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Philosophy & Other Big Ideas

Philosophy Bites

Edmonds and Warburton

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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 s...Show More
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17:08 | Jul 8th

In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, Kate Kirkpatrick, author of a new biography of Beauvoir, Becoming Beauvoir, discusses the relationship between the life and work of Simone de Beauvoir. Beauvoir is often portrayed as applying Jean-Paul...Show More

30:09 | May 21st

'What is a woman?' has become a contentious question with practical implications. The philosopher Kathleen Stock gives an account of the category 'woman' and how we should think about it. She gives a different answer to this question which Amia Srini...Show More
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20:38 | Feb 25th

Christian Miller believes that there is a character gap, a gap between what we think we are like morally and how we actually behave. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he explores the psychology of moral behaviour, and how we can become ...Show More

20:44 | Feb 25th

Where did ethics come from? Philip Pettit tells an 'as if' story about the birth of ethics that is designed to illuminate what ethics is and why it evolved on this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. We are grateful for support from the Marc San...Show More

16:38 | Jan 14th

Philosophers often talk about possible worlds. Is this just a way of describing counterfactual situations? As Helen Beebee explains, some of them believe that possible worlds actually exist. This episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast is supported b...Show More

20:50 | Nov 27th, 2018

Throughout its history there have been challenges to the status of philosophy. Paul Sagar discusses some of these in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. We are grateful for support from the Marc Sanders Foundation in making this podcast, an...Show More

16:09 | Oct 7th, 2018

Is it always good to be trustworthy? Can trustworthiness come into conflict with other values, such as generosity? Katherine Hawley discusses these and other questions about trustworthiness with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bite...Show More

21:48 | Aug 20th, 2018

Civility is a conversational virtue that governs how people talk to each other. How important is it in political life? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Teresa Bejan discusses this manner of speaking and writing and its history.  We are...Show More

18:34 | Jul 23rd, 2018

You can overdo most things, but can you overdo democracy? Political philosopher Robert B. Talisse thinks you can. He explains why in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. We are very grateful for sponsorship from the Marc Sanders Foundation f...Show More

19:56 | May 7th, 2018

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 Bite...Show More

21:04 | Apr 2nd, 2018

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 podca...Show More

21:10 | Feb 14th, 2018

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 sponsor...Show More

18:32 | Jan 11th, 2018

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 Philos...Show More

18:28 | Dec 10th, 2017

Philip Pettit discusses the concept of robustly demanding goods with Nigel Warburton

13:58 | Nov 6th, 2017

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...Show More

18:03 | Aug 29th, 2017

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 o...Show More

23:08 | Jul 19th, 2017

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 c...Show More

20:05 | Jun 26th, 2017

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 E...Show More

17:05 | May 30th, 2017

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 t...Show More

23:57 | Apr 18th, 2017

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 d...Show More

20:38 | Apr 18th, 2017

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.  ...Show More

18:06 | Mar 18th, 2017

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.

13:17 | Mar 1st, 2017

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....Show More

15:34 | Mar 1st, 2017

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 collab...Show More

16:10 | Feb 3rd, 2017

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...Show More

11:59 | Jan 14th, 2017

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,...Show More

19:46 | Jan 1st, 2017

'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 de...Show More

16:26 | Dec 5th, 2016

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...Show More

15:02 | Dec 2nd, 2016

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 ...Show More

17:30 | Nov 12th, 2016

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 P...Show More

21:00 | Nov 12th, 2016

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 justifica...Show More

20:20 | Oct 11th, 2016

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-funde...Show More

19:04 | Oct 3rd, 2016

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...Show More

16:15 | Oct 2nd, 2016

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 ...Show More

21:37 | Sep 20th, 2016

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.

21:40 | Aug 1st, 2016

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 ...Show More

12:32 | Jul 6th, 2016

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.

17:20 | May 30th, 2016

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 pod...Show More

16:42 | Apr 26th, 2016

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

19:27 | Mar 26th, 2016

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.

17:58 | Mar 2nd, 2016

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 th...Show More

15:12 | Feb 14th, 2016

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 Michae...Show More

16:43 | Jan 29th, 2016

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.

18:32 | Jan 10th, 2016

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.

17:21 | Dec 16th, 2015

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

22:26 | Nov 29th, 2015

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 philosop...Show More

12:26 | Nov 17th, 2015

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.

12:19 | Oct 31st, 2015

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.

17:52 | Oct 13th, 2015

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 podc...Show More

20:27 | Sep 27th, 2015

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

23:56 | Sep 13th, 2015

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.

12:42 | Sep 1st, 2015

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.

17:24 | Aug 19th, 2015

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...

24:33 | Aug 1st, 2015

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 ...Show More

21:37 | Jul 22nd, 2015

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 knowle...Show More

20:57 | Jul 6th, 2015

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.

13:30 | Jun 21st, 2015

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.

14:25 | Jun 6th, 2015

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

12:09 | Jun 6th, 2015

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.

20:29 | May 22nd, 2015

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.

20:47 | May 10th, 2015

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

13:47 | Apr 28th, 2015

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.

14:43 | Apr 14th, 2015

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.

17:40 | Mar 29th, 2015

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

17:18 | Mar 19th, 2015

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.

13:32 | Mar 1st, 2015

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.

17:37 | Feb 16th, 2015

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.

15:53 | Feb 3rd, 2015

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...Show More

19:06 | Jan 18th, 2015

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

17:04 | Jan 4th, 2015

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.

38:12 | Dec 20th, 2014

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.

15:15 | Dec 20th, 2014

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.

13:44 | Dec 7th, 2014

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...

15:30 | Nov 13th, 2014

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 ...Show More

17:27 | Oct 27th, 2014

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.

15:04 | Oct 11th, 2014

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

16:39 | Oct 11th, 2014

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

16:11 | Sep 29th, 2014

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 po...Show More

17:53 | Sep 14th, 2014

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 ...Show More

18:40 | Aug 31st, 2014

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 pod...Show More

14:25 | Aug 17th, 2014

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

19:21 | Aug 2nd, 2014

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 th...Show More

15:54 | Jul 19th, 2014

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.

19:42 | Jul 6th, 2014

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.

16:05 | Jun 24th, 2014

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 oth...Show More

17:51 | Jun 8th, 2014

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.

15:29 | May 24th, 2014

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.

16:58 | May 13th, 2014

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.

18:55 | Apr 27th, 2014

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.

18:11 | Apr 12th, 2014

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 elect...Show More

16:57 | Mar 30th, 2014

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.

21:45 | Mar 13th, 2014

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'

17:18 | Mar 4th, 2014

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 fre...Show More

18:23 | Feb 24th, 2014

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

16:57 | Feb 9th, 2014

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.

14:53 | Jan 25th, 2014

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 podca...Show More

20:36 | Jan 7th, 2014

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.

18:19 | Dec 22nd, 2013

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.

16:01 | Dec 7th, 2013

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 discu...Show More

21:32 | Nov 23rd, 2013

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.

15:47 | Nov 10th, 2013

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.

18:59 | Oct 26th, 2013

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.

21:13 | Oct 12th, 2013

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.

16:06 | Sep 28th, 2013

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? Philosoph...Show More

15:50 | Sep 14th, 2013

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 influen...Show More

17:16 | Sep 1st, 2013

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 Warbur...Show More

12:58 | Aug 17th, 2013

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 ...Show More

17:37 | Aug 3rd, 2013

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 o...Show More

17:43 | Jul 20th, 2013

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.

19:23 | Jul 6th, 2013

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 pod...Show More

16:29 | Jun 23rd, 2013

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 B...Show More

18:53 | Jun 9th, 2013

'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 cul...Show More

16:48 | May 27th, 2013

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 que...Show More

15:39 | May 11th, 2013

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.

18:44 | Apr 27th, 2013

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 morall...Show More

17:19 | Apr 14th, 2013

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 ...Show More

11:38 | Mar 29th, 2013

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' Liter...Show More

17:30 | Mar 17th, 2013

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 Philoso...Show More

14:37 | Mar 3rd, 2013

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 Inst...Show More

18:54 | Feb 17th, 2013

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.

15:07 | Feb 2nd, 2013

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 Institut...Show More

18:21 | Jan 25th, 2013

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 P...Show More

20:00 | Jan 8th, 2013

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.

20:18 | Dec 23rd, 2012

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.

17:31 | Dec 8th, 2012

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 mad...Show More

39:28 | Nov 30th, 2012

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 answ...Show More

13:10 | Nov 26th, 2012

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 Flyi...Show More

15:07 | Nov 11th, 2012

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 Ph...Show More

12:55 | Oct 27th, 2012

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 experi...Show More

16:48 | Oct 13th, 2012

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 philosophe...Show More

17:15 | Sep 28th, 2012

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.

15:49 | Sep 15th, 2012

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.

13:02 | Aug 31st, 2012

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...Show More

15:40 | Aug 18th, 2012

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.

19:48 | Aug 3rd, 2012

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 Cen...Show More

15:20 | Jul 28th, 2012

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 R...Show More

16:49 | Jul 22nd, 2012

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...Show More

16:22 | Jul 15th, 2012

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...Show More

16:04 | Jul 7th, 2012

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 Bit...Show More

13:44 | Jun 29th, 2012

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 a...Show More

18:22 | Jun 22nd, 2012

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...Show More

18:26 | Jun 16th, 2012

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 Warb...Show More

20:06 | Jun 10th, 2012

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 ...Show More

14:46 | Jun 2nd, 2012

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 phenome...Show More

18:17 | May 27th, 2012

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 Philosoph...Show More

17:48 | May 20th, 2012

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...Show More

19:18 | May 13th, 2012

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 decisi...Show More

11:03 | May 5th, 2012

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,...Show More

16:21 | Apr 29th, 2012

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 release...Show More

22:24 | Apr 21st, 2012

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 ...Show More

18:57 | Apr 15th, 2012

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 th...Show More

13:51 | Apr 6th, 2012

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...Show More

21:05 | Apr 2nd, 2012

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 w...Show More

18:35 | Mar 23rd, 2012

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 Warbur...Show More

18:26 | Mar 9th, 2012

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 i...Show More

15:25 | Feb 25th, 2012

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 ep...Show More

15:19 | Feb 11th, 2012

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 mor...Show More

17:40 | Jan 27th, 2012

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 a...Show More

15:28 | Jan 16th, 2012

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. Philo...Show More

14:33 | Jan 1st, 2012

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 Phi...Show More

17:19 | Dec 18th, 2011

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...Show More

14:50 | Dec 3rd, 2011

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 a...Show More

18:45 | Nov 20th, 2011

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.

17:43 | Nov 5th, 2011

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....Show More

17:11 | Oct 23rd, 2011

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 epi...Show More

20:03 | Oct 9th, 2011

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 ...Show More

12:59 | Sep 25th, 2011

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...Show More

20:18 | Sep 11th, 2011

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.

15:12 | Aug 26th, 2011

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 expe...Show More

14:30 | Aug 14th, 2011

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...Show More

15:01 | Jul 31st, 2011

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). ...Show More

12:47 | Jul 17th, 2011

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...Show More

19:34 | Jul 3rd, 2011

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 asso...Show More

15:07 | Jun 17th, 2011

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 associati...Show More

19:53 | Jun 4th, 2011

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.

12:52 | May 22nd, 2011

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.

15:05 | May 7th, 2011

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 associatio...Show More

13:18 | Apr 25th, 2011

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 ...Show More

18:30 | Apr 22nd, 2011

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 m...Show More

15:12 | Apr 9th, 2011

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 ass...Show More

17:30 | Mar 26th, 2011

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.

0:00 | Mar 12th, 2011

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 th...Show More

14:19 | Feb 26th, 2011

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 dis...Show More

13:24 | Feb 14th, 2011

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

14:36 | Jan 31st, 2011

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 Phi...Show More

21:25 | Jan 14th, 2011

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.

17:31 | Dec 30th, 2010

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 questio...Show More

13:47 | Dec 24th, 2010

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 import...Show More

20:37 | Dec 18th, 2010

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...Show More

16:58 | Dec 5th, 2010

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. Philo...Show More

16:52 | Nov 20th, 2010

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 huma...Show More

26:03 | Nov 14th, 2010

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.

18:19 | Nov 7th, 2010

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...Show More

17:02 | Oct 25th, 2010

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 question...Show More

13:34 | Oct 7th, 2010

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 Bite...Show More

13:32 | Sep 25th, 2010

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 ...Show More

13:49 | Sep 11th, 2010

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, Philo...Show More

16:20 | Aug 28th, 2010

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 p...Show More

15:01 | Aug 15th, 2010

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 betw...Show More

16:43 | Aug 9th, 2010

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

16:00 | Jul 18th, 2010

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 Phi...Show More

14:08 | Jul 4th, 2010

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.

19:23 | Jun 19th, 2010

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).

16:01 | Jun 4th, 2010

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.

16:55 | May 22nd, 2010

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.

16:12 | May 8th, 2010

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.

0:00 | Apr 25th, 2010

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 associ...Show More

14:54 | Apr 10th, 2010

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).

18:24 | Mar 27th, 2010

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...Show More

0:00 | Mar 13th, 2010

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.

0:00 | Feb 28th, 2010

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.

0:00 | Feb 15th, 2010

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