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Philosophy For Our Times

Philosophy for our Times is a free philosophy podcast bringing you the latest talks and debates from the world’s leading thinkers. We host weekly episodes on today’s biggest ideas in news, society, culture, politics, science and arts. Subscribe today to never miss an episode.

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The Myth of the Self | Julian Baggini, Angie Hobbs, John Milbank

It is said that Mother Theresa allowed many to die unnecessarily and glorified suffering. While Stalin was a loving son to his parents, and Hitler - a vegetarian who adored his dog. Are we wrong to assume that there is a single self behind our actions? Are people not good or bad but only individual actions? Should we accept that we are inconsistent and unpredictable? Or is consistency and integrity the cornerstone of what it is to be human?Professor of religion, politics and ethics John Millbank, co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine Julian Baggini and Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy Angie Hobbs explore our multiple selves.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

42mins

10 Mar 2020

Rank #1

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Doing Right And Feeling Good | Anders Sandberg, Simon Baron-Cohen, Peter Dews

We think empathising with others is the route to a better world. But studies show that empathy encourages us to help one named child over ten anonymous others. Is morality perhaps not about empathy at all? Does the moral way to act have more to do with thinking than feeling, or is empathy a vital force for good?The Panel'Zero Degrees of Empathy' author Simon Baron-Cohen, philosopher Peter Dews and Oxford Transhumanist Anders Sadnberg dispute how to be good.Watch the debate here: https://iai.tv/video/doing-right-and-feeling-goodSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

46mins

22 Sep 2016

Rank #2

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Why is There Something Rather than Nothing? | Amie Thomasson, George Ellis, Rupert Sheldrake

The fundamental problem of philosophy, argued Heidegger, is 'why is there something rather than nothing?' Now, some scientists claim nothing doesn't exist and that even deepest space is full of virtual particles. Have we misunderstood the very idea of nothing? In this episode of Philosophy for our Times, Templeton prize winning cosmologist George Ellis, metaphysician Amie Thomasson and author of The Science Delusion Rupert Sheldrake unlock the mystery.In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLDSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

32mins

12 Mar 2019

Rank #3

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Does Universal Morality Exist? | Stanley Fish, Myriam Francois, Phillip Collins

Is there a universal morality, and if not, are moral beliefs actually the cause of some of the greatest human suffering? To debate this issue, we have on our panel literary theorist Stanley Fish, writer, broadcaster and SOAS researcher Myriam Francois, and journalist and former speech-writer to Tony Blair Phillip Collins.In association with the New College of the Humanities: bit.ly/2FdPgLDSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

31mins

11 Dec 2018

Rank #4

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Understanding String Theory | James Ladyman

Over 40 years have passed since string theory was first developed: what questions have been answered? Philosopher James Ladyman examines one of our strangest endeavours."Challenging and provocative" TLSSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

25mins

28 Nov 2017

Rank #5

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Do we Need Romance to be Happy? | Bella DePaulo, Anders Sandberg, Heidi Rice

From medieval legends to Hollywood endings to the horoscope, we are led to believe that lifelong love means happiness. But a recent survey of 814 separate studies showed single people to be happier, more fulfilled and less stressed. Is it time to stop seeing romantic love as all-important? In this episode of Philosophy for our Times, psychologist and author of Singled Out Bella DePaulo, Oxford transhumanist Anders Sandberg and romance author Heidi Rice challenge our ideas about the narratives of love.In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLDSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

33mins

12 Feb 2019

Rank #6

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Big Bang Creation Myths | Sean Carroll, Roger Penrose, Laura Mersini-Houghton

The big bang theory won out over the Steady State alternative 50 years ago because we discovered the universe was expanding. But now we know that the universe is in fact accelerating away from us. Might the whole big bang theory be mistaken? In this episode of Philosophy for our Times, eminent mathematician Roger Penrose, CalTech physicist and author of From Eternity to Here Sean Carroll and multiverse cosmologist Laura Mersini-Houghton look at the story of creation once again.In association with the New College of the Humanities: bit.ly/2FdPgLDSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

38mins

15 Jan 2019

Rank #7

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Truth, Science and the Universe | Peter Atkins, Sophia Roosth, Tim Lewens

Where once we made sense of the world using the idea of God, most of us now believe in a more scientific story, of an unfolding universe and evolution. Yet scientists increasingly see their theories as useful models rather than ultimate accounts. Is science then just another human description limited by language, culture and circumstance? In this episode of Philosophy for our Times, author of Conjuring the Universe Peter Atkins, Harvard historian of science Sophie Roosth and Cambridge philosopher and author of the Meaning of Science Tim Lewens scrutinise the limits and possibilities of science.In association with the New College of the Humanities: bit.ly/2FdPgLDSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

37mins

5 Feb 2019

Rank #8

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The Secrets of Consciousness | Interview with Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake is a renowned author and biologist, known for his research into parapsychology. In this exclusive interview, Rupert shares with us the secrets of consciousness, putting forward a panpsychist view of what it is to be conscious and debunking why materialism has failed.In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLDSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

9mins

8 Mar 2019

Rank #9

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The Limits of Freedom | Claire Fox, Julian Le Grand, Theodore Dalrymple

Freedom is a goal we all endorse. Yes as neuroscience shows and history suggests, we are less content when we have more choice. Is too much freedom paradoxically debilitating? Do we need constraints to thrive, and might our chains be key to our freedom? Or is this a dangerous conceit of the privileged and free?Psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple, Blair's former Senior Policy Advisor Julian Le Grand and author of I find that offensive Claire Fox interrogate choice.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

33mins

14 Mar 2017

Rank #10

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After the Higgs Boson | John Ellis

In 2013 we found the Higgs boson. Then, in early 2016, we found Gravitational Waves.Eminent CERN physicist John Ellis asks: what's next for 21st-century physics?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

30mins

18 Apr 2017

Rank #11

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Capitalism And Anarchy | Aaron Bastani, Stephen King, Deirdre McCloskey

Few take anarchism and the abandonment of organised government as a viable political goal.  Yet in economics, capitalism is just such a leaderless anarchic system.  Might a radically decentralised political system be more credible than we think?  Or is centralised government necessary in politics if anything is to be achieved?The PanelSenior economic advisor at HSBC Stephen King, author of Bourgeois Dignity Deirdre McClosky and cofounder of Novara Media Aaron Bastani take anarchy seriously.Watch the debate here: https://iai.tv/video/capitalism-and-anarchySee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

39mins

8 Sep 2016

Rank #12

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Thinking Dangerously, Living Differently | Angie Hobbs, Adrian Moore, Mark Vernon

Philosophy as therapy is an ancient idea. Endorsed by Wittgenstein and popularized by self-help books. But isn't philosophy about understanding even if the insights are uncomfortable? Can philosophy be a dynamic force changing how we think and what we can do? Or does it serve only as a guide to everyday life?Oxford philosopher Adrian Moore, former priest and author of Wellbeing Mark Vernon and Plato Scholar Angie Hobbs consider the purpose of philosophy.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

45mins

17 Jan 2017

Rank #13

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Bonus Episode | The Death Of God And The War On Terror | Terry Eagleton

Outspoken critic of Richard Dawkins, and renowned Professor of English Literature Terry Eagleton launches himself heroically at the twin hornet’s nests of modern religious apathy & radicalism. Where should the unreligious look for answers? What has caused the recent growth in radicalism?Supported by Routledge - Associate Academic Partner of the IAI. To learn more, and for exclusive discounts and prizes visit: bit.ly/2huBNRxSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

33mins

26 Apr 2018

Rank #14

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The Cult of Mindfulness | Vishpani Blomfield, Linda Woodhead, Miguel Farias

From yoga retreats to mindfulness, meditation is fashionable and now even prescribed by the UK's National Health Service. Yet in some cases it can lead to depression and even psychosis. Is it a mistake to think that self-exploration and being at one with ourselves are necessarily good things? In this episode of Philosophy for our Times, The Buddha Pill author Miguel Farias, Buddhist teacher and broadcaster Vishvapani Blomfield, and sociologist of religion Linda Woodhead explore how we can reach peace.In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLDSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

32mins

16 Apr 2019

Rank #15

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The Morality of the Left and Right | Peter Hitchens, Sophie Walker, Chris Bryant

The left has traditionally seen itself as progressive, with history and morality on its side. But is history on anyone's side? And as for morality, don't all politicians think they're in the right? Should the left then give up its claim to the moral high ground and argue for policies on pragmatic grounds alone? In this episode of Philosophy for our Times, Peter Hitchens, Sophie Walker and Chris Bryant debate the morality of the left and right.In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLDSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

42mins

29 May 2019

Rank #16

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How To Live In The Moment | Robert Eaglestone, Sam Roddick, Peter York

Socrates famously claimed 'the unexamined life is not worth living'. Yet from surfing to sex, playing an instrument to riding a bike, our most joyous moments are not when we are lost in thought but when we are lost in experience. Do we reflect too much and should we explore just 'being' more?Philosopher and author Robert Eaglestone, Coco de Mer founder Sam Roddick and author of Authenticity is a Con Peter YorkSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

35mins

25 Jan 2018

Rank #17

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The Neuroscience of Conciousness | Raymond Tallis, Susana Martinez-Conde, Markus Gabriel

Neuroscientists believe that our minds and conciousness are no more than matter and mechanism. But if they are right, is all meaning, purpose and feeling illusory? Or do the secrets of experience lie beyond neuroscience's grasp? In this episode of Philosophy for our Times, Raymond Tallis, Susana Martinez-Conde and Markus Gabriel explore the latest in the neuroscience of conciousness.In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLDSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

46mins

20 May 2019

Rank #18

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The Known, The Strange And The New | John Ellis, Robert Rowland-Smith, Janne Teller

From Aristotle to Einstein humans have tried to make sense of the world.  Yet despite huge advances a final explanation looks ever distant.  What makes our lives and the world so puzzling and inexplicable? Is it the limitation of the human brain or is language not able to describe reality? Or is it too soon to give up on finding light in the darkness?Eminent CERN physicist John Ellis joins philosopher Robert Rowland-Smith and existential novelist of Why? Janne Tellar to confront the strangeness of reality.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

47mins

7 Feb 2017

Rank #19

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Is the sun conscious? | Rupert Sheldrake

Is consciousness stranger than we thought? The Science Delusion author Rupert Sheldrake strikes out against orthodoxy and asks: is the sun conscious?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

23mins

17 Apr 2018

Rank #20