42 episodes

A podcast exploring Philosophy, Politics, Current Affairs, Literature and Film.

Thales' Well Patrick D. O'Connor

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

A podcast exploring Philosophy, Politics, Current Affairs, Literature and Film.

    On Propaganda with Colin Alexander

    On Propaganda with Colin Alexander

    This episode I had a fantastic discussion with Dr Colin Alexander about propaganda. We discussed the nature of propaganda, how to identify it, its ubiquity, as well as things we might do to mitigate the effect of propaganda on ourselves and society. More specifically, we focussed on a particular case study, with Colin explaining how propaganda is deployed by charitable organisations, companies and governments. In addition, we spoke about representations of charity in culture with reference to Charles Dickens, Andrew Carnegie and Bob Geldof and Live Aid. The blog piece on Andrew Carnegie which formed the basis of our conversation can be found here.


    Colin Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Political Communications at Nottingham Trent University, UK. His expertise surrounds propaganda studies, with a particular interest in communications ethics, imperialism and north-south issues. He is also interested in moral philosophy and debates surrounding the role of charity and altruism within society. He is the author of two monograph books: 'China and Taiwan in Central America' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and 'Administering Colonialism and War’ (Oxford University Press, 2019), and he recently published his first edited volume 'The Frontiers of Public Diplomacy: Hegemony, Morality and Power in the International Sphere' (Routledge, 2021).  


    You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Podbean. You can also download their apps to your smart phone and listen via there. You can also subscribe for free on iTunes. Please leave a nice review.

    • 1 hr 17 min
    On David Lewis and Possible Worlds with Ben Curtis

    On David Lewis and Possible Worlds with Ben Curtis

    On this episode, I discuss analytic philosopher David Lewis' concept of possible worlds with Dr Benjamin Curtis. Ben is  colleague at Nottingham Trent University. We talked about possible worlds, actual worlds, probability, causation and time.


    Ben Curtis lectures in Philosophy at Nottingham Trent University. He has published on a wide-variety of themes including epistemology, bioethics, time as well as the philosophical status of antiques. You can find out more about Ben on his university webpage here. Ben has also contributed a number of pieces to The Conversation which you can find here.


    You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Podbean. You can also download their apps to your smart phone and listen via there. You can also subscribe for free on iTunes. Please leave a nice review.


     


     


     


     

    • 58 min
    On Camus and 'The Plague' with Robert Zaretsky

    On Camus and 'The Plague' with Robert Zaretsky

    I had an amazing conversation with Robert Zaretsky who is a Professor of Humanities at the Honors College, University of Houston. We spoke about French novelist and philosopher Albert Camus and his great pandemic novel The Plague. The Plague is currently receiving renewed critical attention due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is set to be re-issued by Penguin. Thus, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the novel. We touched on the background to Camus' novel, the influence of Thucydides on Camus,  silence, ethics, judgement, the distinction between moraliser and moralist, the strange parallels between Camus and George Orwell as well as Camus' perennial relevance.


    Rob is a historian of France and literary biographer. Amongst others, he has published two biographies of Albert Camus entitled A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning with Harvard U.P. and Albert Camus: Elements of a Life with Cornell U.P. You can read his recent essay on Camus' The Plague here, and an essay he wrote on online pedagogy for Times Higher Education here. Elsewhere Rob is a contributor to the Los Angeles Review of Books where you can read his essay on Camus and Simone Weil here, as well as an essay on Franz Kafka here. He has also contributed to New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs and Chronicle of Higher Education. Here is an essay from Foreign Affairs where Rob writes about the importance of books in pandemics.  You can find out more about Rob on his university website here.


    You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Podbean. You can also download their apps to your smart phone and listen via there. You can also subscribe for free on iTunes. Please leave a nice review.

    • 57 min
    On Character with Christian Miller

    On Character with Christian Miller

    I am talking with Prof. Christian Miller about the nature of character. We discuss different types of character,  character psycholgoy, forms of character virtue as well as forms of character vice, the difference between moral habits and instincts, Aristotle's contribution to the theory of character, and the ever-present gap between who we are and who we should be. Christian outlines valuable strategies for helping us achieve virtue and avoiding vice. 


    Christian B. Miller is the A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University. He was recently the Philosophy Director of the Beacon Project , funded by a $3.9 million grant from Templeton Religion Trust, and is Past Director of the Character Project, funded by $5.6 million in grants from the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton World Charity Foundation. He is the author of over 90 academic papers as well as three books with Oxford University Press, Moral Character: An Empirical Theory (2013), Character and Moral Psychology (2014), and The Character Gap: How Good Are We? (2017). His writings have also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Slate, The Conversation, Newsweek, Aeon, and Christianity Today. Miller is the editor or co-editor of Essays in the Philosophy of Religion (OUP), Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology (OUP), Moral Psychology, Volume V: Virtue and Character (MIT Press), Integrity, Honesty, and Truth Seeking (OUP), and The Continuum Companion to Ethics (Continuum Press). You can find out more about him on his website, or you can follow him on Twitter @CharacterGap or on Facebook. You can purchase a copy of The Character Gap here. 


    You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Podbean. You can also download their apps to your smart phone and listen via there. You can also subscribe for free on iTunes. Please leave a nice review.

    • 49 min
    On Plato with Keith Crome

    On Plato with Keith Crome

    This time we turn to Ancient Philosophy, and I discuss Plato with Dr Keith Crome. We speak about the pedagogical dimension of Plato's work, and focus specifically on Plato's Republic. Keith argues that to understand Plato, it is essential to understand Plato's account of education and how it relates to Socrates, the Sophists, the myth of the cave, the theory of forms, democratic politics as well as Plato's lesser known more playful side.


    Keith Crome is scholar of ancient philosophy, postmodernism and education. He is a philosophy lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan Univeristy.  He is a specialist in the 20th Century thinker Jean Francois Lyotard, and has composed a monograph on this topic entitled Lyotard and the Greeks. You can find out more about Keith here.


    You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Podbean. You can also download their apps to your smart phone and listen via there. 


    You can also subscribe for free on iTunes. Please leave a nice review.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    On Blockchain with Peter Howson

    On Blockchain with Peter Howson

    I am talking with Dr Peter Howson from Nottingham Trent University about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Peter is a Human Geographer, so we talk about the environmental impact of crypto-currency as well as it’s distribution in space. Largely, Peter explains to me the technological, economic, financial and geopolitical ramifications of these new forms of currency.


    Unfortunately, we only had a short window to record this, and the only room available was one with a high ceiling and a loud fan. Therefore, the audio suffers. I have done my best with it so I hope you stick with it as Peter is exceptionally insightful about this topic.


    Peter is currently a a Researcher and Lecturer in the School of Arts and Humanities at NTU. He is Course Leader for the MA in International Development and leads a number of modules across the Global Studies (Joint Honours) programme. His teaching and research interests span political ecology, critical geopolitics, gender, race and development, ‘green violence’, and blockchain-based environmental management in the Global South. Most of Peter's teaching draws on his research interests and professional experience in the Asia-Pacific region. You can find out more about Peter here.  The podcast Peter recommended is called the ‘The Missing Crypto Queen’. Here is some of the research that Peter spoke about during our conversation: ‘Tackling climate change with blockchain,’ ‘Marine conservation with blockchain,’ and ‘Tackling deforestation with blockchain.


    You can listen to more free content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Podbean. You can also download their apps to your smart phone and listen via there. You can subscribe for free on iTunes. Please leave a nice review. You can follow me on Twitter: @drphilocity


     

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

R.A.Clark(FRSA) ,

Fall down the well, you won’t regret it!

Eminently listenable. I found the exchanges between the host and guest(s) to be sharp and insightful. This podcast isn’t afraid to move between a range of ideas and fields (philosophy, politics, history, theory, economics). A new favourite on my list!

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