The Philosopher's Zone
Blinded by sex—gender and the brain06/27/15
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.
Crossing the threshold
When choosing to become a vampire isn't that far off from choosing to become a parent.
Bringing words to heel
The origins of language are tough to pin down. A new theory promises a breakthrough—but what does it have to do with dogs?
Some think the traditional family has a lot to answer for; but there still might be some good arguments for it.
Humans in the Anthropocene
How seriously should we take the threat of climate change in the age of the Anthropocene? The end of the world has been predicted before, so is the wolf howling again?
Free speech—one each
After Charlie Hebdo it seems that all bets are off. But is free speech really worth defending to the death?
Mind the brain
Hard-wired, experiential, or just upbringing? The truth about the mind-body split.
Empathy is the emotion du jour. But can it do more harm than good?
A super dilemma
Should we expect more from Superman than from Clark Kent? On the horns of a very modern moral dilemma.
Do the right thing
Doing the right thing: will it be your own judgement or the big stick?
Sex, flies, and fairytales
There are times when one needs to go low in the thicket to see things more clearly.
Does maths matter?
There would be nothing like discovering eternal truths to sort out the mess of existence. Too fanciful? Not if you’re a believer in the magic of mathematics.
The Tommy dilemma: animal right or human privilege?
Can Tommy the chimp ever be a person? A landmark legal ruling says no. But are we being speciesist by keeping personhood all to ourselves?
Metaphysics of pregnancy
Questions of conception, gestation and birth are often found in debates about ethics, and tensions between mother and foetus; doctors and mothers; the state and the individual. But we may need a more rigorous assessment.
Love, the revolution—and Alain Badiou
He’s perhaps the best-known French philosopher alive today. Alain Badiou has tackled the big questions, but not just from his armchair.
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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.