Founded in 2018, the Pondering Primates podcast is a series of conversations about issues in philosophy, politics, religion, reason, and much else besides. It is brought to you by students of the University of Edinburgh Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Society.
The podcast's very own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ponderingprimates/. Read the page details for information on the team and more!
All views the hosts'/guests' own, not necessarily the Society's.
S2: Summer Special: Dr. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens on Anwar al-Awlaki's western jihad
In this unexpected addition to the series, Daniel speaks to Dr. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens. Meleagrou-Hitchens is a lecturer in Terrorism and Radicalisation at King’s College London and Research Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. He is an expert on extremist movements whose research on jihadism has taken him as far afield as Iraq and East Africa and whose articles have appeared in Foreign Policy and The Wall Street Journal among many other outlets. His first book, Incitement: Anwar al-Awlaki’s Western Jihad was released last month; it is an analysis of perhaps the foremost English-language jihadist recruiter and propagandist of recent years, and the book, Awlaki, and jihad are the main topics of this episode. You can follow Alexander on Twitter here.
NOTE: The last five minutes-ish of the audio in this episode is a bit dysfunctional, which means both Daniel and Alexander's tracks play over each other a little and there are a few awkward seconds of silence where there weren't any. It is still audible, though, and the rest of the episode is fine. Just in case anyone was wondering!
S2: A Coda and a Farewell
In which Daniel concludes the series, and his tenure as president of the Society, with a farewell message.
S2 E21: Finale with a Philosopher- A.C. Grayling on Brexit, coronavirus, humanism, the history of philosophy, and more.
Professor A.C. Grayling is a British philosopher and writer and Master of the New College of the Humanities in London. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts, a Vice-President of Humanists UK, and an honorary associate of the National Secular Society, he is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers such as Prospect and The Guardian. He has written over 30 books on topics ranging from philosophy and politics to ethics and friendship. Some of his most recent books include Towards The Light, Ideas That Matter: A Personal Guide for the 21st Century, Liberty in the Age of Terror : A Defence of Civil Society and Enlightenment Values, The God Argument, Democracy and its Crisis, and The History of Philosophy. He has just recently released a new book on constitutions and reform, The Good State: On the Principles of Democracy. In this episode, the final regular one of this run, Daniel speaks to him on a variety of subjects ranging from humanism and philosophy to Brexit and wine-drinking.
Visit Anthony's website, which includes information on him and links to his articles and books, here. Follow him on Twitter here.
S2 E20- Andrew Copson: Humanism, Humanists UK, secularism, and writing
Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of Humanists UK and President of Humanists International. Andrew has represented humanist organisations to places such as the House of Commons and the United Nations and has contributed to many outlets including New Humanist, The Guardian, and New Statesman and has appeared on TV and radio many times. He is the author of Secularism: A Very Short Introduction and, with A.C. Grayling, he edited The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism. With Alice Roberts, he has authored the upcoming The Little Book of Humanism which relates wisdom from thousands of years of humanist thought. Visit his website here for more, including information on his previous books, and see here to preorder The Little Book of Humanism. You can also follow Andrew on Twitter here.
S2 E19: Peter Hitchens: coronavirus, dissent, conformity, Scotland, history, and literature
Peter Hitchens is an English journalist and author who writes for The Mail on Sunday. Once a revolutionary socialist, he has long since been a Burkean conservative and Anglican Christian who believes that Britain has lost its way over the past century. He views British society as irredeemably fallen thanks to the decline of Christianity, marriage, and traditional values. Once a foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington, he has travelled widely and written on a multitude of topics. His books include The Abolition of Britain, The Abolition of Liberty, The Rage Against God, Short Breaks in Mordor, and, most recently, The Phoney Victory. In this episode, recorded not long before Boris Johnson's announcement of a national lockdown on 23rd March 2020, Daniel speaks to him on a variety of topics including coronavirus, dissent, conformity, Scotland, history, and literature.
Read Peter's Mail on Sunday column here (information about his books can be found there) and follow him on Twitter here.
S2 E18: Conrad Hamilton part 2- a long digression on China (and some more on Jordan Peterson)
In this episode, Daniel and Conrad discuss China and the Chinese Communist Party, the rights and wrongs of Chinese policy, democracy, freedom, revolution and much else. This second part of the discussion was an unplanned digression so it made sense to separate the conversation into two episodes; in the notes for the previous episode can be found details about Conrad and his work, and that episode deals primarily with Jordan Peterson.*
*Disclaimer- I should add that the figures I cited for the Uighur demographic shift in Xinjiang were unfounded. I read them in an article but couldn't find the source to back the figures up, so I retract that. -Daniel