12 episodes

A podcast by Toby Tremlett featuring long-form interviews with philosophers.
Listen if you want to hear in-depth but accessible conversations with philosophers which reveal why they entered into philosophy, and the ideas that keep them there.

Common Room Philosophy Common Room Philosophy

    • Society & Culture
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A podcast by Toby Tremlett featuring long-form interviews with philosophers.
Listen if you want to hear in-depth but accessible conversations with philosophers which reveal why they entered into philosophy, and the ideas that keep them there.

    12| The Philosophy of Evil — with David Bather Woods

    12| The Philosophy of Evil — with David Bather Woods

    This episode is an interview/discussion with David Bather Woods. David is an assistant professor in the University of Warwick's philosophy department, and a previous guest of this podcast.  

    In this episode, we discuss various questions about evil and evil-doers, including:

    - Do you have to be free to be evil?

    - If we aim to understand evil-doers, do we risk forgiving them?

    - If our situations were different, could we all do evil things?

    - What makes an evil act evil, rather than just very bad?



    Some links:

    - David's popular episode on Schopenhauer

    Books David recommended:

    - Being Evil: a philosophical perspective by Luke Russell

    - Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil by Hannah Arendt

    - At the Mind's Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and Its Realities by John Améry

    - Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy by Susan Neiman

    - The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil by Claudia Card 

    - Evil: A History edited by Andrew P. Chignell 

    If you have any feedback for the show, positive or critical, it would be very welcome. Check out the anonymous feedback form here.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    11| Can fiction help us see the world as it really is? — Iris Murdoch, her Literature and Philosophy, with Miles Leeson

    11| Can fiction help us see the world as it really is? — Iris Murdoch, her Literature and Philosophy, with Miles Leeson

    This episode is an interview with Miles Leeson. Miles is the director of research at the Iris Murdoch research centre at Chichester university, and the host of the Iris Murdoch society podcast. 

    In this episode we discuss the novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch, the links between her explicitly philosophical work and her literature, and her answer to the question “can fiction help us see the world as it really is?”. 

    It seems that fiction has a troubled place within our culture. If we think of science as the only valid way to discover reality, then what does fiction become? It may be seen as an entertaining expression of personal voice or fantasy, but it would have a very dubious claim to revealing reality. In this podcast, we explore how Murdoch's work pushes against this view.

    We discuss:

    - Who Iris Murdoch was, and what here primary concerns in Philosophy were

    - The role of art and 'vision' in her philosophical arguments and fiction

    - Whether Murdoch believes in a moral reality

    - Whether fiction can help us see the world as it really is



    Some links:

    Miles's recommended first Murdoch book: 

    https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Iris-Murdoch/The-Nice-And-The-Good/141113

    And first Murdoch philosophy book:

    https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Iris-Murdoch/Existentialists-And-Mystics--Writings-on-Philosophy-and-Literature/16396120

    Miles's five books interview on Iris Murdoch:

    https://fivebooks.com/best-books/iris-murdoch-miles-leeson/

    The Iris Murdoch Society Podcast:

    https://soundcloud.com/user-548804258

    If you have any feedback for the show, positive or critical, it would be very welcome. Check out the anonymous feedback form here: https://forms.gle/XWRA5RtGgREmLtTh6

    • 58 min
    10| How to listen better: to poetry and philosophy- with Karen Simecek

    10| How to listen better: to poetry and philosophy- with Karen Simecek

    For the first episode of the second season of Common Room Philosophy, I interview Professor Karen Simecek. Karen is currently writing a book on the use of the lyrical voice in poetry; for this podcast we discuss ideas from that work such as the role of voice in poetry and the ethical relationship between the performance poet and the audience member. We then apply these insights to the subject of philosophy, discussing how to make our conversations more kind and our practices more collaborative. Listen to this episode if you are interested in having better conversations about philosophy or listening better to poetry. 



    Some links to readings mentioned in the episode:

    More on Karen and her work: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/philosophy/people/simecek/

    Karen’s poetry book recommendation- Jen Hadfield’s Nigh-No-Place: https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/nigh-no-place-889

    Another poet Karen mentions- Anthony Anaxagorou: https://anthonyanaxagorou.com/

    Pamela Sue Anderson's talk on speaker vulnerability: https://www.womeninparenthesis.co.uk/read-pamela-sue-andersons-iwd-keynote/



    Interview and audio editing by Toby Tremlett (@toby_tremlett). Find us on Twitter at @RoomPhilosophy.

    If you have any feedback for the show, positive or critical, it would be very welcome. Check out the anonymous feedback form here: https://forms.gle/XWRA5RtGgREmLtTh6

    • 1 hr 1 min
    9| Moral Deference and Practical Deliberation - with Adina Covaci

    9| Moral Deference and Practical Deliberation - with Adina Covaci

    This episode is an interview with Warwick Philosopher Adina Covaci. We discuss her route into philosophy, why ethics professors might not act ethically and her recent argument for the wrongness of regularly deferring to others on your moral opinions. 

    Listen to this podcast for an exploration of questions such as:

    What book would Adina send back to her 16 year old self?

    Why is it wrong to repeatedly engage in moral deference? 

    What is practical deliberation, and why is it important to our lives?

    Is obeying government Covid-19 guidelines an example of repeated moral deference?

    This interview was conducted and edited by Toby Tremlett

    Follow us on Twitter @RoomPhilosophy for the chance to ask questions that could be featured in our interviews.

    If you have any feedback for the show, positive or critical, it would be very welcome. Check out the anonymous feedback form here: https://forms.gle/XWRA5RtGgREmLtTh6

    • 49 min
    8| The Rule of the Knowers, Justified Protests and the Duties of Democratic Citizens- with Sameer Bajaj

    8| The Rule of the Knowers, Justified Protests and the Duties of Democratic Citizens- with Sameer Bajaj

    This episode is the second part of an interview with political philosopher Sameer Bajaj. (It can be listened to out of order)

    Listen to this podcast for an exploration of questions such as:

    What is the best theoretical challenge to democracy?

    Should we replace elected officials with citizens selected at random?

    Why should we vote when individually we are causally inconsequential?

    What justifies protest? 

    This interview was conducted and edited by Toby Tremlett

    Follow us on Twitter @RoomPhilosophy for the chance to ask questions that could be featured in our interviews. 

    • 54 min
    7| What Makes a Democracy Democratic?- with Sameer Bajaj

    7| What Makes a Democracy Democratic?- with Sameer Bajaj

    This episode is part 1 of an interview with political philosopher Sameer Bajaj. Sameer's research focuses on democracy and the duties of democratic citizens. In this part of the conversation, we discuss Sameer's path into philosophy, the books that every democratic citizen should read, and whether the US and the UK are actually democratic. 

    Come back next week for part 2 of our conversation, where we will discuss the best theoretical objections to democracy, the question of which protests are justified and much more. 

    This interview was conducted and edited by Toby Tremlett

    • 30 min

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