Philosopher's Zone

Reviews For Philosopher's Zone

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.
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.
Too much gender studies and not enough philosophy. You'll love it if you enjoy being preached to by the choir.
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.
Is there anyway to put all, or more, of the back episodes on iTunes?


By treaves
This is about the best podcast of any genre I've ever listened too. Alan knows his subject, and knows how to interview. His passing is a great loss to Philosophy.
Whether traveling, exercising or simply lounging these podcasts are a must. I've actually found myself enjoying these more than music, especially on long runs. Allan is an exceptional host who never allows his ego or positions to trump the topic. He is sincerely interested in discussing all facets of the topic. As much as I enjoy Ethics Matters, that show inevitably is muddled by the hosts own ideas. Even if you are not a student of philosophy you can enjoy and understand some of the more complex themes. You will be rewarded for your time listening.
I have listened to the podcast for a couple of years now. It always updates and I always make some time to listen. Alan does a very nice job of drawing his subject out of the person he interviews. He has a great voice for radio/audio work. Alan knows of what he speaks but is not a know it all. Intelligent conversation that can be appreciated by those with lots of philo background or very little. I wish iTunes would publish more ABC programs.
I downloaded two episodes on David Hume a while ago. I didn't get a chance to listen to them until this morning on my way to work. I really wish I had listened to them sooner and could have downloaded the next two episodes on Hume. I found the episodes very interesting and informative, and now I want to look up Hume's works. My only complaint is that the previous episodes are not archived, so I cannot go back to the next two episodes on Hume. My loss... I've learned my lesson and just downloaded the episode on Martin Buber, whom I know a little about and have been interested in learning more.


Wow ...
My first icon in my computer is this. I am listening this show since 2005. Ever since hooked up and I can't wait for the new one.
Really terrific podcast. Here are my highlights: FORMAT: consistent in length and presentation. Good dialogue between the host and his guests. It's always a pleasant conversation. CONTENT: I really like the variety of issues. There is not one area of philosophy that has predominated. Good depth for the time allotted, makes it worthwhile for the initiated and approachable for newcomers. BOTTOM LINE: If you're a philosopher, a neophyte, or someone who simply enjoys thinking deeply about a range of subjects, this is well worth your click and the time it takes to listen.
A friend recommended this podcast to me and it has quickly become one of my favorite recent discoveries. Alan is an adept and charismatic interviewer and the guests have been great.
I learned about this show through The Partially Examined Life and am glad I followed the link. The only problem I have with it at all is that I have to go to their website to download the archives, but I can understand that there are probably technical (or even business or statutory) reasons for that. Go to the archives; they are full of good stuff - learn why Scrooge was an ethicist before the ghosts got to him.
The quality of discussion is impressive. The quality of the audio production is also impressive. There are many podcasts with interesting ideas but they are rendered unlistenable by poor audio presentation. This is NOT one of those. Good stuff.
I've studied philosophy and listened to any number of different philosophy, religion, and other podcasts about ideas. This is simply the best. The host is excellent and does not dilute the content while at the same time introducing his references as they appear in conversation. The variety and depth is consistently surprising. One of my personal favorites is the discussion about the events of May '68 in Nanterre. I have many others. Also the range of interest, from science to aesthetics, medieval philosophy to political discussions, is quite broad and consistently entertaining. Most highly recommended, because I don't think there is any one better. Cheers.
If you want to learn about current trends in philosophy, you can't go wrong by listening to The Philosopher's Zone. It takes what could be a very dry topic and makes it interesting for the layman. It fills a void for the American listener, who doesn't have a weekly show devoted to philosophy airing on a national radio network like NPR. And if you don't care for the subject one week, you'll probably like the next week's topic.
Deep ideas in words you can understand. I cannot recommend this enough.
This is a very good podcast. The topics are timely yet based on the classic philosophical issues, the host directs the interview very smoothly and the guests are knowledgeable and have relevant expertise. At about 25 minutes long (or less), each podcast is easily digestable and not overwhelming. The only reason I'm not giving this 5 stars is because of the format. Though the interviews are great, I'd prefer more of a table discussion format with multiple guests. But, as far as philosophy podcasts go, this one is tops.
Mr. Dropmeoff must be an amazing character; he begins his review citing a book - by a certain John A. Hobson - to make some argument that this is a nescient Podcast. Mr. Dropmeoff, the book is by John ***M.**** Hobson (the great-grandson of the aforementioned Hobson), and it was published by Cambridge. I have not read the “august” John M. Hobson’s book, yet I think that one would do better to not derive their entire historical conception from a single book. Before I begin my own “tirade” (which I promise will be more factual than Mr. Dropmeoff’s), I want to preface that I have only listened to two of these discussions and find them interesting, intelligible and – yes – slightly “Eurocentric.” Though Mr. Dropmeoff does not like this “Eurocentricity,” he may have forgotten that he wrote in English, chose to listen to an Australian Podcast, and last but not least, missed the other Podcasts and iTunes U lectures that deal with “Eastern” topics. Please, if you are looking for Middle Eastern, African, Far Eastern or any other non-European Podcast, by all means search for that instead. I am only galled by a few of Mr. Dropmeoff’s assertions, namely that “Germanics” did not influence the development of Europe or European history. As a student of German history, who is pursuing academia, I hear many anti-Western claims; fine. Nevertheless, this claim sounds entirely pseudo-intellectual, or “Modern Jackass” if you listen to This American Life. Because I am not a Greek historian, I will not speak of it. Roman interaction with “Germanic peoples” began in the second century BCE! And that is just recorded interaction. That means Rome was troubled – and helped! – by “Germanic peoples” for seven centuries or so. If this is not influential in shaping Europe, what is? Most of these peoples came from Jütland, Mr. Dropmeoff, which is the area where Denmark currently lies. Have you heard of the Gallic Wars Mr. D? Well let’s see now, if Gaius Julius Caesar was fighting these SAME “Germanic peoples,” and Gaius Julius was the “destroyer of the Republic and founder of the Empire,” one could infer that because of his success against “Germanic peoples” the Roman Empire was founded. Influential? I’d say so. Read Res Gestae Divi Augusti (The Deeds of the Divine Augustus) and one can see that major problems caused by the peoples of Germania. So anyway, there are myriad examples I could spout off, but this has already become trite. No historian rebuts the great significance of Eastern philosophy and technology. In my history department we jokingly tease mathematicians, “try Calculus in Roman Numerals.” Nevertheless, because the East was significant does not mean that Europe’s success is some kind of by-product that is inextricably linked to the East. Remember: History is the ebb and flow of cultures, philosophies, technologies and more; everything that has ever happened is significant in shaping WORLD HISTORY. East influences West, and vice versa. One last note and I will shut up; Mr. D, I am not trying to denigrate you too much, because most people obtain their notions from something they hear and then use it every chance they can, without really knowing anything about it. Now, I do not know if you used a thesaurus or heard it somewhere else, but your use of “hermetically-sealed vacuum” is redundant. Vacuum in itself means lacking everything, including air. Weather-stripping can be hermetic, or maybe a water bottle, but vacuums are hermetic in essence. And who ever suggested that Europe was “hermetic?” Though this was pedantic in nature, I hope this review helped people see that Mr. D has good intention to be “open minded,” yet he is bigoted and “revisionist” himself because he so ardently decries others. Oh, and the Podcast is not half-bad, either.
A philosophical look at all kinds of thinking and eras. From simple questions to "Why is slavery bad?" to "Was Socrates speaking to history in his apology?" They discuss philosophies most people now think are bad and show the contradictions in what most people think are good philosophies. They'll explain certian times and concepts for novices but aren't afraid to push your brain power. Just an all around solid show.
Yeah, sure, the reason Europe developed modern, institutional science is that they had a lot of gold (the better to stimulate alchemy, perhaps?) That explanation has no loose ends whatsoever, and totally explains why we have science today, man!
John A Hobson's book "The Eastern origins of Western Civilisation" (Oxford University Press) demolishes this "Immaculate Conception" fantasy that Europe was singly responsible for its own development. Also false is the notion that northern Europeans (esp. Germanics) had any role whatsoever in the creation of the Greco-Roman civilization which has infused modern European/Western civilization. Quite the contrary: Northern Europeans have a unique role in the destruction of Roman Civilization. When Alexander the Great wanted to conquer the pretigious civilized world, he headed East (not West). The false claim that Europe has a more advanced scientific tradition today because of a supposed "cultural superiority" in the past is retrospective Eurocentrism that ignores a basic fact: Europe never invented civilization nor the majority of things that have constituted the foundation of Civilization. Europe never invented: the wheel, writing, gunpowder, guns, crossbows, steel/metallurgy, magnetic compass, windmills, water wheels, Christianity, books, paper, the printing press, chariots, saddles, spurs, metal swords, metal helmets, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, monumental architecture, sun dials, the stern rudder, the lanteen sail, the alphabet, columns, kites and gliders, The Pythagorean Theorem, or even the rounded arch (see The Gate of Ishtar). Those inventions came from outside Europe. Where was Europe's "singular culture of inquiry and science" for all of those things? Until recent centuries, Europe at no time in history was responsible for inventing the vast majority of things that constitute "Western Civilization". It was not until the massive infusion of wealth from "The New World" dramatically altered Europe's economy that Europe began to catch up with China and The Middle East. The mind-boggling wealth of The Western Hemishpere's croplands, gold, silver, timber, and slave labor (mostly Africans) was like an economic steroids shot into Europe's economy. The notion that Europe has a unique culture of rationality ignores several "rational" traits of Europe's institutions, most notably, the burning of heretics, women, and freethinkers. It also pretends that Europe existed within a hermetically-sealed vaccum, ignoring the invention of Western Civlization's ingredients by The Middle East, China, Egypt, and later Islamic Spain (where the prototype of The Scientific Method can be seen practiced by Muslims).
Carefully crafted in the sense of minimal digression, if any, from the subject being discussed. Insightfull relating of observations to life today.
Alan Saunders interview philosphers from divers backgrounds. He introduces us to unfamiliar philosophers, but also presents content relevant to contemporary issues like ethics and the mind.
This gem of a program offers brief but fascinating dips into various aspects of philosophy, made both compelling and accessible by Mr. Saunders' deft touch. Bring it on!!
Alan and Co. do an excellent job of introducing philosophy to neophytes while providing more advanced listeners with new perspectives. The guests are both experts in their field and wonderful speakers. I only wish that there were more shows to listen to.
This podcast is always thoughtful, balanced, and cleanly done. The guests are also of a very high caliber and the host directs the converstations beautifully in order to achive a level of clarity that is unmatched in podcasts about philosophy.