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To be or not to be?: Four philosophy podcasts you can listen to during Coronavirus lockdown

Staying indoors for a while? We have you covered. For your weekly list of podcasts, we begin with the ones that cover philosophy. To be or not to be? You might get answers to such questions. Or, perhaps, you will end up with more existential dilemmas (like ‘Did I order an Oreo milkshake at the cafe yesterday out of free will or am I just part of a simulation?’) Nevertheless, we hope the following podcasts make you ponder about topics that aren’t considered quotidian.

Philosophize This!

One of the major criticisms of this podcast is that it doesn’t delve deep enough on philosophical concepts. Fair enough. This podcast won’t suffice if you are looking to get a PhD on the works of Plato. But podcaster Stephen West doesn’t promise that. He aims to introduce listeners to philosophy, usually with examples that are relatable.

To be or not to be?: Four philosophy podcasts you can listen to during Coronavirus lockdown

You won’t feel like you are in a lecture hall. It is ideal, albeit not necessary, to start listening from the first episode as West covers philosophers through the ages — from the shabbily clothed Socrates, who roamed the streets of ancient Greece to the more fashionable 20th-century American philosopher Robert Nozick and others.

Episode length: 30+ minutes (on average). Available on: philosophizethis.org, Spotify, Apple Podcast and more.

The Partially Examined Life

It is self-described as “A philosophy podcast by some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living, but then thought better of it.”

Mark Linsenmayer, Seth Paskin and Wes Alwan — classmates at University of Texas, doing a master's degree in Philosophy — along with Dylan Casey run this podcast, which has crossed over 200 episodes.

To be or not to be?: Four philosophy podcasts you can listen to during Coronavirus lockdown

With more than 27 million downloads since its inception, The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast marked its 10th year anniversary last April with a public discussion of Aldous Huxley's iconic novel Brave New World at Manhattan.

Episodes usually involve the four guys discussing the topic with a special guest (including, at times, Hollywood celebrities) — you are, hence, spared of montone. And, the tone of the discussion itself is casual.

Episode length: 50+ minutes (on average). Available on partiallyexaminedlife.com, YouTube, Spotify and more.

Philosophy Talk

To be or not to be?: Four philosophy podcasts you can listen to during Coronavirus lockdown

With three Stanford University professors (John Perry, Ken Taylor, and Joshua Landy) co-hosting the show, Philosophy Talk is probably the most academic podcast in this list. It’s a bit formal but never boring. The show is produced by KALW, a San Francisco-based public radio station, on behalf of Stanford University, as part of its Humanities Outreach Initiative.

The usually hour-long show is available in chunks on major podcast-streaming apps. It focuses on a philosophical concept or a philosopher and usually features an expert on the episode’s topic. As its motto suggests -- “the program that questions everything, except your intelligence” -- the topics vary from Descartes to genetic engineering.

Episode length: 10+ minutes (on average). Available on: philosophytalk.org, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more.

The Big Idea

To be or not to be?: Four philosophy podcasts you can listen to during Coronavirus lockdown

Well, this isn’t strictly philosophy. You probably won’t find discussions and debates on Friedrich Nietzsche on BBC’s The Big Idea. The show, instead, talks about the events and concepts that have shaped and are shaping the world. It picks the best ideas from economics to psychology, neuroscience to philosophy, political science to anthropology, and makes them into nine-minute, easy-to-follow episodes.

It introduces an idea and provokes your thoughts on it. For instance, in the last episode on the podcast (published in September 2018) on afterlife, American philosopher Samuel Scheffler asks, “Suppose you knew that after your natural death the human race would die out – perhaps, for some reason, humans had become infertile. How would that alter how you live your life?”

Episode length: 9 minutes. Available on: bbc.com, Apple Podcast, listennotes.com and more.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 8:56:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/to-be-or-not-to-be-four-philosophy-podcasts-you-can-listen-to-during-coronavirus-lockdown/article31144445.ece

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