Philosophy Bites

Back when we start­ed out, we men­tioned a radio show — and now pod­cast — com­ing out of Stan­ford that offers a “down-to-earth and no-non­sense approach” to phi­los­o­phy that’s engag­ing, if not enter­tain­ing. It’s called Phi­los­o­phy Talk, and you can catch some of the old pro­grams on iTunes.

Now, about 6,000 miles and eight time zones away, anoth­er phi­los­o­phy pod­cast, Phi­los­o­phy Bites (iTunesFeedWeb Site), has been launched in Eng­land by David Edmonds and Nigel War­bur­ton (see bios here). Inter­view­ing top philoso­phers, the two delve into some essen­tial philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions — what is the mean­ing of life? what is the nature of real­i­ty? what is evil?, etc. And then they get into some oth­er good ques­tions: Can philoso­phers con­tribute to pub­lic life, and is wine tast­ing sub­jec­tive?

The lat­est pod­cast (which can be accessed via the feed, but not yet via iTunes) fea­tures an inter­view with Alain de Bot­ton, who has man­aged to write snap­py best­sellers that tack­le philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions. It takes a rare writer to pull that off, and his books are def­i­nite­ly worth a look. After launch­ing his career with How Proust Can Change Your Life, he has more recent­ly pub­lished The Con­so­la­tions of Phi­los­o­phy and The Archi­tec­ture of Hap­pi­ness. And it is this last book that the lat­est pod­cast revolves around.

As a final note, Nigel War­bur­ton has also put out anoth­er pod­cast, Phi­los­o­phy: The Clas­sics (iTunes) in which he reads from a recent­ly pub­lished book with the same title. You may want to give it a lis­ten.

For more pod­casts along these lines, see our Arts & Cul­ture pod­cast col­lec­tion.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.