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Thales' Well

Education Podcasts

A podcast exploring Philosophy, Politics, Current Affairs, Literature and Film.

A podcast exploring Philosophy, Politics, Current Affairs, Literature and Film.


United Kingdom


A podcast exploring Philosophy, Politics, Current Affairs, Literature and Film.






On David Lewis and Possible Worlds with Ben Curtis

On this episode, I discuss analytic philosopher David Lewis' concept of possible worlds with Dr Benjamin Curtis. Ben is colleague at Nottingham Trent University. We talked about possible worlds, actual worlds, probability, causation and time. Ben Curtis lectures in Philosophy at Nottingham Trent University. He has published on a wide-variety of themes including epistemology, bioethics, time as well as the philosophical status of antiques. You can find out more about Ben on his university...


On Camus and 'The Plague' with Robert Zaretsky

I had an amazing conversation with Robert Zaretsky who is a Professor of Humanities at the Honors College, University of Houston. We spoke about French novelist and philosopher Albert Camus and his great pandemic novel The Plague. The Plague is currently receiving renewed critical attention due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is set to be re-issued by Penguin. Thus, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the novel. We touched on the background to Camus' novel, the influence of Thucydides...


On Character with Christian Miller

I am talking with Prof. Christian Miller about the nature of character. We discuss different types of character, character psycholgoy, forms of character virtue as well as forms of character vice, the difference between moral habits and instincts, Aristotle's contribution to the theory of character, and the ever-present gap between who we are and who we should be. Christian outlines valuable strategies for helping us achieve virtue and avoiding vice. Christian B. Miller is the A. C. Reid...


On Plato with Keith Crome

This time we turn to Ancient Philosophy, and I discuss Plato with Dr Keith Crome. We speak about the pedagogical dimension of Plato's work, and focus specifically on Plato's Republic. Keith argues that to understand Plato, it is essential to understand Plato's account of education and how it relates to Socrates, the Sophists, the myth of the cave, the theory of forms, democratic politics as well as Plato's lesser known more playful side. Keith Crome is scholar of ancient philosophy,...


On Blockchain with Peter Howson

I am talking with Dr Peter Howson from Nottingham Trent University about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Peter is a Human Geographer, so we talk about the environmental impact of crypto-currency as well as it’s distribution in space. Largely, Peter explains to me the technological, economic, financial and geopolitical ramifications of these new forms of currency. Unfortunately, we only had a short window to record this, and the only room available was one with a high ceiling and a loud...


On Online Learning with David Webster

This time I thought it would be useful to try to do something slightly different. Given that many teachers and lecturers have had on-line learning foisted about them due to the Covid-19 crisis, I thought it would be helpful to talk to an expert about ways of delivering on-line learning. I spoke with Dr David Webster who is the Director of the Centre for Innovation in Learning & Teaching at SOAS, University of London. Dave and I discussed the benefits and pitfalls of on-line learning,...


On Difference and Repetition with David Deamer

Dave is back! We speak again about French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. This time we try to crack one of his most famous works Difference and Repetition. We talked about some very abstract concepts such as space, time, motion, representation and identity, and Deleuze’s three syntheses of time, but Dave does a brilliant of job of coherently explaining this very challenging book and the ‘sheet of black night’ that confronts us all. Dr David Deamer is a writer and free scholar associated with...


On Cormac McCarthy with Julius Greve

I discuss American novelist Cormac McCarthy with literary scholar Dr Julius Greve. Cormac McCarthy is known for his often bleak and unwavering take on the Western. He has written over ten novels, as well as plays and screenplays in the Southern Gothic literary tradition. Less discussed is the philosophical dimension of McCarthy’s novels. With Julius I discussed how philosophy is present in the Blood Meridian, Suttree, The Orchard Keeper, The Road, Child of God, No Country for Old Men, The...


On Nietzsche with Lars Iyer

I had tremendous fun talking to philosopher and novelist Lars Iyer. We discussed Nietzsche in light of Lars' new novel Nietzsche and the Burbs. We discussed many of Nietzsche's famous concepts such as übermensh, amor fati and suffering, affirmation, nihilism and eternal recurrence. As well, we touched on Maurice Blanchot, Simone Weil, The Invisible Committee and disco! Lars is a a Reader in Creative Writing and Subject Head of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. He is the author of...


On Religion and Violence with Felix O'Murchadha

This month I spoke to Prof. Felix O’Murchadha of the National University of Ireland at Galway about religion and violence. We discussed the nature of religious experience, and more specifically the relation between violation, witnessing and perpetration. This led on to a further discussion of temporality, sexual violence and forgiveness. Our discussion revolved around Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Amery, Susan Brison and Hannah Arendt You can find more about Felix here, and you can find a sample...


On Social Work with Joe Smeeton

This month I am talking to Joe Smeeton. We had a brilliant chat about the nature of social work, anxiety, risk, child protection, the political backdrop to social working in the UK, and just what it is like to be a social worker. Joe provided an impassioned defence of the value of social work, as well as an honest account of the challenges and pitfalls social workers face in their day to day existence. Joe is a qualified social worker and academic. He works at the Department of Sociological...


On Levinas with Will Large

I spoke with Will Large about the Jewish philosopher Emmanual Levinas. Levinas is a philosopher who had a unique conception of ethics, one resistant to many of the traditional ways we approach ethics in Philosophy. Many of Levinas' writings were composed during his time in a prisoner of war camp, and his work unsurprisingly embraces notions of escape, otherness, subjectivity and anti-totalitarianism. Also, many members of his immediate family were murdered by fascists. Levinas' entire career...


On Shame with Luna Dolezal

This month I am talking with Dr Luna Dolezal from the University of Exeter. Luna is Senior Lecturer in Medical Humanities, with a particular interest in applied phenomenology, philosophy of embodiment, philosophy of medicine and medical humanities (esp. through literature and philosophy). I chatted to Luna about the notion of shame, medicine, Sartre, Nussbaum and Channel 4's TV show Embarrassing Bodies. Luna is about to begin a major research project with the Wellcome Trust. You can find out...


On Denial, Conspiracy and Post-Truth with Keith Kahn-Harris

This week I discuss the nature of denial, post-truth, and conspiracy theories with Dr Keith Kahn-Harris. We ended up talking about Holocaust denial, anti-vaxxing, climate change, and the resurgence of flat-earth theory. Keith tries to unpick the similarities and differences between all these different types of discourse. He argues that there are many types of denialism. Rather than classifying these phenomena as irrational and nonsensical, he argues that they are secretly are in love with...


On Dirt with Olli Lagerspetz

This week I am talking to Olli Lagerspetz about his recent book A Philosophy of Dirt (Reaktion, 2018). This book is a fascinating exploration of what we mean by dirt, how we can use Philosophy to examine it, and whether dirt is an objective or subjective phenomenon. We talked about how dirt is conceived in science, art, politics, anthropology and how we might think of dirt in the context of the environment. As usual in a philosophy conversation, we ended up talking about Plato. Olli...


On Metaphysics, Objects and Decent Politics with Graham Harman

This week I had a fantastic conversation with Prof. Graham Harman about his unique theory of Object-Oriented Philosophy. Our discussion was wide-ranging, we discussed Graham’s background, metaphysics, HP Lovecraft, art, architecture, Bruno Latour, contemporary Marxism, and Graham's views on the current politics of the United States. Graham is a Professor of Philosophy at Sci-Arc in Los Angles. He has authored several articles and over 15 books. Most recently his work includes...


On the Geography and Politics of Light with Tim Edensor

I had a fascinating discussion with Tim Edensor this week on the geography and politics of light. Tim has a brilliant talent for making us think differently about something we take for granted. During our chat we talked about our changing perceptions of light, the politics of light, the aesthetic appreciation of light, and how one's willingness to decorate your house at Christmas might be a key factor in the Brexit vote. Most importantly we talked about Tim's great affection for the...


On Forensic Linguistics with David Wright

This week I am talking about forensic linguistics with Dr David Wright from Nottingham Trent University. We chatted about how forensic linguistics is used in crime detection, authorship analysis, expert witnessing, aiding policing investigation as well as some of the landmark cases where forensic linguistics has been used. We also spoke about David's research on the language of sexual violence in online forums. David Wright is a forensic linguist. His research applies methods of corpus...


Horror, Ghosts and Monsters with Sorcha Ní Fhlainn

This week, as we approach All Hallows Eve, we turn to the ghastly, the monstrous, the shocking, the ghoulish, the spooky and the downright eerie. I am talking to Dr Sorcha Ní Fhlainn who is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies and American Literature. She is a founding member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. We spoke about all things Gothic, the endless fascination with vampires, working class werewolves, ghosts, zombies, as well as how Gothic...


On US Politics, Edmund Burke and Trump with Michael Baranowski

With the upcoming US elections I thought it would be a good time to see what a political philosopher has to say about it all. I am joined by Michael Baranowski who is a political scientist from Northern Kentucky University. We talked about Mike’s intellectual origins, the political philospher Edmund Burke, the legacy of John McCain, the possibility of socialism in America, and of course President Donald Trump, as well as the forthcoming elections. You can find out more about Mike here. Mike...