Saturday, 3 April 2010

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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Does Physics Answer Metaphysical Questions?

Podcast 010. James Ladyman's inaugural lecture. There is no doubt that in the history of physics there has been great progress in finding increasingly accurate descriptions of the phenomena we observe, and in the manipulation of physical systems in experiment and technology. Physics is often thought also to tell us about the most fundamental nature of reality, for example, about the true nature of material things and the unobservable causes of the phenomena, space and time, causation and the laws that govern the universe. However, there are grounds for scepticism about whether current physics should be trusted to answer metaphysical questions. There have been very successful theories in the past, such as Newtonian mechanics, optical ether theories of light, classical electromagnetism and others that are according to our best current theories largely wrong in their metaphysical implications despite being approximately empirically adequate to an excellent degree. Sir James Jeans said in 1942, "physics and philosophy are at most a few thousand years old, but probably have lives of thousands of millions of years stretching away in front of them. They are only just beginning to get under way, and we are still, in Newton’s words, like children playing with pebbles on the sea-shore, while the great ocean of truth rolls, unexplored, beyond our reach." Do we have reason to be more confident now than he was then? (Download this podcast directly from here or subscribe by following the instructions on the right.)

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Reason and Rationality

Podcast 009. With special guest Ralph Wedgwood, we discuss reason and what it is to be rational. (Download this podcast directly from here or subscribe by following the instructions on the right.)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Plato on Love

Podcast 008. This podcast explores the philosophical origins of the idea of 'platonic love', with special guests Danielle Allen and Jessica Moss. We talk about Plato's views on love and how they relate to philosophy and 'the good'. (Download this podcast directly from here or subscribe by following the instructions on the right.)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Why Rousseau Matters

Podcast 007. This is Professor Chris Bertram's inaugural professorial lecture, on the importance of the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778). (Download this podcast directly from here or subscribe by following the instructions on the right.)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Mind and Brain

Podcast 006. In this podcast we discuss the relationship between the mind and the brain, the body, and the world. Does the mind need a brain? For that matter, might it encompass more than the body? (Download this podcast directly from here or subscribe by following the instructions on the right.)

Friday, 8 May 2009

Knowledge and Scepticism

Podcast 005.  Our second group podcast, in which we talk about knowledge and scepticism. Do we really know many of the things we think we know? (Download this podcast directly from here or subscribe by following the instructions on the right.)