55 episodes

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

Thales’ Well Patrick D. O’Connor

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

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

    On Secular Gurus with Chris Kavanagh

    On Secular Gurus with Chris Kavanagh

    I talk to psychologist Dr Christopher Kavanagh about the phenomenon of secular gurus. We discussed the secularism of latter day gurus, how they differ and compare to traditional cult leaders, what traits it takes to be a secular guru (galaxy brainedness, cultishness, anti-establishmentarianism), psychopathy/sociopathy, narcissism and techniques for avoiding manipulation.
    Here is a link to the "Gurometer" where you can find out more about how to spot your latter day gurus.Chris is an Associate Professor in Psychology at Rikkyo University and works in the intersection of Cognitive Anthropology and Social Psychology with a research focus on emotions, group and ritual psychology. Chris is also one half of the Decoding the Gurus podcast, a podcast that studies, discusses and examines contemporary  'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and heterodox thinkers such as Jordan Peterson, Joe Rogan, Lex Friedman, The Weinstein brothers, Russell Brand, Sam Harris, Noam Chomsky,  Ibram Kendi, Robin D’Angelo etc. You can view Chris's research profile here and also follow him on X (Twitter) here.
    If you would like to study with me you can find more information about our online education MAs in Philosophy here at Staffordshire University. You can find out more information on our MA in Continental Philosophy via this link. Or, join our MA in Philosophy of Nature, Information and Technology via this link. Find out more about me here. September intakes F/T or January intakes P/T.You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Pod Bean. 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 22 min
    On Writing with Lars Iyer

    On Writing with Lars Iyer

    Lars Iyer is back! On this episode I talk to novelist Lars Iyer about the fiction, the writing process, the relation between literature and the world, a writers compulsion to write. We speak about a whole range of writers like Plato, Samuel Beckett,  Maurice Blanchot, Paul Celan, Margaret Duras, Thomas Bernhard. One of the things Lars suggests is that the value of literature is it utter uselessness. Like all good things!
    Lars is a  Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. He is the author of several academic articles and two monographs on Blanchot -  Blanchot’s Vigilance: Literature, Phenomenology and the Ethical  and Blanchot’s Communism: Art, Philosophy and the Political.(Palgrave Macmillan 2004, 2005). He is the author of The Spurious Trilogy (Spurious, Dogma and Exodus), Nietzsche and the Burbs (2020) and now My Weil (2023) with Melville House Publishing. You can find out more about Lars here, you can follow him on Twitter @utterlyspurious.
    If you would like to study with me you can find more information about our online education MAs in Philosophy here at Staffordshire University. You can find out more information on our MA in Continental Philosophy via this link. Or, join our MA in Philosophy of Nature, Information and Technology via this link. Find out more about me here. September intakes F/T or January intakes P/T. You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Pod Bean. 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 2 min
    On Richard Rorty with Chris Voparil

    On Richard Rorty with Chris Voparil

    On this episode I talk with Chris Voparil from Union Institute & University about American philosopher Richard Rorty. We discuss Rorty’s biography, his complicated relation with American Pragmatist philosophy and both analytic and continental philosophy, how Rorty dealt with accusations of relativism, his epistemological and moral pluralism, what Rorty has to say about solidarity and community building, how the academic left neglected economics  and forgot to talk about poor people, and what hope Rorty offers the  contemporary world.
    Christopher J. Voparil is the author of two books Richard Rorty: Politics and Vision, (2006) and Reconstructing Pragmatism: Richard Rorty and the Classical Pragmatists (2022). He is also co-editor of The Rorty Reader (2010), Richard Rorty: On Philosophy and Philosophers: Unpublished Papers, 1960–2000 (2020), What Can We Hope For?: Essays on Politics (2023). He is the founding President of the Richard Rorty Society. You can find out more about Chris here.
    If you would like to study with me you can find more information about our online education MAs in Philosophy here at Staffordshire University. You can find out more information on our MA in Continental Philosophy via this link. Or, join our MA in Philosophy of Nature, Information and Technology via this link. Find out more about me here.  September intakes F/T or January intakes P/T. You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Pod Bean. 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 1 min
    On Spiritual Freedom with Martin Hägglund

    On Spiritual Freedom with Martin Hägglund

    On this episode of the podcast, I talk to Swedish philosopher Prof. Martin Hägglund from Yale University about his book This Life: Why Mortality Makes Us Free. The dominant theme of our conversation was  the meaning of freedom. Martin has a distinct notion of the demands of being free and we got into a detailed discussion about what freedom really means, how to think about it, how freedom is tied up with our social activities and just why our mortality is exactly the thing that makes us free. As well we talked about how human beings are a distinct kind of animal, a critique of posthumanism, Aristotle and living the good life, Kant’s theory of freedom, how freedom is a form of sustained activity, and also why being free is just plain hard! Enjoy!
    Martin Hägglund is the Birgit Baldwin Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at Yale University. He is the author of four books – Kronofobi: Essäer om tid och ändlighet (Chronophobia: Essays on Time and Finitude (Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion, 2002), Radical Atheism: Derrida and the Time of Life (Stanford U.P., 2008), Dying for Time: Proust, Woolf, Nabokov (Harvard U.P., 2012), This Life: Why Mortality Makes Us Free (Pantheon, 2019) – as well as several articles, interviews and podcasts. You can find out more about Martin here at his university webpage or here on his personal webpage. You can also follow him on Twitter: @martinhaegglund

     

    If you would like to study with me you can find more information about our online education MAs in Philosophy here at Staffordshire University. You can find out more information on our MA in Continental Philosophy via this link. Or, join our MA in Philosophy of Nature, Information and Technology via this link. Find out more about me here.  September intakes F/T or January intakes P/T. You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn Radio, Player Fm, Stitcher and Pod Bean. 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 11 min
    On Bruno Latour with Joost van Loon

    On Bruno Latour with Joost van Loon

    On this episode I talk to Prof. Joost van Loon about French philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour. We talked about a lot! Joost taught me about Latour’s actor network theory and while we were doing that we ended up chatting about the importance of concrete controversies, how objectivity works, the production of science, conspiracy theories, vaccine science, relativism, new materialism and Latour’s late turn to politics and ecology.
    Joost van Loon is the Chair of General Sociology and Sociological Theory at Katholische Universität Eichstätt. He is the author of numerous books and articles. You can find out more about Joost via his university webpage here. Here is a link to Joost’s book Discussing New Materialism which we mentioned on the show. Latour’s book We Have Never Been Modern can be found here, and his late book on ecology can be found here.
    If you would like to study with me you can find more information about our online education MAs in Philosophy here at Staffordshire University. You can find out more information on our MA in Continental Philosophy via this link. Or, join our MA in Philosophy of Nature, Information and Technology via this link. Find out more about me here.  September intakes F/T or January intakes P/T.
    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 10 min
    On Alexandre Kojève with Hager Weslati

    On Alexandre Kojève with Hager Weslati

    On this podcast I talk to Dr Hager Weslati about the philosopher Alexandre Kojève. Kojève is a hugely influential but not very well-known philosophers. Here Hager and I talk about his life, his philosophy, and his famous lectures on Hegel. Kojève was a philosopher,  entrepreneur, diplomat, architect of the European Union and possible spy!
    Hager Weslati is a lecturer in media philosophy and political PR at Kingston University. She translated Alexandre Kojève’s Notion of Authority (2014) and his early 1950s manuscript on Kant (2024). Her current work is aligned with recent critical attempts, across a wide range of disciplinary areas, to engage Kojeve's mysterious system of knowledge and its strong resonances with contemporary thought and politics in a global context. You can find out more via Hager’s university webpage. Also, Hager has made some  writings available via her academia.edu page.
    If you would like to study with me you can find more information about our online education MAs in Philosophy here at Staffordshire University. You can find out more information on our MA in Continental Philosophy via this link. Or, join our MA in Philosophy of Nature, Information and Technology via this link. Find out more about me here.  September intakes F/T or January intakes P/T.
    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 13 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 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!

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Miss Me?
BBC Sounds
Rylan: How to Be...
BBC Sounds
Where Everybody Knows Your Name with Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson (sometimes)
Team Coco & Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson
The Louis Theroux Podcast
Spotify Studios
How To Fail With Elizabeth Day
Elizabeth Day and Sony Music Entertainment
Happy Place
Fearne Cotton

You Might Also Like

Theory & Philosophy
David Guignion
Acid Horizon
Acid Horizon
Why Theory
Todd McGowan & Ryan Engley
Philosophize This!
Stephen West
Hermitix
Hermitix
Past Present Future
David Runciman