Philosophy For Our Times

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Philosophy for our Times features debates and talks with the world’s leading thinkers on today’s biggest ideas. This live recording podcast is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas – described by Total Politics as “Europe’s answer to TED” and host to the annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.Visit iai.tv for more.
Updated: 51 min 12 sec ago

E166 | The Meaning of the Multiverse | Cumrun Vafa, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, John Ellis

August 13, 2019 - 10:01
Talk of other universes has become fashionable amongst physicists and is popular with the public. But the numbers seem hardly credible: string theory predicts 10500 parallel universes and some argue...

Philosophy for our Times features debates and talks with the world’s leading thinkers on today’s biggest ideas. This live recording podcast is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas – described by Total Politics as “Europe’s answer to TED” and host to the annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.Visit iai.tv for more.

E165 | Lost in Language | Saul Kripke, Hilary Lawson, Paul Boghossian, Silvia Jonas

August 6, 2019 - 09:00
Language is widely seen as the critical tool which has set our species apart. We assume that it is successful because our words are able to describe reality. Yet from Wittgenstein to Derrida, no...

Philosophy for our Times features debates and talks with the world’s leading thinkers on today’s biggest ideas. This live recording podcast is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas – described by Total Politics as “Europe’s answer to TED” and host to the annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.Visit iai.tv for more.

E164 | The Problem with Love | Mark Salter, Helen-Ann Hartley, Phillip Blond

July 30, 2019 - 09:58
'Love conquers all' is a motto central to our culture and its Christian heritage. Yet Buddhists think love an obstacle to enlightenment. Nietzsche went further and called love barbaric ‘for it is...

Philosophy for our Times features debates and talks with the world’s leading thinkers on today’s biggest ideas. This live recording podcast is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas – described by Total Politics as “Europe’s answer to TED” and host to the annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.Visit iai.tv for more.

E163 | Are You An Illusion? | Julian Baggini, Joanna Kavenna, Jan Westerhoff, Silvia Jonas

July 23, 2019 - 09:58
The self is an illusion, our passions a by-product of the brain. Or so neuroscientists and philosophers would have us believe. Yet, as the late philosopher Mary Midgley tirelessly argued, even if we...

Philosophy for our Times features debates and talks with the world’s leading thinkers on today’s biggest ideas. This live recording podcast is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas – described by Total Politics as “Europe’s answer to TED” and host to the annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.Visit iai.tv for more.

E162 | The End Of All Things | John Dupré, Subir Sarkar, Nancy Cartwright

July 16, 2019 - 09:53
We tend to think of physical, material things as the ultimate stuff of the universe. Yet contemporary physics has largely abandoned physical things in favour of energy and fields. And the late Mary...

Philosophy for our Times features debates and talks with the world’s leading thinkers on today’s biggest ideas. This live recording podcast is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas – described by Total Politics as “Europe’s answer to TED” and host to the annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.Visit iai.tv for more.

E161 | The Fascination With Evil | Terry Eagleton, Susan Neiman, Stephen de Wijze

July 9, 2019 - 10:30
We may condemn tyrants and abhor serial killers, but we are obsessed with evil and violence. Our news and our entertainment focus on such material - one survey claimed the average American child has...

Philosophy for our Times features debates and talks with the world’s leading thinkers on today’s biggest ideas. This live recording podcast is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas – described by Total Politics as “Europe’s answer to TED” and host to the annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.Visit iai.tv for more.

E160 | The Right Way to Think | Paul Boghossian, Mary Jane Rubenstein, Alister McGrath

July 2, 2019 - 10:09
Reason was traditionally seen as the Enlightenment’s great legacy and the origin of our success. Yet reason is increasingly derided as just the rhetorical bluster of the educated elite, typically...

Philosophy for our Times features debates and talks with the world’s leading thinkers on today’s biggest ideas. This live recording podcast is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas – described by Total Politics as “Europe’s answer to TED” and host to the annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.Visit iai.tv for more.

E159 | The Prejudice of Philosophy | Chakravarthi Ram Prasad, Nivi Manchanda, Timothy Williamson

June 25, 2019 - 09:59
Many see the search for universal truths about the world as the noble aim of philosophy. Yet our universities largely dismiss non-Western philosophy, and critics argue that British students are...

Philosophy for our Times features debates and talks with the world’s leading thinkers on today’s biggest ideas. This live recording podcast is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas – described by Total Politics as “Europe’s answer to TED” and host to the annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.Visit iai.tv for more.

E158 | The Illusion of Now | Julian Barbour, Tim Maudlin, Emily Thomas

June 18, 2019 - 09:32
Past and future are worlds we can never inhabit. We live of necessity in the present. But physicists and philosophers with very different outlooks, from Einstein to Derrida, claim that the present is an illusion. Is time not a river at all, but instead a static dimension? Are we deluded by experience into imagining the present is real? Or are Einstein's spacetime universe, and Derrida's attack on the metaphysics of presence, fundamental errors? Philosopher of science Tim Maudlin joins author of The End of Time Julian Barbour and philosopher and historian of science Emily Thomas go in search of lost time.

E157 | Is Oppression The Key To Creativity? | Lowkey, Joanna Kavenna, Andrew Motion

June 11, 2019 - 01:00
Freedom is often seen as the vital oxygen of creativity. Yet Shakespeare worked within a framework of censorship, Don Quixote was written from prison and Leonardo argued that at 'lives on constraint and dies of freedom'. Can oppression help produce masterpieces or do the free always write the greatest poetry? Do we need rules and constraints to fuel our creativity or should ever greater freedom be our continuining goal? Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Novelist and Author Joanna Kavenna and hip hop artist Lowkey debate creativity and constraint.

E156 | The Dark Side of the Universe | Erik Verlinde, Catherine Heymans, Sabine Hossenfelder

June 4, 2019 - 10:03
According to current theories, Dark Energy and Dark Matter make up 95% of all the stuff in the universe. Yet we still have no direct evidence for them, and have no idea what they consist. Is something radically wrong? Are the theories that led to the hypotheses of Dark Energy and Dark Matter mistaken? Might we need to rethink our account of the universe entirely? Or should we hold our nerve and believe an explanation will soon be within our grasp? String theorist Erik Verlinde, astrophysicist Catherine Heymans and physicist and writer Sabine Hossenfelder propose radical solutions to the mystery of the dark universe. In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLD

E155 | The Morality of the Left and Right | Peter Hitchens, Sophie Walker, Chris Bryant

May 29, 2019 - 10:02
The left has traditionally seen itself as progressive, with history and morality on its side. But is history on anyone's side? And as for morality, don't all politicians think they're in the right? Should the left then give up its claim to the moral high ground and argue for policies on pragmatic grounds alone? Or would this be to undermine its very core and meaning? In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLD

E154 | The Morality of the Left and the Right | Chris Bryant, Peter Hitchens, Sophie Walker

May 20, 2019 - 18:29
The left has traditionally seen itself as progressive, with history and morality on its side. But is history on anyone's side? And as for morality, don't all politicians think they're in the right? Should the left then give up its claim to the moral high ground and argue for policies on pragmatic grounds alone? Or would this be to undermine its very core and meaning? Leader of the Women's Equality Party Sophie Walker, outspoken Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, and Labour MP and former vicar Chris Bryant debate the left, the right and the wrong. In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLD

E153 | What Is Beauty? | Bence Nanay, Justine Kolata, Sam Roddick

May 14, 2019 - 15:55
Once beauty was about goodness and truth, now we think it means little more than models, products and outdated art. Have practical concerns and the economy of desire made beauty trivial and expendable? Could we follow Goethe and Kant and cultivate our aesthetic judgment to enrich our lives? Or is the goal of living beautifully a conceit of the privileged elite? And finally, is there a difference in the feeling of pleasure one gets from looking at a Magritte painting, or at Kim Kardashian's bum? Philosopher Bence Nanay, activist Sam Roddick and Public Sphere Salons founder Justien Kolata explore beauty and pleasure. In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLD

E152 | Trump's Foreign Policy | George Galloway, Mark Leonard

May 7, 2019 - 13:01
Many think Donald Trump a buffoon and a threat to world peace. But with IS weakened, and signs of progress in North Korea, perhaps his supporters can point to some initial successes. Could a belligerent approach to foreign policy make for a safer world? Is the best way of pursuing peace to prepare for war? Or has Trump in fact made the world more precarious than ever? In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLD

E151 | Is Reality Necessary? | Chiara Marletto, Gerard t'Hooft, Christopher Timpson

April 30, 2019 - 12:07
We think that lightning strikes, and waves crash, even if there is no one to see them. Yet according to quantum physics, the observer is critical to reality. Theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg even argued that, in contemporary physics 'objective reality has evaporated'. Is a world independent of the observer an illusion? Or did quantum physics get it wrong? Nobel prize winning Gerard t'Hooft, constructor theorist Chiara Marletto and Oxford quantum philosopher Christopher Timpson debate the mysteries of reality. In association with the New College of the Humanities. bit.ly/2FdPgLD