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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...


On the Law, Consent and MeToo with Heidi Matthews.

This week I had a really interesting discussion with Prof. Heidi Matthews about law, consent, and the MeToo movement. Heidi is an Assistant Professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. She co-directs the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security. Her research area is international criminal law, the law of war, political theory and law and sexuality, with a specific focus on global regulation of political violence in relation to history and gender. You...


On Sex Robots and Personhood with Kathleen Richardson

This week I talk to Dr Kathleen Richardson about sex robots and notions of personhood, consent, loneliness and inter-dependence between humans. Kathleen is a professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI at De Montfort University. She completed her PhD at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Her fieldwork was an investigation of the making of robots in labs at MIT. She is the author of, amongst others. An Anthropology of Robots and AI: Annihilation Anxiety and...


On Emile Zola with Dan Rebellato

This week I am talking about the great French novelist Emile Zola with Prof. Dan Rebellato of Royal Holloway University. We talk about Zola's life, his novels, the place of philosophy in his work, and Zola's famous "J'accuse...!" which is celebrating it's 120th anniversary this year. Dan is an academic and playwright whose expertise focusses on post-war and contemporary British theatre. He is the author of 1956 and All That (Routledge, 1999). He also has composed a short monograph called...


The Philosophy of Football with Stephen Mumford.

This week I am talking about football with Prof. Stephen Mumford. We talk about how football makes you think, the role of causes, dispositions, luck, space and of course victory. Stephen also explain why football is a far superior game to rugby. Stephen is a Professor of Metaphysics at the University of Durham. He is the author of, among other things, Dispositions (Oxford, 1998), Russell on Metaphysics (Routledge, 2003), Laws in Nature (Routledge, 2004), David Armstrong (Acumen, 2007),...


On the Mind and Panpsychism with Philip Goff

This we talk about all things mind. Philip Goff is a philosopher and consciousness researcher at Durham University. He works mainly on the problem of how to integrate consciousness into our scientific worldview. Goff’s 2017 book Consciousness and Fundamental Reality (Oxford University Press) argues against materialist accounts of consciousness and defends panpsychism as the best account of the place of consciousness in nature. Panpsychism is the view that consciousness is a fundamental and...


A Cultural History of Gay Rights in Britain with Don Milligan

Dr Don Milligan gives us a cultural history of the gay rights movement in Britain. Don taught a course on the theory and practice of anti-capitalism at Manchester Metropolitan University. His researches examines how commercial society gives rise to political movements. He has campaigned for the gay liberation movement for many years. Here he dicusses the cultural, legal and economic context which created the conditions for the progress of gay rights activism in the UK. You can find a...


Introducing Byung-Chul Han with Austin Hayden Smidt

This week I am talking to Austin Hayden Smidt about the German-Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han. Han is not well know in the Anglophone world, so we took this opportunity to try and introduce some of the key themes of his philosophy. This interview in El Pais offers a useful starting point to Han's thought and work. Also, Han writes relatively accessible and pithy texts. The books this podcast are based on are Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power, The Burnout Society,...


Jessica Jones, Sexual Violence and Overcoming Trauma with Anna Dawson

Anna Dawson is an award winning teacher and lecturer in Film and TV studies at Nottingham Trent University. She has worked in the film industry, as a film journalist, and written study guides about the Lord of the Rings and The Matrix. She researches genre, gender, the British film industry and British cinema. We talked about our mutual admiration for the Netflix streaming series Jessica Jones (2015). Jessica Jones offers a very strong depiction of sexual violence, and Anna spoke about how...


BONUS - Nietzsche and Dr Who with David Deamer

Dave and I like to talk. And we did. Here we are talking about Nietzsche, and Dr Who.


Deleuze and Cinema with David Deamer

Here I talked with my friend Dr David Deamer about French Philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Dave explains to me what Deleuze was about, and then we go on to talk about how Deleuze is important for understanding cinema, and what Deleuze teach us about film, or what film can do for philosophy. Dave is the author of Deleuze, Japanese Cinema, and the Atom Bomb: The Spectre of Impossibility [Bloombsury, 2014], as well as Deleuze's Cinema Books: Three Introductions to the Taxonomy of Images [Edinburgh,...


Will Large teaches Patrick about Heidegger

Here Dr William Large from the University of Gloucestershire talks about one book, Martin Heidegger's magnum opus, Being and Time. Here we try to get to the bottom of this endlessly fascinating book, looking at some of the key moments from the text such as death, anxiety, authenticity and how we are beings in the world. Will is the author of, among other things Heidegger's Being and Time: A Philosophical Guide. You can find out more about Will here.


Social Justice and Cooperation with Cilla Ross

In 1844 the Rochadale Pioneers established the principles of the cooperative movement. This was the spark that created the development and growth of the cooperative movement. Coops can be found in all parts of the world today, from business to housing, from education to transport, from credit unions to workers cooperatives. Dr Cilla Ross is Vice-Principal of the Manchester Co-operative College, we spoke about her background, the relevance of the co-operative movement, the meaning of social...


Vitalism and Bergson with Mark Sinclair

Mark Sinclair is a philosopher and scholar at Roehampton University. He specialises in the history of modern philosophy, especially in it's French incarnation. We spoke about about the history of vitalism in Philosophy, looking at some of it's key figures: de Biran, Ravaisson and Bergson. You can find out more about Mark here.