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nigel warburton
Oxford and London
I'm a freelance philosopher, writer and podcaster.
Interests: philosophy, art, photography
Recent Activity
Peter Singer's positions on animals, human suffering, poverty, and much else besides are all underpinned by his consequentialism: he believes that the right thing to do is to maximise happiness. Here he explains what that means in practice, and in... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at philosophy bites
Is it immoral to act as a spy? We hear a great deal about the ethics of just wars, but very little about the ethics of spying. Here Cécile Fabre discusses some of the ethical implications of spying in its... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at philosophy bites
The Internet and digital technology have transformed our lives. Is it possible to preserve human dignity in the face of technological progress? Ro Khanna explains how he things this can be possible. Listen to Ro Khanna on Digital Dignity Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at philosophy bites
Benjamin Lipscomb, in conversation with David Edmonds, discusses how four women philosophers, Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch met in Oxford and went on to make significant contributions to philosophy. Listen to Benjamin Lipscomb on Four Women... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at philosophy bites
Many philosophers have argued that we pursue pleasure. But perhaps things aren't as simple as that. Perhaps sometimes we pursue pain or discomfort too. Paul Bloom explains. Listen to Paul Bloom on Psychological Hedonism Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at philosophy bites
Seneca famously declared that anger is a useless emotion and suggested a variety of ways to avoid feeling it. Myisha Cherry in contrast, argues that rage can be a useful emotion, particularly rage against racial injustice. In discussion with Nigel... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at philosophy bites
Agnes Callard discusses the nature of complaint and its philosophical importance. Listen to Agnes Callard on Complaint Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at philosophy bites
I asked Peter Singer, recent winner of the Berggruen Prize, about writing clearly. Peter Singer on Writing Clearly Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2022 at virtual philosopher
The philosopher Peter Singer recently won the million dollar Berggruen Prize. Consistent with what he has argued in The Live You Can Save and elsewhere he has given it all away. Listen to what he did with the money: Peter... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2022 at virtual philosopher
Thomas Hobbes is best known for his account of why we should accept political authority. But, argues Arash Abizadeh, that was Hobbes' solution to the problem of how we should live together in society that arises directly from his views... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2021 at philosophy bites
Spinoza expert Steven Nadler discusses Spinoza's views on free speech in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Listen to Steven Nadler on Spinoza on Free Speech Listen to an earlier Philosophy Bites interview with Steven Nadler on Spinoza on... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2021 at philosophy bites
What is the status of something that is an absence, like a hole? Suki Finn explores the metaphysics of nothing in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Suki is also the editor of a new book based on Philosophy... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2021 at philosophy bites
We are delighted to announce that Suki Finn, lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, has selected and edited a collection of transcripts of Philosophy Bites interviews with women. This is to be published by Oxford University Press... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2021 at philosophy bites
Jacques Derrida was a controversial philosopher, and his writing could be fiendishly difficult to read. He nevertheless attracted many followers and imitators. Here Peter Salmon, author of a recent biography of Derrida, explains Derrida's key concept: deconstruction. Listen to Pete... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2021 at philosophy bites
Arthur Schopenhauer is best known for the pessimism of his The World as Will and Representation. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast we focus on a less pessimistic aspect of his thought: his views on compassion. Unusually for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2021 at philosophy bites
Hannah Arendt's experience of the Eichmann trial in 1961 and of the reaction to her book about this, Eichmann in Jerusalem, led her to think deeply about politics, truth, and plurality. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Samantha... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2020 at philosophy bites
David Edmonds has co-authored (with Bertie Frasier) a brilliant children's book Undercover Robot: My First Year as a Human. Listen to David discussing this book with Nigel Warburton on this bonus episode of Philosophy Bites originally released on Nigel's Thinking... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2020 at philosophy bites
Baruch Spinoza was famous for equating God with Nature - a view that many of his contemporaries, perhaps rightly, thought was a form of atheism. But what did he think about death? Spinoza expert Steven Nadler, author of A Book... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2020 at philosophy bites
Cornell philosopher Kate Manne discusses misognyn, male entitlement, together with the notion of 'himpathy', a term she coined, in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Manne is the author of two recent highly influential books, Down Girl and Entitlement.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2020 at philosophy bites
Verificationists believe that meaningful propositions are either true by definition (analytic) or else empirically verifiable or falsifiable. Propositions that fail to pass this two-pronged test for meaningfulness are literally meaningless. This approach, linked to the Vienna Circle, and popularised in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2020 at philosophy bites
David Edmonds, best known as the co-author of Wittgenstein's Poker, and as my co-podcaster on Philosophy Bites, has recently co-written a brilliant children's book, Undercover Robot. It tells the story of a young girl-robot going to school and trying to pass as human. For this episode of the Thinking Books... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2020 at Thinking Books
Who should we really care about? This is a basic ethical question. The great Chinese philosopher Mengzi had interesting things to say on this topic, and they're at odds with the Kantian tradition that focuses on the Golden Rule. Read Eric Schwitzgebel on Mengzi on Ethics Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
Kate Kirkpatrick, author of a brilliant new biography of Simone de Beauvoir, explains what Simone de Beauvoir thought about authentic love. Read Kate Kirkpatrick's essay Love is a Joint Project Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
Lakatos was a complicated man who seems to have been implicated in the death of a young woman. He was also an important philosopher of science whose work should be better known. Read James Baggott on Imre Lakatos's Philosophy of Science Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor-Philosopher who used Stocisim to cope with life's vicissitudes was an inspiration and lifesaver for Jamie Lombardi when her husband died suddenly leaving her looking after their young children. Read Jamie Lombardi's powerful essay on how Marcus Aurelius helped her cope in a tragic situation Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon