201 episodes

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books

New Books in Philosophy New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.4, 10 Ratings

Interview with Philosophers about their New Books

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Skatertny ,

Ummmm, Ahhhhh

These ought to be really good. But they're not, alas.

It's not clear whether they are aiming at experts or intelligent non-experts.

The presenter Carrie Figdor may know her stuff, but she has no humour or sparkle, and often seems almost unable to complete a sentence - the extended flat ummmms and aaaaahs and youknows can get almost painful to listen to. She also name-drops other supposed academic philosophers without explaining why they might be relevant.

It's therefore not surprising that the interviewees themselves sometime seem baffled by what's expected of them and can wander off into annoying jargon or intricacies of meaning that are next to impossible to follow.

NB that these directly linked to new books in philosophy rather than wider philosophical themes, and many of these books seem to make angels dancing on the end of a pin seem positively sensible.

And as another reviewer has noted, the sound quality is patchy.

All of which said, if you want to follow philosophy and hear some smart people talking about smart books, you can still get a lot out of it even though the format is doing its best to stop you! I'll press on...

TalkyMeat ,

Thoughtful, thorough long-form interviews, aimed at an academic audience

New Books in Philosophy is a series of long-form interviews in which philosophers discuss their newly-published books. The interviews are thorough, thoughtful, and deliberative; and if you are listening as a student or researcher in the discipline, you have almost certainly added books to your to-read list as a result of interviews in the series.

It is, however, definitely a podcast intended for a specialised academic audience. There are lots of really great podcasts intended to bring philosophy to a general audience (I particularly recommend _The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps_, _Philosophy Bites_, _The Partially Examined Life_, and _Elucidations_, if that's what you're looking for). These podcasts do commendable work, and can be enjoyed by more advanced listeners as well - but researchers and advanced students will get far more out of a podcast thet meets them at their level than one which takes time to explain stuff they've known for years. It's good that both kinds of podcast exist.

I'm labouring this point a bit because the show has had some negative reviews from listeners who appear to be judging it in comparison to philosophy podcasts for a general audience. The 'pauses' and 'ummms' in the interviews are the result of actual *thinking* happening inreal time. The 'wandering off' the reviewer complains of is *digging into the philosophical issues and arguments*. It's true that the interviews often refer to other philosophers' work, and use the jargon of the discipline - but for a specialist audience, that's not an obscurantist bug, it's a time-saving feature. If you are an academic in philosophy or neighbouring disciplines, and you want a podcast that gets you up to speed quickly on the latest philosophical research, you want something that gets straight to the point and goes deep - not something that spends 80% of the runtime explaining Phil101 material. And the former is exactly what New Books in Philosophy does.

NeilE ,


The New Books Network produces several podcasts and I’ve been subscribed to them for a couple of years now. Across the board, they all share two characteristics: they present interesting content; and they have truly appalling sound quality. They’ve been going for years now and the audio quality is still as bad as it was the day they started. It physically hurts my ears if I listen on my iPod. Requests for better sound quality get no response from their web site, so I’m giving up. Unsubscribing...

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