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The Philosopher's Zone

ABC (Australia)

The 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.

The 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.
More Information

Location:

Melbourne, VIC

Description:

The 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.

Language:

English

Contact:

Philosopher's Zone ABC Radio National GPO Box 9994 Sydney 2001 (02) 8333 1411


Episodes

Are we getting anywhere?

11/18/2018
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Is philosophy more about questions than answers? Not necessarily. It all depends on how you conceive of philosophy in the first place, particularly with regard to its institutional setting.

Duration:00:25:07

Playing around

11/11/2018
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Video games helps us to engage philosophically with issues of ethics, identity and more. This makes them potentially useful as a classroom learning tool — but what about all that violence?

Duration:00:25:07

Think global

11/4/2018
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Writing a global history of philosophy is a tricky business - but that hasn't stopped this week's guest from taking it on.

Duration:00:29:53

Learning Confucius

10/28/2018
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How's your Confucianism? If the answer is "a little rusty", then you're not alone. Confucianism and Chinese philosophy are niche subjects in Australia, even among students of Chinese background.

Duration:00:25:07

alt-Nietzsche

10/21/2018
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Few serious Nietzsche scholars today regard him as having been any sort of proto-Nazi. But that hasn’t stopped alt-right extremists today from "rediscovering" Nietzsche and claiming him as a philosophical ally.

Duration:00:25:07

Hospital ethics

10/14/2018
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What happens when doctors and ethicists get together – particularly when the patient under discussion is a young child? And how can philosophy help?

Duration:00:25:07

African philosophy and the West

10/7/2018
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How do you articulate African philosophy in a Western academic environment? And what gets lost in the project of “translating” the former into the categories of the latter?

Duration:00:25:07

Evolution is evolving

9/30/2018
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For 160 years now, Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection has been baffling and blowing minds - and it’s not done yet. Evolution is still evolving, carrying us into an age of post-intelligent design – which brings danger as well as opportunity.

Duration:00:25:07

Forgiveness

9/23/2018
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“To err is human, to forgive divine” – a popular notion, but what are we really doing when we forgive? Operating at the highest level of human sensibility? Or denying the wrongdoer an opportunity for valuable self-reflection? This week we’re picking at one of the less-interrogated areas of ethics.

Duration:00:25:07

Dignity and enhancement

9/16/2018
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Human dignity is one of those ideas that seem to have been around for as long as humans themselves, and few people would take issue with it. But like most ideas, human dignity has a philosophical pedigree, and there are in fact those who say we should abandon the notion—or at least modify its invocation.

Duration:00:36:46

Proof and beauty

9/9/2018
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Mathematicians routinely refer to complex proofs in aesthetic terms, citing their 'elegance' or 'beauty'. This has partly to do with the social aspect of such proofs—far from being a hermetic or exclusively cerebral practice, mathematics has never strayed too far from its roots in dialogue and debate.

Duration:00:25:59

Keeping them out

9/2/2018
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Most people agree that nation states don’t have any moral right to control the movement of citizens within their borders, or to prevent citizens from travelling beyond those borders. If states do see a need to exclude entry to refugees and immigrants, the reasons often appeal to a need to 'preserve' national values. But those arguments may not be so robust.

Duration:00:26:21

Women, autonomy and social justice in China

8/26/2018
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Women in China have better access to education and job opportunities than ever before—yet a woman’s identity and value is still strongly linked with her role in the family, as wife and mother.

Duration:00:25:08

Ethics and absolutes in the classroom

8/19/2018
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The trouble with morality is that reasonable people keep disagreeing on what’s right and wrong. The science, as they say, isn’t settled. So that being the case, how can we argue for fixed moral standards to which everyone should sign up? And how should we introduce kids to this vexed field of inquiry?

Duration:00:25:08

The Pragmatists

8/12/2018
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Should philosophy be the attempt to articulate truth? If you’re a pragmatist, the answer is No. William James wrote of truth as a subset of expediency, and of truth’s 'cash value'. Richard Rorty saw truth—philosophical, moral, even scientific—in terms of contingent 'vocabularies'. At a time when The Washington Post reports that the leader of the free world has made over 3,000 false claims since becoming US President, pragmatic scepticism about truth could be a dangerous luxury.

Duration:00:25:01

Telling the story

8/5/2018
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Philosophy is usually thought of as the province of ideas and abstract thought. But this week’s guest is taking philosophy in a slightly different direction, yet makes perfect sense. US academic Barry Lam is the creator and host of Hi-Phi Nation, a podcast that bringing together philosophy and storytelling—the results are rather wonderful.

Duration:00:25:07

Remembering Stanley Cavell

7/29/2018
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Stanley Cavell, who died on June 19, was one of the world’s foremost contemporary thinkers, yet he always considered himself something of a philosophical outsider. His work ranged across the philosophy of language, aesthetics, ethics and epistemology—but also literature, cinema, and music. And his 'ordinary language' style and interest in questions of quality and value could be about to experience a renaissance.

Duration:00:25:09

When work stops working

7/22/2018
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Why do we work? According to Judaeo-Christian tradition, work is the result of a divine curse—and for many people in today’s labour market that comes as no surprise. And as more and more jobs become automated, fewer and fewer people will have them. An ideal future is a 'post-work' world where everybody has access to a universal basic income—but maybe there's an even better way.

Duration:00:25:01

On Evil

7/15/2018
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'Evil is one of those words that seem to convey moral clarity—we all feel we know evil when we see it. But there was once a time when 'evil' simply referred to mundane mischance or wrongdoing; its transformation into something almost metaphysical is a relatively recent turn.

Duration:00:25:09

No laughing matter

7/8/2018
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Philosophers tend not to be funny—Nietzsche is a notable exception, and Plato had his moments—but philosophy can have a humorous side.

Duration:00:25:09