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nigel warburton
Oxford and London
I'm a freelance philosopher, writer and podcaster.
Interests: philosophy, art, photography
Recent Activity
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 6 days ago 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 6 days ago 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
In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, Kate Kirkpatrick, author of a new biography of Simone de Beauvoir, Becoming Beauvoir, discusses Beauvoir's life and art. Beauvoir is often described as if she applied Jean-Paul Sartre' existentialist ideas to the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at philosophy bites
'What is a woman?' no longer seems a straightforward question. The philosopher Kathleen Stock discusses the category of 'woman' and how we think about it in conversation with David Edmonds in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast series. This... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2019 at philosophy bites
People like to think of themselves as reasonably virtuous, but there is usually a gap between how they think of themselves and how they actually behave. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Christian Miller discusses this gap and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at philosophy bites
In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, Philip Pettit provides a story about how ethics might have come into existence. This is an 'as if' story intended to illuminate the nature of ethics, not an attempt at history. Listen... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at philosophy bites
Philosophers sometimes talk about other possible worlds to explore the one we live in, others, such as David Lewis, even believe that all possible worlds actually exist. Helen Beebee explains how philosophers use possible world scenarios and why this matters... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2019 at philosophy bites
There is a very long history of scepticism about what philosophy can do. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Paul Sagar discusses some of the arguments that have been put forward in this area. Listen to Paul Sagar... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2018 at philosophy bites
We are living in a Golden Age for public philosophy, philosophy presented to a general audience rather than a specialised academic one. The Internet has opened everything up, and philosophers have responded well. From free online courses http to magazines,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2018 at virtual philosopher
In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast, Katherine Hawley discusses a concept we all rely on, but rarely question: trustworthiness. Is it always a good trait to have? Can it come into conflict with other traits we value, such... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2018 at philosophy bites
What does it mean to be civil in conversation with others? Is it always a virtue? Teresa Bejan, author of Mere Civility, discusses this topic and its long history in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Listen to Teresa... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2018 at philosophy bites
You can overdo most things, but it seems strange to say that you can overdo democracy. Robert B. Talisse thinks you can overdo it. He argues his case in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. We are very grateful... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2018 at philosophy bites
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Walden Pond is about a mile from Concord, Massachussetts. It's not really a pond - more of a lake, as it's half a mile across. On July 4th 1845 Henry David Thoreau famously went to live in cabin he'd built near the shore here. He stayed therefor two years, and... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2018 at philosophy sites
Robert Wright argues that some aspects of Buddhism, particularly those parts that deal with the self and the mind, are both compatible with contemporary evolutionary theory and profound about our nature. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2018 at philosophy bites
How can we best help those in need? Peter Singer has argued for 'effective altruism' focusing on consequences. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Larry Temkin questions some of Peter Singer's assumptions about the consequences of aid, before... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at philosophy bites
Some books change the way you experience the world. Bianca Bosker's Cork Dork is one of these. The author quit her job as a tech journalist to train her senses of taste and smell to become a sommelier in New York. This book is about more than wine, though, it's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2018 at Thinking Books
Do states have a moral right to exclude people from their territory? It might seem obvious to you that they do. But in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Sarah Fine questions this, in conversation with Nigel Warburton .... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at philosophy bites