The Philosopher's Zone
Evolution—a rather large leap
You could say that evolution was a pretty big leap—at first unsettling yet now an all-consuming way of explaining stuff. But can Darwin’s insight stretch as far as we’d like it to?
What does American pragmatism tell us about the universe?
Who’s afraid of inequality?
Inequality might just be the defining challenge of our time. But is it a moral challenge as well?
What exactly is wellbeing? And what if someone else dictates what yours ought to be?
Akeel Bilgrami on Islam and identity
Akeel Bilgrami on Islam and identity in the Western world.
Mottainai: a philosophy of waste
Mottainai combines elements of Buddhism and Shinto to create a nuanced approach to the environment and wasteful practices.
Can you really upload your mind? Better get your theoretical assumptions right before you push that button.
What is it to dream?
Dreams and dreaming really stirred up Rene Descartes. And so they should, because dreams bring up a bunch of conceptual matters that largely remain unresolved.
Life as a matter of death
Socrates famously declared the philosopher’s life to be a preparation for death. Somehow, through the centuries, this urgent message has been lost.
On consent: No means no, but does yes mean yes?
Everybody agrees that non-consensual sex is seriously wrong. But what exactly is it to be non-consensual?
Marriage: is it all the same?
Same-sex marriage, marriage equality, redefining marriage—seeking the light in a heated debate.
The complexity of evil
Extreme acts of deliberate cruelty test our capacity to make sense of actions. It's good that we can reach for the ‘E’ word—or is it?
Romantic love in the 21st century needs some attention
Romantic love in the 21st century needs some attention—and we’ll give it some.
Blinded by sex—gender and the brain
What if women and men were both partly from Venus and partly from Mars? Apart from collapsing book sales, what would that do the idea of natural kinds?
Battle of the time lords
It was the day a philosopher and a physicist slugged it out—in the red corner was Albert Einstein, in the blue was Henri Bergson—and their bone of contention was the true nature of time.
The will of the people: multitude or mob?
Thomas Hobbes thought of the multitude as a mob and redemption possible only through a social contract, but the idea of the will of the many remains at the heart of direct democracy.
John Gray on the burden of freedom
Freedom—leave it to marionette puppets or God—John Gray on our hellish groundhog day.
Sometimes it’s hard to get that balance just right—between heart and mind. Public art might be able to tell us something about locking into creative sync.
Big data—then what?
It's been called the fourth revolution, but what do we really understand about the infosphere? If only it were as simple as being on or off.
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More informationThe simplest questions often have the most complex answers. The Philosopher's Zone is your guide through the strange thickets of logic, metaphysics and ethics. Presented by Joe Gelonesi.
Episodes available from past series of The Philosopher's Zone, which ended 7 July 2013. New season begins 6 October 2013.