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.
Philosophy in the wake of Empire part 4: Africa
Africa has a history of rich and ancient philosophical traditions. Those traditions were rendered invisible by European colonisers, who sought to overlay Africa's past with the values of the Enlightenment. Today, African philosophy is being uncovered and introduced to the West - but is the West listening?
Philosophy in the wake of Empire pt. 3: Missionary feminism
Feminist arguments in the West have been used to advance imperialist projects that inflict suffering on women in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the Western feminist focus on individual rights can be disastrous when played out in non-Western contexts. Is it time to rethink “missionary feminism”?
Philosophy in the wake of Empire pt. 2: Migrants and other Others
As refugees from the former colonies make their way to Europe, notions of “European life” and “European values” are facing unprecedented challenges. As postcolonial subjects, how should these migrants be received and understood?
Philosophy in the wake of Empire pt. 1: The white way to think
The West has a history of colonisation and empire-building. How has this shaped the discipline of philosophy? This week – first in a five-part series – we look at racism and the unfortunate legacy of Immanuel Kant, who believed the non-white races were incapable of philosophical reflection.
In the wild
For centuries, “the wild” has been thought of as the place where humans rarely or never go. Our cities are meant to be refuges from the wild, and the policies that govern our lives are intended to impose order on chaos. But climate change is showing us that the wild and the urban environments are closely intertwined – and as Indigenous communities know well, policy is beset with incoherences and cruelties that make it anything but rational. Is it time to rethink “the wild” for the 21st century?
The inside of anger
Anger is a normal human emotion, we seem to be hard wired for it. And there's a body of ethical opinion that says anger can be useful - as a means of communication, as a means of appreciating injustice rather than just recognising it, as as a spur to restorative action. But could we get along without it?
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I owe such a debt to this podcast: I’ve cited it several times in undergrad philosophy assignments. Also, The Philosopher’s Zone (in its recent episodes about racism in the United States) all but hand-fed me one idea I used at one of my philosophy club’s events (an open lecture on the problem whiteness in academia, and especially in philosophy), with much success.
One of the Best
This is one of the original and best history shows out there. The host Melvyn Bragg and various experts discuss a character, topic or idea from history. It’s a simple format but it’s always in-depth and fascinating. Listen and feel your mind expand.
There are many podcasts where the interview format does not work. The Philosopher's Zone uses the interview format in an engaging manner. The content is top-notch. The commentary by the host is astute and clear. A great podcast from ABC Radio National in Australia.