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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

Popular episodes

All episodes

The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Keith Frankish on the Hard Problem and the Illusion of Qualia

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

15mins

11 Oct 2014

Rank #1

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John Gardner on Constitutions

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.

17mins

17 Mar 2013

Rank #2

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Mark Rowlands on Philosophy and Running

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.

11mins

29 Mar 2013

Rank #3

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Roger Scruton on Human Nature

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.

18mins

29 Aug 2017

Rank #4

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Cheryl Misak on Frank Ramsey and Ludwig Wittgenstein

Cheryl Misak has recently published a biography of F.P. Ramsey, the great Cambridge thinker who died at the age of only 26, but who nevertheless made a significant impact in several different fields including philosophy, mathematics, and economics. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast she discusses Ramsey's interactions with Wittgenstein. The two thinkers had very different personal styles and their philosophies reflect this.

19mins

30 May 2020

Rank #5

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Shelly Kagan on Death and Deprivation

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.

23mins

18 Apr 2017

Rank #6

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Paul Boghossian on Moral Relativism

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. 

17mins

23 Oct 2011

Rank #7

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Keith Frankish on Conscious Thought

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.

11mins

14 Jan 2017

Rank #8

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Kit Fine on What is Metaphysics?http

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.

14mins

1 Jan 2012

Rank #9

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Kathleen Stock on What is a Woman?

'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 Srinivassan addressed in a previous Philosophy Bites interview on this topic.

30mins

21 May 2019

Rank #10

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Christopher Janaway on Nietzsche on Morality

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.

14mins

28 Sep 2008

Rank #11

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Nick Bostrom on the Simulation Argument

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.

14mins

14 Aug 2011

Rank #12

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Greg Currie on the Philosophy of Film

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. 

19mins

26 Mar 2016

Rank #13

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Katherine Morris on Merleau-Ponty on the Body

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.

17mins

2 Mar 2016

Rank #14

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Simon May on Love

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

15mins

7 May 2011

Rank #15

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Aaron Meskin on the Definition of Art

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.

17mins

30 May 2017

Rank #16

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Jonathan Glover on Systems of Belief

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

20mins

9 Oct 2011

Rank #17

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Graham Priest on Buddhism and Philosophy

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.

17mins

13 Oct 2015

Rank #18

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Kate Jeffery on Concepts and Representation

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.

16mins

5 Dec 2016

Rank #19

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Elizabeth Anderson on 'Let's Talk'

In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, recorded before the Covid-19 lockdowns, the political philosopher Elizabeth Anderson explains why we need to be prepared to talk more, even with people with whom we strongly disagree. 

20mins

19 Apr 2020

Rank #20