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nigel warburton
Oxford and London
I'm a freelance philosopher, writer and podcaster.
Interests: philosophy, art, photography
Recent Activity
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
Spinoza was a remarkable philosopher in many ways. Beth Lord explores his understanding of Nature (which he equated with God). Read We Are Nature. Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
Not all philosophy is written in the form of explicit argument. There is a long tradition of aphorisms in philosophy and it deserves to be discussed much more. Andrew Hui, author of a recent book on the topic discusses the aphoristic philosophical tradition and why it is so important. Read... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
Henri Bergson had a massive influence on the thought and culture of his time. He had a huge female following too. Read Emily Herring's excellent essays about Bergson and his female fans, and Bergson's theory of laughter. Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
Peter Godfrey Smith discusses Australian philosophy and the various possible explanations for its strength in depth. Too often people speak of Anglo-American Philosophy, missing out a key continent in 20th and 21st Century Philosophy in the analytic tradition. Read the essay Australian Philosophy. Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
The caricature of a philosopher is of a lone figure working out the nature of reality from an armchair. How accurate is that? Nigel Warburton argues that philosophy is largely about conversation and always has been in this Aeon essay. Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
David Bather Woods has written a fascinating essay about how come Arthur Schopenhauer, the high priest of pessimism seemed to have been reasonably happy The Semi-Satisfied Life You might also be interested in Kieran Setiya's short essay about Schopenhauer and Middle Age Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
Anil Seth, a leading figure in consciousness research discussed the way the mind predicts what will happen next and how our perceptual awareness if a matter of best guesses. Watch this short Aeon video. Anil has written a fascinating essay on this topic, The Real Problem Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Philosophy on Aeon
For this second special lockdown episode of Philosophy Bites, Nigel Warburton interviewed David Edmonds about his bestseller Wittgenstein's Poker, which he wrote with John Eidinow. This brilliant book is an exploration of an event that occurred at the Moral Sciences... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2020 at philosophy bites
For this, the first of two special lockdown episodes, David Edmonds interviews Nigel Warburton about his bestseller, A Little History of Philosophy. In the second episode Nigel interviews David about his bestseller, Wittgenstein's Poker. Listen to Nigel Warburton on A... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2020 at philosophy bites
Frank Ramsey's biographer, the philosopher Cheryl Misak, discusses the relationship between Ramsey and Wittgenstein in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Ramsey was a brilliant thinker who made significant contributions to philosophy, mathematics, and economics, despite dying at the... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2020 at philosophy bites
What can philosophers contribute to public life? Mary Warnock who was a member of the House of Lords chaired two important commissions - special education needs and on human fertilisation and embryology - discussed how her training in philosophy prepared... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2020 at philosophy bites
The Philosophy Bites podcast is largely a labour of love. At present we have no sponsor. We are, however, extremely grateful to those who have chosen to support us via Patreon and Paypal - Paypal links are in the sidebar... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2020 at philosophy bites
In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Philip Goff discusses Galileo's insights into the nature of matter. He goes on to defend his own view of consciousness, namely panpsychism. Goff thinks that matter is conscious. Listen to Philip Goff... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2020 at philosophy bites
Political philosopher Elizabeth Anderson discusses why we we should spend more time discussing political ideas, even with those with whom we strongly disagree. Listen to Elizabeth Anderson on 'Let's Talk' Read a New Yorker profile of Elizabeth Anderson Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2020 at philosophy bites
We asked Seth Adelman (@sethadelman on Twitter) a longterm fan of Philosophy Bites who catalogued our backlist to select 10 episodes that are particularly relevant to our current situation. Seth writes: I think these are all appropriate for our time,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2020 at philosophy bites
What is free will? Do we have it? These are thorny questions that divide philosophers. Neuroscience seems to point in the direction of determinism. But Christian List thinks we do have free will. He explains why to David Edmonds. Listen... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2020 at philosophy bites
Some philosophers have drawn very strange conclusions about the nature of reality. But that doesn't necessarily mean we shouldn't study their work. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Emily Thomas discusses how wildly implausible metaphysics can be enlightening... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2019 at philosophy bites
How should we go about deciding what to do? Philosophers often discuss abstract simplified thought experiments. But is the best way to go about things? James Wilson thinks not. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he explains why.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2019 at philosophy bites