About Philosophy Bites
David Edmonds (Uehiro Centre, Oxford University) and Nigel Warburton (freelance philosopher/writer) interview top philosophers on a wide range of topics. Two books based on the series have been published by Oxford University Press. We are currently self-funding - donations very welcome via our website http://www.philosophybites.com
How do you solve the question of collective self-government by citizens? Josiah Ober discusses a fundamental problem of democratic societies: how we come to agree on courses of action when we commit to living within a democracy. His argument is that we need to become civic friends, a concept he explains in the conversation.
We all make some modifications to our bodies. But often this is in response to social pressures. So is there something to say for the largely unmodified body? Clare Chambers thinks so. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast she spells out why. The interviewer is David Edmonds.
Peter Singer is probably the most famous living philosopher. He recently won the million-dollar Berggruen Prize and promptly gave all that money to charity. His positions on this, on animals, poverty, altruism, and much else besides are underpinned by his consequentialism. Here, in conversation with Nigel Warburton he explains his consequentialism and its implications.
Spying raises many ethical issues, but these are rarely discussed - at least by philosophers. Cécile Fabre, author of a recent book on the topic, Spying Through a Glass Darkly, discusses some of these issues with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. This episode is sponsored by The New European newspaper.
In Oxford during the Second World War four women philosophers came to prominence. Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Iris Murdoch, and Mary Midgley were friends and met to discuss their ideas, particulary about ethics. Benjamin Lipscomb, author of a recent book about them, The Women Are Up To Something, speaks to David Edmonds in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Stoic philosophers described anger as a temporary madness and argued that we should eliminate it wherever possible. More recently Martha Nussbaum has argued for keeping anger out of political debates. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, in contrast, Myisha Cherry makes the case for rage in some specific circumstances. She discusses rage with Nigel Warburton.
What is the status of something that is an absence, like a hole? Suki Finn explores the metaphysics of nothing in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Suki is also the editor of a new book based on Philosophy Bites interviews with women philosophers selected from our archive Women of Ideas, to be published by Oxford University Press in April.
Jacques Derrida was a controversial philosopher whose writing could be fiendishly difficult to read. Nevertheless he had many followers. Here Pete Salmon, author of a recent biography of Derrida, manages to give a clear account of what Derrida meant by deconstruction. This episode was sponsored by St John's College. For more information about the college go to www.sjc.edu/podcast
Arthur Schopenhauer is best known for the deep pessimism of his book The World as Will and Representation. Here we focus on a slightly less pessimistic aspect of his philosophy: his views on compassion. Very unusually for an early nineteenth century thinker, he was influenced here by his reading of Indian philosophy. David Bather Woods is the interviewee. We are very grateful for sponsorship for this episode from St John's College.
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