The simplest questions often have the most complex answers. The Philosopher's Zone is your guide through the strange thickets of logic, metaphysics and ethics.
Doctors and dualism
So you’re feeling sick, and you go to the doctor. The doctor sends you off for a range of diagnostic tests, which come back inconclusive. What happens next?
Art and hate speech
This week we're exploring the idea that art can say things, and do things, and mean different things according to shifting historical circumstances - and that those sayings, doings and meanings aren't always benign or harmless. How should we respond to morally problematic art - particularly the kind of art that can function as hate speech?
Simone de Beauvoir: becoming a woman
Simone de Beauvoir wrote that “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”. It’s a much-quoted phrase that appears to speak presciently to modern concerns around sex and gender. But how well is Beauvoir understood by contemporary feminists?
Ubuntu is an African tradition of thought whose ethical orientation is captured in the well-known aphorism “I am, because we are”. But what gets lost when Ubuntu is framed as a philosophical discourse in the Western intellectual tradition? And where do we see its successes and failures in the reconstruction of post-colonial Africa?
Philosophy in a nutshell: The aphorism
Philosophy is often thought of as proceeding via elaborate conceptual systems. But sometimes, a choice phrase is all you need to get you thinking.
The great and the good-enough
We live in a society dominated by the aspiration to greatness, where the ancient ethical ideal of "the good life" is often framed in terms of wealth, fame and power. The notion that we might settle for a "good-enough life" seems oddly countercultural - but this week we're exploring the virtues of modest ambition, and the ways in which a relentlessly competitive social order can damage everyone, from the least to the most successful.
Generally good but where are the theists?
These guys present so many great ideas and ask so many great questions. I can’t help but think it’s a little one-sided, but they’re definitely doing a good job of getting certain backwards and forwards conversations happening. I would appreciate some more respected theists on the show having heard, well not really much from that side. But perhaps this is not the place to be talking about those arguments when there are 1000 different podcast talking about those things really. Otherwise really top stuff and thought-provoking.
Philosopher‘s Zone no longer sheds light
A listener for decades, since the time of Alan Saunders, the program used to delight and inform. No longer, alas, it has become a battering ram for woke correctness. Vale.