there's more in common between different kinds of love than many people realise. 

Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy

May 07, 2011
Paul Russell on David Hume's Treatise
13:18

The standard reading of David Hume's Treatise is that it reveals him as a sceptic and also as an advocate of a science of man. These two aspects seem to be in tension. The sceptical Hume seems opposed to the more positive contribution he makes about human nature. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Paul Russell suggests a way of solving this riddle. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Apr 25, 2011
Pascal Bruckner on the Pursuit of Happiness
18:30

Is the attempt to find happiness self-defeating? Have people always been so obsessed with the pursuit of happiness? Pascal Bruckner dis cusses these questions with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Apr 22, 2011
Noel Carroll on Humour
15:12

What is humour? Why do we have a sense of humour? Philosophers have been asking this sort of question for a while. Noel Carroll gives some answers, and tells some jokes, in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Apr 09, 2011
Catharine MacKinnon on Gender Crime
17:30

In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Catharine MacKinnon talks to Nigel Warburton about the concept of Gender Crime. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Mar 26, 2011
Sarah Bakewell on Montaigne
0

Michel de Montaigne is an unusual and likeable figure. His essays are quirky, honest, and strangely modern. Sarah Bakewell, author of a recent prize-winning book about Montaigne, How to Live, discusses Montaigne's life and work for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy

Mar 12, 2011
Hugh Mellor on Frank Ramsey on Truth
14:19

Frank Ramsey was a remarkable philosopher and mathematician who made substantial original contributions to philosophy, economics and mathematics despite dying before he was 30 years old. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Hugh Mellor discusses Ramsey's ideas about truth. 

Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy

Feb 26, 2011
Jonathan Glover on Personality Disorder and Morality
13:24

The moral philosopher Jonathan Glover discusses questions about personality disorder, conscience, and responsibility in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy

Feb 14, 2011
Cécile Fabre on Cosmopolitanism and War
14:36

There is a long tradition of just war theory, but how does it square with moral cosmopolitanism, the idea that individuals, not nations, should be our prime concern? Cécile Fabre discusses this question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Jan 31, 2011
Michael Sandel on Justice
21:25

Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel discusses 3 different theories of Justice in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast: Bentham's, Kant's and Aristotle's. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jan 14, 2011
Paul Russell on Fate
17:31

Must it be? Do I really have a choice about what I do? I seem to be able to reason about what I will do, but do I have a choice about how I weight the different choices available? And where does luck come in? Paul Russell discusses the thorny question of whether or not we have control over our lives for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Dec 30, 2010
Martha Nussbaum on the Value of the Humanities
13:47

Why bother studying the Humanities? Surely when resources are limited we should be concentrating on subjects that have clear economic benefits, shouldn't we? Not necessarily. Martha Nussbaum, author of Not For Profit, argues for the continuing importance of Humanities subjects, particularly Philosophy, in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Dec 24, 2010
Philip Pettit on Group Agency
20:37

When a group of people acts together we can hold that group morally and legally responsible. But how does the group decide to act? Is a decision of the group simply the majoritarian sum of individual group members' views? Princeton philosopher Philip Pettit, who has written a book about this topic with Christian List of the LSE, discusses these issues with Nigel Warburton for the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Dec 18, 2010
Helen Beebee on Laws of Nature
16:58

What is a law of nature? Is it merely a generalisation about how things behave? Or does it have a different status? Helen Beebee investigates these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Dec 05, 2010
Nick Phillipson on Adam Smith on What Human Beings Are Like
16:52

Adam Smith, the great thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment, is best known as an economist. But much of his work was philosophical, and even his economic thinking is probably best understood as part of a larger project of attempting a science of humanity. Nick Phillipson, author of an acclaimed biography of Adam Smith, discusses Smith's philosophical agenda in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Nov 20, 2010
What is Philosophy?
26:03

What is Philosophy? We asked some of our contributors this question for this bonus episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Nov 14, 2010
Gideon Rosen on Moral Responsibility
18:19

What is moral responsibility? Are there ever grounds for saying that we have diminished responsibility? Gideon Rosen addresses these questions in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy

Nov 07, 2010
Alex Voorhoeve on Inequality
17:02

Does inequality really matter? Or should we be more concerned with raising the standards of the least well off than any disparity between those who have and those who have not? Alex Voorhoeve of the London School of Economics discusses these questions with David Edmonds in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Oct 25, 2010
Michael Dummett on Frege
13:34

Gottlob Frege was one of the founders of the movement known as analytic philosophy. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Michael Dummett explains why his ideas about how language relates to the world have been so important. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Oct 07, 2010
Daniel Everett on the Nature of Languag
13:32

Since John Locke declared the child's mind a blank slate, philosophers have long debated the degree to which language-learning is innate. Are there are universal grammatical features that all languages share? Daniel Everett, who has spent many years among the Piraha, an Amazonian people who have a highly unusual language, believes that some of Noam Chomsky's claims about language acquisition are mistaken. Listen to him discussing the nature of language with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with The Institute of Philosophy

Sep 25, 2010
Cynthia Freeland on Portraits
13:49

What is a portrait? What can it reveal? Cynthia Freeland explores the nature of portraits in this interview with Nigel Warburton for the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy. A book, Philosophy Bites, based on 25 interviews, is now available from Oxford University Press.

Sep 11, 2010
Joshua Knobe on Experimental Philosophy
16:20

Many people think that the idea of experiments in philosophy is a contradiction. Joshua Knobe disagrees. He is at the forefront of a new movement known as Experimental Philosophy. David Edmonds interviews him in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

There is now a Philosophy Bites book published by Oxford University Press - further details are available on www.philosophybites.com

Aug 28, 2010
Peter Singer on the Life You Can Save
15:01

If you saw a child drowning in a shallow pond would you save that child? If you would, why don't you give the small amount of money necessary to save a child from starvation or disease in parts of Africa? Peter Singer argues that the differences between the two cases are not as great as they first appear in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy - http://www.philosophy.sas.ac.uk

Aug 15, 2010
Hillel Steiner on Exploitation
16:43

What is exploitation? Hillel Steiner discusses this question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with The Institute of Philosophy www.philosophy.sas.ac.uk

 

Aug 09, 2010
Stephen Neale on Meaning and Interpretation
16:00

We interpret each others' words all the time. How do we do this? What part do intentions play? Does this have any implications for interpreting laws? Stephen Neale discusses these issues in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in assocation with the Institute of Philosophy - for further information about the Institute see www.philosophy.sas.ac.uk

Jul 18, 2010
Susan Wolf on Meaning in Life
14:08

What gives meaning to a life? Susan Wolf discusses this question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Jul 04, 2010
Pat Churchland on Eliminative Materialism
19:23
Pat Churchland argues that we may need to modify our concepts in the light of recent brain research in this episode of the podcast Philosophy Bites. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy (www.sas.philosophy.ac.uk).
Jun 19, 2010
Jeff McMahan on Vegetarianism
16:01
Why shouldn't you eat meat? Jeff McMahan argues that there are no good reasons not to be a vegetarianism (and many good reasons for being one) in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Jun 04, 2010
David Chalmers on the Singularity
16:55
In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast David Chalmers discusses the philosophical implications of the artificial intelligence of the future - an imaginable time when machines are more intelligent and more powerful than humans. 
May 22, 2010
Raymond Geuss on Realism in Political Philosophy
16:12

Is it possible to be both utopian and realistic in political philosophy? In his second interview for the Philosophy Bites podcast Raymond Geuss argues that utopianism and realism need not be incompatible.

May 08, 2010
Robert Stern on Hegel on Dialectic
0

Hegel's philosophy is notoriously difficult to grasp. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Robert Stern gives a lucid account of Hegel's notion of dialectic, the fundamental methodology in his philosophy. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.

Apr 25, 2010
Ned Block on Consciousness
14:54

Ned Block talks to Nigel Warburton about some phenomena of consciousness in the latest episode of the podcast Philosophy Bites. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy (www.philosophy.sas.ac.uk).

 

 

Apr 10, 2010
Susan Neiman on Morality in the 21st Century
18:24

How should we live now? This is the basic question that Susan Neiman addresses in conversation with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the podcast Philosophy Bites. Her answer draws on Enlightenment thinking. If you enjoy Philosophy Bites, you might also like Ethics Bites which can be found on iTunesU.

Mar 27, 2010
Galen Strawson on the Sense of Self
0

Does everyone have a sense of self? What is it? Galen Strawson grapples with these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in the latest episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Mar 13, 2010
Jonathan Wolff on John Rawls' A Theory of Justice
0

John Rawls' A Theory of Justice is probably the most important work of political philosophy of the 20th Century. In this Philosophy Bites podcast Jonathan Wolff outlines the key features of that book and explores some of its limitations. 

Feb 28, 2010
Jerrold Levinson on Music and Eros
0

Jerrold Levinson examines analogies between music an eros in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Feb 15, 2010
Robert B. Talisse on Pragmatism
0

In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Robert B. Talisse in discussion with Nigel Warburton explains what the philosphical movement of Pragmatism was, and some of the differences between the ideas of its founders Pierce, Dewey and James.

Feb 07, 2010
Thomas Pogge on Global Justice and Health
0
In this interview for the Philosophy Bites podcast Thomas Pogge, Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, explores the difficult issue of how we can achieve greater justice in the distribution of pharmaceutical products to countries which can't afford to pay the high prices sometimes demanded by manufacturers.
Jan 23, 2010
Tzvetan Todorov on the Englightenment Today
0
Tzvetan Todorov defends Englightenment values as important for us today in this episode of the philosophy podcast Philosophy Bites.
Jan 10, 2010
Don Cupitt on Jesus as Philosopher
0
Don Cupitt, controversial theologian and philosopher, argues that Jesus is best seen as a moralist and a radical secular humanist in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. The podcast is introduced by David Edmonds. Nigel Warburton is the interviewer.
Dec 24, 2009
A.C. Grayling on Bertrand Russell on Descriptions
0
How our words relate to objects is a thorny philosophical conundrum. In this episode of the philosophy podcast Philosophy Bites A.C. Grayling explains Bertrand Russell's Theory of Descriptions, an attempt to elucidate that relationship.
Dec 20, 2009
Catalin Avramescu on the Idea of Cannibalism
12:07
Catalin Avramescu discusses the fascinating topic of the part played by the idea of cannibalism in the history of philosophy in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Dec 06, 2009
Jeff McMahan on Killing in War
18:46
Jeff McMahan of Rutgers University discusses the morality of killing in war with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Nov 21, 2009
Richard Bradley on Understanding Decisions
13:29
What is involved in understanding a decision? Richard Bradley of the LSE addresses this question in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. As a decision theorist, he views decisions as gambles involving weightings of beliefs and desires.
Nov 08, 2009
Tony Coady on Dirty Hands in Politics
16:24
This episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast focuses on the question of whether politicians need ever act immorally. Tony Coady (aka C.A.J. Coady), author of Messy Morality is in conversation with Nigel Warburton.
Oct 25, 2009
John Campbell on Berkeley's Puzzle
14:42
John Campbell explores Bishop Berkeley's puzzle about what our experience is of in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Oct 11, 2009
Brian Leiter on Nietzsche Myths
16:24
Friedrich Nietzsche has been seen as the philosopher of the Overman, an anti-semite, and a precursor of postmodernist views about truth. But was he any of these? Brian Leiter explores these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Sep 25, 2009
John Armstrong on What You Can Do With Philosophy
12:03
What can you do with Philosophy? Not very much, according to some people. John Armstrong disagrees. Find out why in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast
Sep 13, 2009
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong on Morality Without God
13:42
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues that God isn't necessary for morality in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Aug 28, 2009
Sabine Doring on Emotion
0
What is an emotion? How do emotions differ from moods? What part should the emotions play in our lives and in our understanding of what it is to be human? Sabine Döring addresses these questions in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Aug 14, 2009
Ben Rogers on Pascal's Pensées
16:22
Blaise Pascal's Pensées is the subject of this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Few philosophers know the Pensées well,  apart from the passage in which Pascal set forth his famous 'wager' - the idea that agnostics should gamble on God existing. Here Ben Rogers explains who Pascal was, and why his book is worth reading.
Jul 29, 2009
Marilyn McCord Adams on Evil
14:31
The Problem of Evil is usually presented as a problem for believers. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Marilyn McCord Adams suggests that it is a problem for optimistic non-believers.
Jul 12, 2009
Luciano Floridi on the Fourth Revolution
13:59
New technology is changing our relationship to reality and in the process what we are, argues Luciano Floridi, in this episode of the philosophy podcast Philosophy Bites. This is the fourth revolution.
Jun 28, 2009
Paul Snowdon on Persons and Animals
20:06
What is a person and what makes me the same person over time despite change? John Locke emphasized that continuity of memory makes us the same person over time. In contrast Paul Snowdon argues that we should see persons as animals.
Jun 14, 2009
Michael Sandel on What Shouldn't Be Sold
18:42
 Michael Sandel. 2009 Reith Lecturer, discusses the moral limits of markets. You can follow Nigel Warburton discussing Sandel's first Reith lecture on Twitter on www.twitter.com/philosophybites from 10.15 p.m UK time on the 13th June as this lecture is broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Add '#goodradio' or '#Reith2009' to any comments you make on Twitter.
May 28, 2009
Allen Buchanan on Enhancement
19:38
Philosophy Bites looks at ethical questions raised by enhancement. Technological developments have opened up many new opportunities for intervening in biological processes to improve ourselves. Allen Buchanan of Duke University discusses some of these and their implications in conversation with Nigel Warburton.
May 16, 2009
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong on Moral Psychology
14:23
Moral psychology is the empirical study of how people make moral judgements. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Walter Sinnott-Armstrong discusses the relevance of psychological research to moral philosophy.
May 02, 2009
Thomas Hurka on Pleasure
17:18
Pleasure is something we all want. But is it, and should it be the only thing that we want? Is pleasure all the same kind of thing? Philosopher Thomas Hurka explores the concept of pleasure in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the podcast Philosophy Bites.
Apr 18, 2009
Terence Irwin on Aristotle's Ethics
17:29
This episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast focuses on Aristotle's Ethics. In conversation with Nigel Warburton, Terence Irwin of Oxford University explains the key features of this influential work.
Apr 04, 2009
Raymond Tallis on Assisted Dying
0
Assisted dying, providing a patient with the means to kill themselves, is a highly controversial issue. For this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Raymond Tallis, who is both an eminent gerontologist and philosopher, discusses this topic and some of the moral issues surrounding it with interviewer Nigel Warburton.
Mar 21, 2009
Julian Savulescu on the 'Yuk' Factor
13:11
Should we base our morality on our emotional reactions of disgust? We all have a sense of 'yuk' at some activities or situations. Julian Savulescu of Oxford University discusses the relevance of revulsion to our moral judgements in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Mar 08, 2009
Sebastian Gardner on Sartre on Bad Faith
15:05
Jean-Paul Sartre's notion of Bad Faith lies at the core of his existentialist classic Being and Nothingness. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Sebastian Gardner explains what Sartre meant by Bad Faith.
Feb 20, 2009
Keith Ward on Idealism in Eastern and Western Philosophy
16:33
Questions about the nature of reality are at the heart of all philosophy in both Western and Eastern traditions. Keith Ward gives an overview of the idealist tradition in some Indian philosophy and draws parallels between this tradition and some Western thinkers.
Feb 06, 2009
David Papineau on Scientific Realism
18:48
Scientists talk about sub-atomic particles which are invisible to the eye. Do such particles really exist? Or are they simply convenient fictions that, for the moment at least, explain the observable phenomena? David Papineau discusses and defends scientific realism in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Jan 22, 2009
Kate Soper on Alternative Hedonism
15:10
Kate Soper believes that we need to rethink how we live in the light of impending environmental catastrophe. She maintains that alternative ways of living can be more enjoyable than consumerism.
Jan 11, 2009
Chandran Kukathas on Genocide
15:32
Genocide is, at first glance, a straightforward term. We understand what it is and why it is such an evil. But, as  Chandran Kukathas of the London School of Economics argues in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, perhaps the received definition of this term needs refinement.
Dec 29, 2008
M.M. McCabe on the Paradox of Inquiry
16:41
How do we learn anything? This isn't a puzzle until you start thinking hard about it. In his dialogue The Meno, Plato presented an apparent paradox about inquiry. M.M. McCabe discusses this paradox and its continuing relevance.
Dec 14, 2008
Raymond Tallis on Parmenides
15:16
Parmenides was one of the most important pre-Socratic philosophers. Raymond Tallis discusses his ideas and influence in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Dec 07, 2008
Don Cupitt on Non-Realism about God
15:28
Don Cupitt, a controversial theologian and philosopher, whose BBC television series and book The Sea of Faith was extremely influential, giving birth to a theological movement, believes that most religion is too anthropomorphic. In this interview for the  Philosophy Bites podcast he  explains his non-realist approach to God.
Nov 30, 2008
Wendy Brown on Tolerance
14:20
Tolerance is usually thought of as the great virtue of democratic societies. Wendy Brown of UC Berkeley asks some sceptical questions about the concept of tolerance and how it can be used to express power relationships in this interview for Philosophy Bites.
Nov 23, 2008
Anne Phillips on Political Representation
18:08
Political representation in a democracy doesn't necessarily reflect the variety of people within a society. Most noticeably, there is a much lower percentage of women acting as representatives than there is in the wider population. Does this matter? Anne Phillips believes it does. She explains why in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Nov 16, 2008
Anthony Grayling on Bombing Civilians in Wartime
12:49
Anthony Grayling argues that bombing civilians in Dresden and other German cities in the Second World War was morally wrong.
Nov 09, 2008
Christopher Shields on Personal Identity
21:38
What makes anyone the same person over time? In this interview for Philosophy Bites Christopher Shields addresses this question of personal identity, one which, as he points out, has perplexed philosophers since antiquity.
Nov 03, 2008
Alexander Nehamas on Friendship
12:49
Alexander Nehamas explores the value of friendship in this interview with Nigel Warburton for the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Oct 26, 2008
Raymond Geuss on Real Politics
19:27
Raymond Geuss wants political philosophers to focus on real politics rather than abstract notions. In this interview with Nigel Warburton for Philosophy Bites he explains why he believes philosophers such as Robert Nozick and John Rawls were fundamentally misguided in the way they approached political philosophy.
Oct 19, 2008
Roger Crisp on Virtue
14:05
Roger Crisp discusses the nature of virtue in this interview with Nigel Warburton for  the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Oct 12, 2008
Anthony Appiah on Experiments in Ethics
15:06
Anthony Appiah makes the case for the relevance of psychological experiments to our ethical reasoning in this interview for the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Oct 05, 2008
Christopher Janaway on Nietzsche on Morality
14:12
Friedrich Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morality provides a radical view of the origins of our values. Nigel Warburton interviews Christopher Janaway about this important book in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Sep 28, 2008
Peter Cave on Paradoxes
15:58
Philosophers have been fascinated by paradoxes since ancient times. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Nigel Warburton interviews Peter Cave about paradoxes and their relevance to philosophy.
Sep 21, 2008
Adrian Moore on Kant's Metaphysics
20:00
Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is a notoriously difficult work. In this interview for Philosophy Bites A.W. Moore of Oxford University gives a succinct account of this complex and influential attempt to clarify the limits of human understanding.
Sep 14, 2008
Barry C. Smith on Neuroscience
13:24
Philosophers of mind have traditionally introspected sitting alone in their rooms. Now new developments in neuroscience are producing surprising results, some of which are relevant to philosophy. Phenomena such as blind sight and mirror neurones suggest that we would be foolish to decide what is possible a priori. Barry C. Smith gives an insight in to this intriguing area in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Sep 07, 2008
Ray Monk on Philosophy and Biography
13:36
Ray Monk discusses the relationship between philosophy and biography in this interview with Nigel Warburton for the Philosophy Bites podcast. Can an understanding the life of a philosopher help us understand that philosopher's work? Is there anything that philosophers can learn from biography? Monk as author of biographies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, two very different personalities, is well-placed to address these questions.
Aug 31, 2008
M.M. McCabe on Socratic Method
13:04
Philosophy began in earnest with Socrates. He asked impertinent questions. In this interview with M.M. McCabe, Philosophy Bites explores the nature of Socratic Method and Socrates' claim that the unexamined life is not worth living.
Aug 24, 2008
Aaron Ridley on Nietzsche on Art and Truth
15:35
Friedrich Nietzsche's ideas about art and truth run through much of his philosophical writing, but are most apparent in his first book, The Birth of Tragedy. In this episode of Philosophy Bites Nigel Warburton interviews Aaron Ridley about this topic.
Aug 16, 2008
Clare Carlisle on Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling
13:09
Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling retells and interprets the story of Abraham and Isaac. In Kierkegaard's hands the story becomes a model for the human predicament. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Clare Carlisle provides an interesting overview of some of Kierkegaard's themes in this book.
Aug 10, 2008
Alex Neill - the Paradox of Tragedy
16:34
How can we enjoy watching tragedy when it is a genre that deals with suffering and pain? In this episode of  the Philosophy Bites podcast Alex Neill explains what the paradox of tragedy is, and shows how he thinks it can be dissolved. He also relates this discussion to related questions about our experience of horror movies.
Aug 03, 2008
Quentin Skinner on Machiavelli's The Prince
25:52
Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince is one of the most notorious works of political philosophy ever written. Quentin Skinner sets it in its historical context and explains its key themes in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Jul 27, 2008
Peter Adamson on Plotinus on Evil
14:54
Plotinus, who lived in the 3rd Century A.D., was the founder of neo-platonism. In this episode of Philosophy Bites Peter Adamson explains what Plotinus had to say about evil.
Jul 20, 2008
Matthew Kramer on Legal Rights
15:04
What precisely is a legal right? Matthew Kramer discusses this question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Jul 13, 2008
Melissa Lane on Rousseau on Modern Society
16:39

Modern society is for most people synonymous with progress. Not for the eighteenth century thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau believed that civilization corrupts us in certain ways. Melissa Lane explains Rousseau's views on progress in this episode of Philosophy Bites.

Jul 06, 2008
John Broome on Weighing Lives
14:27
How do we weigh lives one against another? Governments frequently have to make life and death decisions that take in to account such issues as the quality of life compared to the length of a life. In this episode of Philosophy Bites John Broome presents his view of how such decisions should be taken.
Jun 29, 2008
Robert Rowland Smith on Derrida on Forgiveness
12:56
Jacques Derrida, father of deconstructionism, divided philosophers. For some he was a genius; for others a charlatan. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites Robert Rowland Smith defends Derrida's views about the concept of forgiveness.
Jun 22, 2008
John Dunn on Locke on Toleration
13:46
John Locke, writing in the Seventeenth Century, argued for religious toleration, though stopped short of toleration of atheists. In this episode of the podcast Philosophy Bites, Nigel Warburton interviews Locke expert John Dunn on this topic.
Jun 15, 2008
Will Kymlicka on Minority Rights
16:04
Should minority groups such as recent immigrants or those who have suffered historic injustice be given rights that other citizens don't have? Will Kymlicka believes they should. Listen to his arguments in defence of this position in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Jun 08, 2008
Jennifer Hornsby on Human Agency
10:39
What goes on when someone does something deliberately? Jennifer Hornsby discusses this difficult philosophical question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Jun 01, 2008
Tim Scanlon on Free Speech
17:26
In this bonus episode produced in association with the Open University, Tim Scanlon discusses the limits of free speech with Nigel Warburton. A transcript of this episode is available from www.open2.net/ethicsbites/
May 30, 2008
Donna Dickenson on Body Shopping
14:08
Do you own your body? If not, who does? These are important questions in an age in which there is extensive trade in body parts. Donna Dickenson, author of Body Shopping, discusses this issue with Nigel Warburton in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
May 25, 2008
Mary Warnock on the Right to Have a Baby
0
In this bonus episode produced in association with The Open University, Mary Warnock, a philosopher who also sits in the House of Lords, addresses the question 'Do we have a right to have babies?' A transcript of this episode is available at http://www.open2.net/ethicsbites/right-have-babies.html
May 22, 2008
Anthony Kenny on Aquinas' Ethics
14:00
Thomas Aquinas, the thirteenth century Dominican is the subject of this episode of Philosophy Bites. Anthony Kenny explains the key features of Aquinas'  ethics in conversation with Nigel Warburton.
May 18, 2008
Michael Sandel on Genetic Enhancement in Sport
16:56
In this bonus episode of Philosophy Bites made in association with the Open University, Michael Sandel addresses the question of whether we should allow genetic enhancement of athletes. Drawing on themes from his recent book, The Case Against Perfection, he discusses the ethical issues at stake. A transcript of this episode is available at www.open2.net/ethicsbites/
May 14, 2008
Jonathan Wolff on Marx on Alienation
15:02
Karl Marx's theory of alienated labour is the topic of this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Jonathan Wolff, author of Why Read Marx Today? explains what Marx meant by alienation. He also sheds light on Marx's controversial description of what non-alienated labour would be like.
May 11, 2008
Peter Singer on Human Use of Animals
16:46
In this bonus episode produced in association with the Open University as part of the Ethics Bites series, Peter Singer, perhaps the world's best known living philosopher, discusses how we treat animals. A transcript of this episode is available from www.open2.net/ethicsbites/

May 08, 2008
Chandran Kukathas on Hayek's Liberalism
12:54
Friedrich Hayek was a major figure in Twentieth Century economics and political philosophy, but his ideas are sometimes caricatured, not least because Margaret Thatcher approved of his work. Chandran Kukathas explains the key features of his liberalism in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
May 04, 2008
Richard Reeves on Mill's On Liberty
13:49
In this episode of Philosophy Bites Richard Reeves, author of a recent biography of John Stuart Mill sheds light on Mill's classic defence of individual freedom, On Liberty.
Apr 27, 2008
David Miller on National Responsibility
13:42
Can a nation be collectively responsible for actions? And how should apologies and reparations be handled when the perpetrators of injustice may be dead? David Miller, author of a recent book on this topic, explores the kinds of responsibility that nations can have.
Apr 20, 2008
Peter Millican on Hume's Significance
14:52
David Hume is probably the greatest English-speaking philosopher to date. In this interview for Philosophy Bites. Peter Millican, a Hume specialist, explains why his philosophy was so important.
Apr 13, 2008
Janet Radcliffe Richards on Men and Women's Natures
19:41
Are men and women different by nature? And if so, what follows? Janet Radcliffe Richards, author of The Sceptical Feminist and Human Nature After Darwin, examines questions about human nature, focusing on John Stuart Mill's important book The Subjection of Women. David Edmonds is the interviewer for this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Apr 06, 2008
Raimond Gaita on Torture
13:49
Is it immoral even to consider the use of torture in some circumstances? If the State is threatened, should we be prepared to shelve human rights for an end we consider worthwhile? Raimond Gaita discusses a range of arguments about torture in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Mar 30, 2008
Derek Matravers on the Definition of Art
12:52
What is art? Can anything be a work of art? Derek Matravers, author of Art and Emotion, explores these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of Philosophy Bites (www.philosophybites.com).
Mar 22, 2008
Melissa Lane on Plato and Totalitarianism
18:40
Was Plato's ideal state a totalitarian one? Karl Popper, thought so, and made his case in The Open Society and Its Enemies. Melissa Lane, author of Plato's Progeny, reassesses Popper's critique of Plato in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Mar 16, 2008
Thomas Pink on Free Will
18:13
We often blame people for what they do or fail to do. But that implies that they were free to choose whether or not to act in the way they did. At the same time science seems to reveal prior causes of all our actions. There seems little or no room for free will.  In this episode of Philosophy Bites Thomas Pink, author of Free Will: A Very Short Introduction, discusses the Free Will Problem and outlines his own approach to it.
Mar 09, 2008
Anthony Appiah on Cosmopolitanism
15:18
Is it possible to be a citizen of the world while maintaining your own distinctive identity? Anthony Appiah defends the ethical position he dubs cosmopolitanism (which for him is universalism combined with a recognition and celebration of diversity) in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Mar 02, 2008
A.C. Grayling on Descartes' Cogito
12:52
A.C. Grayling, author of a recent biography of René Descartes, explores Descartes' Cogito argument, the pivotal argument of the Meditations, in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of Philosophy Bites.

Feb 23, 2008
Hugh Mellor on Time
11:46
Events happen in time. And time is essentially tensed: there is past, present, future. D.H. Mellor, author of Real Time (and Real Time 2) suggests otherwise. In this podcast for Philosophy Bites he explains why time isn't tensed.
Feb 15, 2008
Richard Tuck on Free Riding
18:41
If what I do has only a negligible impact on events, why should I bother doing it at all? Why not 'free ride' on other people's contributions? Richard Tuck explores these questions in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Feb 10, 2008
Stephen Mulhall on Film as Philosophy
18:19
Most philosophers who consider the movies focus on the nature of the cinematic medium. Stephen Mulhall argues for a different approach. He thinks that a film such as Bladerunner can actually be philosophy.
Feb 03, 2008
Richard Norman on Humanism
10:36
How can non-believers make sense of the world? How can there be morality without God? In this episode of Philosophy Bites philosopher Richard Norman explains how it is possible to lead a good life without religion.
Jan 27, 2008
Richard Bourke on Edmund Burke on Politics
14:08
The eighteenth century thinker and politician Edmund Burke was one of the founders of modern conservativism. In his Reflections on the Revolution in France he attacked the revolution. For this episode of Philosophy Bites Richard Bourke of Queen Mary, London,  puts Edmund Burke in his historical context and outlines his key ideas. 
Jan 20, 2008
Angie Hobbs on Plato on War
10:27
What causes human agression? For Plato's Socrates it comes from innate tendencies nurtured in the wrong way. And that's where war comes from. Angie Hobbs gives a fascinating introduction to this aspect of Plato's Republic in this episode of Philosophy Bites.
Jan 13, 2008
Barry Smith on Wittgenstein's Conception of Philosophy
22:50

Ludwig Wittgenstein was one of the great figures of Twentieth Century Philosophy. Part of his originality lay in his view of what Philosophy was and how it ought to be done. For this episode of Philosophy Bites Barry Smith of Birkbeck College London gives a lucid account of Wittgenstein's conception of Philosophy. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy (www.philosophy.sas.ac.uk).

Jan 06, 2008
Mark Vernon on Friendship
11:53
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.
Dec 30, 2007
G.A. Cohen on Inequality of Wealth
10:44
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.
Dec 23, 2007
Barry Stroud on Scepticism
12:51
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.
Dec 16, 2007
Julian Baggini on Thought Experiments
12:13
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.
Dec 09, 2007
Susan James on Spinoza on the Passions
17:14
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.
Dec 02, 2007
Henry Hardy on Isaiah Berlin's Pluralism
12:54
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..
Nov 25, 2007
Myles Burnyeat on Aristotle on Happiness
12:15
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.
Nov 18, 2007
Alain de Botton on Philosophy Within and Outside the Academy
13:52
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.
Nov 11, 2007
Angie Hobbs on Plato on Erotic Love
15:31
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.
Nov 04, 2007
Stewart Sutherland on Hume on Design
11:18
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.
Oct 28, 2007
Onora O'Neill on Medical Consent
13:53
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.
Oct 21, 2007
Quentin Skinner on Hobbes on the State
17:40
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.
Oct 15, 2007
Anthony Kenny on his New History of Philosophy
12:51
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.
Oct 08, 2007
Tim Crane on Mind and Body
10:45
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.
Sep 30, 2007
Jonathan Ree on Philosophy as an Art
14:21
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.
Sep 23, 2007
Mary Warnock on Sartre's Existentialism
11:54
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.
Sep 17, 2007
Peter Adamson on Avicenna
13:04
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.
Sep 10, 2007
Brad Hooker on Consequentialism
13:24
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.
Sep 03, 2007
Simon Blackburn on Moral Relativism
14:14
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.
Aug 27, 2007
Jonathan Wolff on Disadvantage
12:53
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.
Aug 19, 2007
Timothy Williamson on Vagueness
14:32
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.
Aug 13, 2007
David Papineau on Physicalism
15:50
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.
Aug 07, 2007
Anthony Grayling on Atheism
12:51
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.
Jul 30, 2007
Adrian Moore on Infinity
14:20
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.
Jul 24, 2007
Roger Crisp on Utilitarianism
13:06
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.
Jul 16, 2007
Edward Craig - What is Philosophy?
12:41
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.
Jul 10, 2007
Anne Phillips on Multiculturalism
15:46
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.
Jul 03, 2007
Alain de Botton on The Aesthetics of Architecture
14:20
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.
Jun 27, 2007
Barry Smith on Wine
15:18
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.
Jun 21, 2007
Miranda Fricker on Epistemic Injustice
13:47
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.
Jun 16, 2007
John Cottingham on The Meaning of Life
14:25
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.
Jun 12, 2007
Stephen Law on The Problem of Evil
14:23
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.
Jun 09, 2007
Mary Warnock on Philosophy in Public Life
13:23
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.
Jun 02, 2007
Simon Blackburn on Plato's Cave
13:42
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.
Jun 02, 2007