Descartes - Meditations
Can I know anything for certain? Can I even be sure that I exist? Descartes pushed scepticism to its limits in his Meditations. Nigel Warburton explains Descartes' key ideas and some of the criticisms that can be levelled against them.
30 May 2007
Machiavelli - The Prince
Is this just a handbook for psychopaths, or a satirical attack on his contemporaries, or did Machiavelli have a moral message? In this reading from his book Philosophy: The Classics, Nigel Warburton explains the central themes from Machiavelli's great work The Prince and explores different interpretations of the book.
24 May 2007
Hobbes - Leviathan
Why would anyone give up their freedom to become part of an organised state? In this reading from his book Philosophy: The Classics, Nigel Warburton outlines Thomas Hobbes' central arguments from Leviathan.
6 Jun 2007
Rousseau - Social Contract
How should society be organised? Can you force someone to be free? Jean-Jacques Rousseau's controversial The Social Contract is the subject of this podcast chapter of Nigel Warburton's book Philosophy: The Classics.
20 Aug 2007
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Spinoza - Ethics
What kind of freedom can human beings achieve? Is the mind distinct from the body? Are we and everything in the universe part of God? In this episode of Philosophy: The Classics, Nigel Warburton outlines the key features of Spinoza's great book Ethics.
10 Jun 2007
Locke - Essay
Is a newborn's mind a blank slate? What makes you the same person that you were several years ago despite bodily changes? These are two central questions that John Locke addressed in his classic work An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Nigel Warburton outlines the key ideas from this book.
19 Jun 2007
Hume - Enquiry
How do we learn about the world? David Hume's answer, like Locke's, was via experience. In this podcast, based on Nigel Warburton's Philosophy: The Classics, outlines Hume's views on a number of issues such as induction, causation, and miracles.
22 Jul 2007
Hume - Dialogues
Does the apparent design in the natural world point to the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent God? In his posthumous Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, perhaps his finest work, David Hume put some devastating criticisms of the Design Argument in the mouths of his characters. Listen to Nigel Warburton reading this summary of the book.
11 Aug 2007
Locke - 2nd Treatise
What are the legitimate powers of the State? This is the fundamental question John Locke addressed in his Second Treatise of Civil Government. Nigel Warburton sketches the main features of this work and outlines some criticisms of it in this podcast of a chapter from his book Philosophy: The Classics (3rd ed.)
16 Jul 2007
Boethius - The Consolation of Philosophy
What consolation can Philosophy provide to a condemned man? Boethius wrote The Consolation of Philosophy while awaiting torture and execution. He imagines Philosophy visiting him personified as a woman. Philosophy explains to him how the Wheel of Fortune turns, but yet happiness remains within human control. Nigel Warburton reads Chapter 3 from this book Philosophy: The Classics which gives a critical summary of Boethius' book.
19 May 2007