History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

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352 - The Teacher of Our Actions - Renaissance Historiography
Jun 28 • 22 min
Bruni, Poggio, Machiavelli, and Guicciardini explore political ideas and historical method in works on Roman and Italian history.
351 - Quentin Skinner on Machiavelli
Jun 14 • 35 min
Leading Machiavelli scholar Quentin Skinner joins Peter to discuss morality, history, and religion in the Prince and the Discourses.
350 - The Sentence - Machiavelli on Republicanism
May 31 • 23 min
Peter celebrates reaching 350 episodes by explaining a single sentence in Machiavelli’s “Discourses.”
349 - No More Mr Nice Guy - Machiavelli
May 17 • 20 min
Machiavelli’s seminal work of political advice, “The Prince,” tells the ruler how to be strong like a lion and cunning like a fox.
348 - The Sweet Restraints of Liberty - Republicanism and Civic Humanism
May 3 • 20 min
Did “civic humanism” really make republicanism a newly dominant political theory in the Italian Renaissance?
347 - Bonfire of the Vanities - Savonarola
Apr 19 • 18 min
The prophetic preacher Girolamo Savonarola attacks pagan philosophy and puts forward his own political ideas, before coming to an untimely end.
346 - Cecilia Muratori on Animals in the Renaissance
Apr 5 • 30 min
An interview with Cecilia Muratori, an expert on the surprisingly modern ideas about non-human animals that emerged in the Renaissance.
345 - What a Piece of Work is Man - Manetti and Pico on Human Nature
Mar 22 • 21 min
Pico della Mirandola and Giannozzo Manetti praise humans as the centerpiece of the created world. But what about the other animals?
344 - The Count of Concord - Pico della Mirandola
Mar 7 • 20 min
Pico della Mirandola argues for the harmony of the ancient authorities, draws on Jewish mysticism, and questions the value of humanist rhetoric.
343 - As Far as East from West - Jewish Philosophy in Renaissance Italy
Feb 22 • 23 min
Jewish philosophers in Renaissance Italy, focusing on Leone Ebreo’s Dialogues of Love, the Averroism of Elijah del Medigo, and Italian Kabbalah.
342 - Denis Robichaud on Plato in the Renaissance
Feb 8 • 30 min
An interview with Denis Robichaud on how, and why, Plato was read in the Italian Renaissance.
341 - True Romance - Theories of Love
Jan 25 • 31 min
Ficino describes a “Platonic” love purified of sexuality, prompting a debate carried on by Pico della Mirandola, Pietro Bembo, and Tullia d’Aragona.
340 - Footnotes to Plato - Marsilio Ficino
Jan 11 • 24 min
Marsilio Ficino’s revival of Platonism, with a focus on his proofs for the soul’s immortality in his magnum opus, the Platonic Theology.
339 - I’d Like to Thank the Academy - Florentine Platonism
Dec 28, 2019 • 21 min
The blossoming of Renaissance Platonism under the Medici, who supported the scholarship of Poliziano, Ficino, and Pico della Mirandola.
338 - All About Eve - the Defense of Women
Dec 14, 2019 • 20 min
Refutation of misogyny in Moderate Fonte and Lucrezia Marinella.
337 - More Rare Than the Phoenix - Italian Women Humanists
Nov 30, 2019 • 20 min
Cassandra Fedele, Isotta Nogarola, and Laura Cereta seek fame and glory through eloquence and learning.
336 - We Built This City - Christine de Pizan
Nov 16, 2019 • 20 min
Christine de Pizan’s political philosophy, epistemology, and the refutation of misogyny in her “City of Ladies”.
335 - Sabrina Ebbersmeyer on Emotions in Renaissance Philosophy
Nov 3, 2019 • 29 min
An interview with Sabrina Ebbersmeyer about the relation of emotion to reason and the body, and panpsychism, in the Renaissance.
334 - Chance Encounters - Reviving Hellenistic philosophy
Oct 20, 2019 • 21 min
The rediscovery of Epicurus, Lucretius, and Sextus Empiricus spreads challenging ideas about chance, atomism, and skepticism.
333 - Difficult to Be Good - Humanist Ethics
Oct 6, 2019 • 22 min
Humanists from Bruni and Valla to Pontano and Castiglione ask whether ancient ethical teachings can still help us learn how to live.
332 - Jill Kraye on Humanism
Sep 21, 2019 • 38 min
Jill Kraye returns to the podcast to discuss the nature of humanism, its relation to scholasticism, and its legacy.
331 - Literary Criticism - Lorenzo Valla
Sep 8, 2019 • 20 min
Lorenzo Valla launches a furious attack on scholastic philosophy, favoring the resources of classical Latin.
330 - Republic of Letters - Italian Humanism
Jul 28, 2019 • 19 min
Coluccio Salutati and Leonardo Bruni combine eloquence with philosophy, taking as their model the refined language and republican ideals found in Cicero.
329 - Greeks Bearing Gifts - Byzantine Scholars in Italy
Jul 14, 2019 • 19 min
Bessarion and George Trapenzuntius, rival scholars from the Greek east who helped inspire the Italian Renaissance.
328 - Old News - Introduction to the Italian Renaissance
Jun 30, 2019 • 20 min
A first look at the themes and figures of philosophy in the Italian Renaissance.
327 - Michele Trizio on Byzantine and Latin Medieval Philosophy
Jun 16, 2019 • 24 min
The series on Byzantium concludes as Michele Trizio discusses the mutual influence of Byzantium and Latin Christendom.
326 - Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - the Later Orthodox Tradition
Jun 2, 2019 • 25 min
When the Byzantine empire ended in 1453, philosophy in Greek did not end with it. In this episode we bring the story up to the 20th century.
325 - Platonic Love - Gemistos Plethon
May 19, 2019 • 23 min
Was Gemistos Plethon, the last great thinker of the Byzantine tradition, a secret pagan or just a Christian with an unusual enthusiasm for Platonism?
324 - United We Fall - Latin Philosophy in Byzantium
May 5, 2019 • 20 min
Thomas Aquinas finds avid readers among Byzantines at the twilight of empire, and is used by both sides of the Hesychast controversy.
323 - Through His Works You Shall Know Him - Palamas and Hesychasm
Apr 21, 2019 • 18 min
Gregory Palamas and the controversy over his teaching that we can go beyond human reason by grasping God through his activities or “energies”.
322 - Do the Math - Science in the Palaiologan Renaissance
Apr 7, 2019 • 20 min
Mathematics and the sciences in Byzantium, focusing on scholars of the Palaiologan period like Blemmydes and Metochites.
321 - Judith Herrin on Byzantium and Islam
Mar 24, 2019 • 32 min
Historian Judith Herrin joins us to talk about competition and mutual influence between Islam and Byzantium.
320 - People of the South - Byzantium and Islam
Mar 10, 2019 • 20 min
Intellectual exchange between Christians and Muslims, and the later flowering of Syriac literature including the philosopher Bar Hebraeus.
319 - Georgia on My Mind - Petritsi and the Proclus Revival
Feb 24, 2019 • 18 min
The Neoplatonist Proclus gets mixed reviews from Christians, as Nicholas of Methone refutes him but the Georgian philosopher Ioane Petritsi helps to revive his thought.
318 - Oliver Primavesi on Greek Manuscripts
Feb 10, 2019 • 36 min
Peter’s Munich colleague Oliver Primavesi tells us how Greek manuscripts are used to establish the text of authors like Aristotle.
317 - Made by Hand - Byzantine Manuscripts
Jan 27, 2019 • 24 min
Without handwritten copies produced by Byzantine scribes, we would know almost nothing about ancient philosophy. How and why were they made?
316 - Just Measures - Law, Money, and War in Byzantium
Jan 13, 2019 • 22 min
Legal and economic thought in Byzantium: the sources of the law’s authority, the relation of church and civil law, just price, and just war.
315 - Wiser Than Men - Gender in Byzantium
Dec 30, 2018 • 20 min
The role of women in Byzantine society and the complex attitudes surrounding eunuchs: did they make up a “third gender”?
314 - Katerina Ierodiakonou on Byzantine Commentaries
Dec 16, 2018 • 30 min
A chat about commentaries on Aristotle from Byzantium with guest Katerina Ierodiakonou.
313 - Queen of the Sciences - Anna Komnene and her Circle
Dec 2, 2018 • 20 min
Princess Anna Komnene makes good use of her political retirement by gathering a circle of scholars to write commentaries on Aristotle.
312 - Past Masters - Byzantine Historiography
Nov 18, 2018 • 19 min
The larger meaning of history in the chronicles written by Michael Psellos, Michael Attaleiates, Anna Komnene, and Niketas Choniates.
311 - The Elements of Style - Rhetoric in Byzantium
Nov 4, 2018 • 19 min
Psellos and other experts in rhetoric explore how this art of persuasion relates to philosophy.
310 - Purple Prose - Byzantine Political Philosophy
Oct 21, 2018 • 23 min
Byzantine political thought from the time of Justinian down to the Palaiologos dynasty wrestles with the nature and scope of imperial power.
309 - Hooked on Classics - Italos and the Debate over Pagan Learning
Oct 7, 2018 • 19 min
The trial of John Italos and other signs of Byzantine disquiet with the pagan philosophical tradition.
308 - Dominic O’Meara on Michael Psellos
Sep 23, 2018 • 31 min
Dominic O’Meara speaks to Peter about Michael Psellos, focusing especially on his political philosophy.
307 - Consul of the Philosophers - Michael Psellos
Sep 9, 2018 • 17 min
Michael Psellos and his attitude towards pagan philosophy and the political life.
Bonus Episode - Glenn Adamson on Material Intelligence
Aug 11, 2018 • 31 min
Peter’s twin brother Glenn Adamson discusses the philosophical implications of craft.
306 - Collectors’ Items - Photius and Byzantine Compilations
Jul 29, 2018 • 19 min
Photius, “the inventor of the book review,” and other Byzantine scholars who preserved ancient learning.
305 - Andrew Louth on John of Damascus
Jul 15, 2018 • 29 min
Peter is joined by Andrew Louth for a discussion of John of Damascus and his theological use of philosophy.
304 - Behind Enemy Lines - John of Damascus
Jul 1, 2018 • 19 min
John of Damascus helps to shape the Byzantine understanding of humankind and the veneration of images, despite living in Islamic territory.
303 - Don’t Picture This - Iconoclasm
Jun 17, 2018 • 21 min
Is it idolatry to venerate an icon of a saint, or of Christ? The dispute leads the Byzantines to ponder the relation between an image and its object.
302 - On the Eastern Front - Philosophy in Syriac and Armenian
Jun 3, 2018 • 21 min
Eastern Christian philosophy outside of Constantinople, focusing on translation and exegesis in the languages of Syriac and Armenian.
301 - The Empire Strikes Back - Introduction to Byzantine Philosophy
May 20, 2018 • 23 min
We begin to look at the third tradition of medieval philosophy, in which the heritage of classical antiquity is preserved and debated by the Byzantines.
300b - The Relevance of Medieval Philosophy Today
May 6, 2018 • 73 min
Peter King, Catarina Dutilh Novaes, and Russ Friedman discuss their approaches to medieval philosophy, and its contemporary relevance.
300a - The Relevance of Ancient Philosophy Today
Apr 22, 2018 • 81 min
Rachel Barney, Christof Rapp, and Mark Kalderon join Peter to discuss the importance of ancient philosophy for today’s philosophers.
299 - Robert Pasnau on Substance in Scholasticism
Apr 8, 2018 • 30 min
Bob Pasnau joins Peter to discuss ideas about substance from Aquinas down to the time of Locke, Leibniz and Descartes.
Africana Philosophy Announcement
Apr 6, 2018 • 2 min
New paperbacks and a new series!
298 - Renaissance Men - Ramon Llull and Petrarch
Mar 25, 2018 • 21 min
The Renaissance ideals of humanism and universal science flourish already in the medieval period, in the works of Petrarch and Ramon Llull.
297 - The Prague Spring - Scholasticism Across Europe
Mar 11, 2018 • 20 min
New ideas and and new universities in Italy and greater Germany including Vienna and Prague, where Jan Hus carries on the radical ideas of Wyclif.
296 - Morning Star of the Reformation - John Wyclif
Feb 25, 2018 • 19 min
John Wyclif refutes nominalism and inspires the Lollard movement, which anticipated Reformation thought with its critique of the church.
295 - The Most Christian Doctor - Jean Gerson
Feb 11, 2018 • 20 min
Jean Gerson’s role in the political disputes of his day, the spread of lay devotion and affective mysticism, and the debate over the Romance of the Rose initiated by Christine de Pizan.
294 - Isabel Davis on Sexuality and Marriage in Chaucer
Jan 28, 2018 • 31 min
Peter is joined by Isabel Davis to discuss marriage, sex and chastity in Chaucer, focusing on the Wife of Bath’s speech.
293 - The Good Wife - Gender and Sexuality in the Middle Ages
Jan 14, 2018 • 23 min
Medieval attitudes towards homosexuality, sex and chastity, and the status of women. Authors discussed include Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, and Chaucer.
292 - Say it With Poetry - Chaucer and Langland
Dec 31, 2017 • 20 min
Philosophical themes in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” and “Troilus and Criseyde,” as well as Langland’s “Piers Plowman.”
291 - Alle Maner of Thyng Shall be Welle - English Mysticism
Dec 17, 2017 • 18 min
Julian of Norwich’s Shewings and the Cloud of Unknowing lay out challenging paths to knowledge of, and union with, God.
290 - Martin Pickavé on Emotions in Medieval Philosophy
Dec 3, 2017 • 29 min
Martin Pickavé returns to the podcast to talk about theories of the emotions in Aquinas, Scotus and Wodeham.
289 - A Wing and a Prayer - Angels in Medieval Philosophy
Nov 19, 2017 • 20 min
Be surprised by how many philosophical problems arise in connection with angels (how many can dance on the head of a pin is not one of them).
288 - Men in Black - The German Dominicans
Nov 5, 2017 • 19 min
Dietrich of Freiberg, Berthold of Moosburg, John Tauler and Henry Suso explore Neoplatonism and mysticism.
287 - Down to the Ground - Meister Eckhart
Oct 22, 2017 • 18 min
The scholastic and mystic Meister Eckhart sets out his daring speculations about God and humankind in both Latin and German.
286 - On the Money - Medieval Economic Theory
Oct 8, 2017 • 21 min
Changing ideas about money, just price, and usury, up to the time of Buridan, Oresme, and Gregory of Rimini.
285 - Dominik Perler on Medieval Skepticism
Sep 24, 2017 • 28 min
The medievals were too firm in their beliefs to entertain skeptical worries, right? Don’t be so sure, as Peter learns from Dominik Perler.
284 - Seeing is Believing - Nicholas of Autrecourt’s Skeptical Challenge
Aug 13, 2017 • 22 min
The debate between Nicholas of Autrecourt and John Buridan on whether it is possible to achieve certain knowledge.
283 - Jack Zupko on John Buridan
Jul 30, 2017 • 32 min
Peter speaks to Jack Zupko about John Buridan’s secular and parsimonious approach to philosophy.
282 - Portrait of the Artist - John Buridan
Jul 16, 2017 • 20 min
The hipster’s choice for favorite scholastic, John Buridan, sets out a nominalist theory of knowledge and language, and explains the workings of free will.
281 - Monica Green on Medieval Medicine
Jul 2, 2017 • 37 min
An interview with Monica Green reveals parallels between medicine and philosophy in the middle ages.
280 - Get to the Point - Fourteenth Century Physics
Jun 18, 2017 • 20 min
Ockham, Buridan, Oresme and Francis of Marchia explore infinity, continuity, atomism, and the impetus involved in motion.
279 - Quadrivial Pursuits - the Oxford Calculators
Jun 4, 2017 • 21 min
Bradwardine and other thinkers based at Oxford make breakthroughs in physics by applying mathematics to motion.
278 - Sara Uckelman on Obligations
May 21, 2017 • 43 min
Sara Uckelman soundly defeats Peter in the medieval logical game of “obligations.”
277 - Trivial Pursuits - Fourteenth Century Logic
May 7, 2017 • 19 min
The scholastics discuss the ambiguity of terms, the nature of logical inference, and logical paradoxes, and play the game of “obligations.”
276 - Back to the Future - Foreknowledge and Predestination
Apr 23, 2017 • 20 min
Scotus, Ockham, and Bradwardine ask how we can be free if God knows and chooses the things we will do in the future.
275 - Keeping it Real - Responses to Ockham
Apr 9, 2017 • 20 min
Walter Burley flies the flag for realism against Ockham and other nominalists.
274 - Susan Brower-Toland on Ockham’s Philosophy of Mind
Mar 26, 2017 • 29 min
An interview with Susan Brower-Toland covering Ockham’s views on cognition, consciousness, and memory.
273 - What Do You Think? - Ockham on Mental Language
Mar 12, 2017 • 21 min
How the language of thought relates to spoken and written language, according to William of Ockham.
272 - A Close Shave - Ockham’s Nominalism
Feb 26, 2017 • 20 min
Ockham trims away the unnecessary entities posited by other scholastics.
271 - Do As You’re Told - Ockham on Ethics and Political Philosophy
Feb 12, 2017 • 19 min
William of Ockham on freedom of action and freedom of thought.
270 - Render unto Caesar - Marsilius of Padua
Jan 29, 2017 • 22 min
In his book Defender of the Peace, Marsilius of Padua develops new theories of representative government, rights, and ownership.
Democracy and the History of Philosophy
Jan 21, 2017 • 13 min
Peter muses on recent political events in light of the history of philosophy.
269 - Our Power is Real - The Clash of Church and State
Jan 15, 2017 • 19 min
Giles of Rome and Dante on the rival claims of the church and secular rulers.
268 - To Hell and Back - Dante Alighieri
Jan 1, 2017 • 20 min
Italy’s greatest poet Dante Alighieri was also a philosopher, as we learn from his Convivio and of course the Divine Comedy.
267 - After Virtue - Marguerite Porete
Dec 18, 2016 • 20 min
Marguerite Porete is put to death for her exploration of the love of God, The Mirror of Simple Souls.
266 - Tom Pink on the Will
Dec 4, 2016 • 32 min
A conversation with Tom Pink about medieval theories of freedom and action.
265 - Time of the Signs - the Fourteenth Century
Nov 20, 2016 • 20 min
An introduction to philosophy in the 14th century, focusing on two big ideas: nominalism and voluntarism.
264 - Giorgio Pini on Scotus on Knowledge
Nov 6, 2016 • 30 min
Peter hears about Duns Scotus’ epistemology from expert Giorgio Pini.
263 - One in a Million - Scotus on Universals and Individuals
Oct 23, 2016 • 24 min
Scotus explains how things can share a nature in common while being unique individuals.
262 - On Command - Scotus on Ethics
Oct 9, 2016 • 21 min
Scotus argues that morality is a matter of freely choosing to follow God’s freely issued commands.
261 - To Will or Not to Will - Scotus on Freedom
Sep 25, 2016 • 20 min
Scotus develops a novel theory of free will and, along the way, rethinks the notions of necessity and possibility.
260 - Once and for All - Scotus on Being
Sep 11, 2016 • 20 min
Duns Scotus attacks the proposal of Aquinas and Henry of Ghent that being is subject to analogy.
259 - Richard Cross on Philosophy and the Trinity
Jul 31, 2016 • 26 min
Medieval discussions of the Trinity charted new metaphysical territory, as we see in this interview with Richard Cross.
258 - Here Comes the Son - The Trinity and the Eucharist
Jul 17, 2016 • 20 min
Philosophy is pushed to its limits to provide rational explanations of two Christian theological doctrines.
257 - Martin Pickave on Henry of Ghent and Freedom
Jul 3, 2016 • 27 min
An interview with Martin Pickavé on voluntarism in Henry of Ghent.
256 - Frequently Asked Questions - Henry of Ghent
Jun 19, 2016 • 20 min
Henry of Ghent, now little known but a leading scholastic in the late 13th century, makes influential proposals on all the debates of his time.
255 - Andreas Speer on Medieval Aesthetics
Jun 5, 2016 • 32 min
Does medieval art tell us anything about medieval theories of aesthetics? Peter finds out from Andreas Speer.
254 - Love, Reign Over Me - The Romance of the Rose
May 22, 2016 • 22 min
Sex, reason, and religion in Jean de Meun’s completion of an allegory of courtly love, the Roman de la Rose.
253 - Let Me Count the Ways - Speculative Grammar
May 8, 2016 • 21 min
The “modistae” explore the links between language, the mind, and reality.
252 - Neverending Story - the Eternity of the World
Apr 24, 2016 • 22 min
Aquinas, Bonaventure, and the so-called “Latin Averroists” take up the question of whether the universe has always existed, and settle once and for all which comes first, the chicken or the egg.
251 - Masters of the University - “Latin Averroism”
Apr 10, 2016 • 23 min
Did Siger of Brabant and Boethius of Dacia, who have been called “Latin Averroists” and “radical Aristotelians,” really embrace a doctrine of “double truth”?
250 - Q&A
Mar 27, 2016 • 41 min
Peter answers listener questions on the nature of philosophy and the podcast series.
249 - Paris When it Sizzles - the Condemnations
Mar 13, 2016 • 21 min
Two rounds of condemnations at Paris declare certain philosophical teachings as heretical. But what were the long term effects?
248 - Scott MacDonald on Aquinas
Feb 28, 2016 • 28 min
Scott MacDonald joins Peter to discuss Thomas Aquinas’ views on human knowledge.
247 - Onward, Christian Soldiers - Just War Theory
Feb 14, 2016 • 21 min
Aquinas follows medieval legal thinkers in defining the conditions under which war may be justified, and proposes his famous doctrine of double effect.
246 - What Pleases the Prince - The Rule of Law
Jan 31, 2016 • 24 min
Natural law and political legitimacy in thirteenth century thinkers up to and including Thomas Aquinas.
245 - What Comes Naturally - Ethics in Albert and Aquinas
Jan 17, 2016 • 20 min
Natural and supernatural virtue and happiness in Thomas Aquinas and his teacher, Albert the Great.
244 - Everybody Needs Some Body - Aquinas on Soul and Knowledge
Jan 3, 2016 • 19 min
Thomas Aquinas makes controversial claims concerning the unity of the soul and the empirical basis of human knowledge.
243 - The Ox Heard Round the World - Thomas Aquinas
Dec 20, 2015 • 22 min
An introduction to Thomas Aquinas, his views on faith and reason, and his famous “five ways” of proving God’s existence.
242 - Therese Cory on Self-Awareness in Albert and Aquinas
Dec 6, 2015 • 33 min
Therese Cory tells Peter what Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas thought about self-awareness.
241 - The Shadow Knows - Albert the Great’s Metaphysics
Nov 22, 2015 • 18 min
Albert the Great’s theory of being and his attempt to explain what changes in the human mind when we come to see God in the afterlife.
240 - Animal, Vegetable, Mineral - Albert the Great’s Natural Philosophy
Nov 8, 2015 • 20 min
Albert the Great earns his nickname “universal doctor” by devoting himself to the whole of nature, from geology and botany to the study of human nature.
239 - Catarina Dutilh Novaes on Medieval Logic
Oct 25, 2015 • 33 min
Was medieval logic “formal”? Peter finds out from Catarina Dutilh Novaes.
238 - Binding Arbitration - Robert Kilwardby
Oct 11, 2015 • 21 min
Robert Kilwardby is infamous for his ban on teaching certain philosophical ideas at Oxford, yet made contributions in logic and on the soul.
237 - Begin the Beguine - Hadewijch and Mechthild of Magdeburg
Sep 27, 2015 • 21 min
Two Beguine authors, Hadewijch and Mechthild of Magdeburg, deploy the tropes of courtly love in vernacular writings about their mystical experiences.
Indian Philosophy Announcement!
Sep 19, 2015 • 4 min
New feed for Philosophy in India: http://hopwag2.podbean.com/feed/
236 - None for Me, Thanks - Franciscan Poverty
Aug 9, 2015 • 21 min
Bonaventure and Peter Olivi respond to critics of the Franciscan vow of poverty, in a debate which produced new ideas about economics and rights.
235 - Juhana Toivanen on Animals in Medieval Philosophy
Aug 2, 2015 • 24 min
Medieval ideas about what animals do and do not have in common with humans, and how we should treat them.
234 - Your Attention Please - Peter Olivi
Jul 26, 2015 • 23 min
Peter Olivi proposes that awareness occurs not through passively being affected by things, but by actively paying attention to them.
233 - Stairway to Heaven - Bonaventure
Jul 19, 2015 • 22 min
Bonaventure argues that human knowledge depends on an illumination from God.
232 - Charles Burnett on Magic
Jul 12, 2015 • 30 min
Charles Burnett tells Peter about the role of magic in medieval intellectual life.
231 - Origin of Species - Roger Bacon
Jul 5, 2015 • 22 min
Roger Bacon extols the power of science based on experience and uses a general theory of “species” to explain light and vision.
230 - A Light That Never Goes Out - Robert Grosseteste
Jun 28, 2015 • 19 min
Translator, scientist and theologian Robert Grosseteste sheds light on the cosmos, human understanding, and the rainbow.
229 - Do the Right Thing - Thirteenth Century Ethics
Jun 21, 2015 • 19 min
The scholastics explore Aristotle’s ethical teaching and the concept of moral conscience.
228 - It’s All Good - The Transcendentals
Jun 14, 2015 • 23 min
Philip the Chancellor introduces the transcendentals, a key idea in medieval metaphysics and aesthetics.
227 - Stayin’ Alive - Thirteenth Century Psychology
Jun 7, 2015 • 21 min
John Blund and William of Auvergne draw on Aristotle and Avicenna to argue that the soul is immaterial and immortal.
226 - Full of Potential - Thirteenth Century Physics
May 31, 2015 • 22 min
Richard Rufus and anonymous commentators on Aristotle explore the nature of motion, time, infinity and space.
225 - No Uncertain Terms - Thirteenth Century Logic
May 24, 2015 • 23 min
The terminist logicians William of Sherwood and Peter of Spain classify the various ways that language can relate to the world.
224 - Kent Emery on Institutions of Learning
May 17, 2015 • 28 min
Kent Emery joins Peter to discuss the effects of monastic and university culture on medieval philosophy.
223 - Straw Men - The Rise of the Universities
May 10, 2015 • 22 min
The emergence of universities in Paris, Oxford, Bologna and elsewhere provide the main setting for medieval philosophy in the 13th century and beyond.
222 - Rediscovery Channel - Translations into Latin
May 3, 2015 • 23 min
Greek and Arabic sources are rendered into Latin in a translation movement that will revolutionize medieval philosophy.
221 - Leading Light - Hildegard of Bingen
Apr 26, 2015 • 22 min
The life, visions, political intrigues and scientific interests of Hildegard of Bingen.
220 - Caroline Humfress on the Roots of Medieval Law
Apr 19, 2015 • 34 min
A discussion about Roman law and its reception in the medieval period, with ancient law expert Caroline Humfress.
219 - Law and Order - Gratian and Peter Lombard
Apr 12, 2015 • 22 min
Gratian and Peter Lombard help bring scholasticism to maturity by systematizing law and theology.
218 - Two Swords - Early Medieval Political Philosophy
Apr 5, 2015 • 22 min
The “Investiture Contest” between church and state and the first major work of medieval political philosophy, John of Salisbury’s Policraticus.
217 - Andrew Arlig on Parts and Wholes
Mar 28, 2015 • 29 min
Andrew Arlig joins Peter to discuss medieval discussions of mereology (the study of parts and wholes).
216 - One of a Kind - Gilbert of Poitiers on Individuation
Mar 22, 2015 • 22 min
Gilbert of Poitiers proposes a unique way to explain how each individual is the individual it is.
215 - The Medieval Podcasters
Mar 15, 2015 • 61 min
In this special episode, Peter chats with the hosts of the History of the Crusades, History of Byzantium, and British History podcasts.
214 - The Good Book - Philosophy of Nature
Mar 8, 2015 • 19 min
As early medieval science blossoms, Bernard Silvestris and Alan of Lille personify Nature in their philosophical prose-poems.
213 - On the Shoulders of Giants - Philosophy at Chartres
Feb 27, 2015 • 22 min
The controversial role of Chartres in the philosophical Renaissance of the twelfth century.
212 - Like Father, Like Son - Debating the Trinity
Feb 22, 2015 • 22 min
Discussion, debate and denunciation of philosophical attempts to explain the Trinity in Abelard, Richard of St Victor and Bernard of Clairvaux.
211 - Learn Everything - the Victorines
Feb 15, 2015 • 23 min
Hugh of Saint Victor and other scholars of the same abbey combine secular learning with spirituality.
210 - John Marenbon on Peter Abelard
Feb 8, 2015 • 27 min
John Marenbon returns to the podcast to discuss Abelard’s views on necessity and freedom..
209 - It’s the Thought that Counts - Abelard’s Ethics
Feb 1, 2015 • 21 min
Peter Abelard sets out an innovative ethical theory that identifies intentions as the core of moral life.
208 - Get Thee to a Nunnery - Heloise and Abelard
Jan 25, 2015 • 19 min
Peter Abelard and Heloise prove themselves to be fascinating thinkers as well as star-crossed lovers.
207 - All or Nothing - The Problem of Universals
Jan 18, 2015 • 23 min
Abelard and other logicians of the 12th century argue over the status of universals: are they words or things?
206 - Eileen Sweeney on Anselm
Jan 11, 2015 • 24 min
Anselm expert Eileen Sweeney discusses his approach to philosophy and the devotional aspect of his works.
205 - Somebody’s Perfect - Anselm’s Ontological Argument
Jan 4, 2015 • 19 min
The most famous argument in medieval philosophy is Anselm’s proof of God’s existence. But how is it supposed to work?
204 - A Canterbury Tale - Anselm’s Life and Works
Dec 28, 2014 • 19 min
Anselm offers more than his famous ontological argument, including a subtle account of human freedom.
203 - Virgin Territory - Peter Damian on Changing the Past
Dec 21, 2014 • 20 min
Peter Damian takes up a question with surprising philosophical implications: can God restore virginity to a woman who has lost it?
202 - Philosophers Anonymous - the Roots of Scholasticism
Dec 13, 2014 • 22 min
Little-known authors prepare the way for scholasticism with glosses on logic, metaphysical debate, and a poem about a cat.
201 - Stephen Gersh on Medieval Platonism
Dec 5, 2014 • 30 min
Stephen Gersh (who was Peter’s doctoral advisor!) joins him to discuss the sources and influence of Platonism in the Middle Ages.
200 - Jill Kraye and John Marenbon on Medieval Philosophy
Nov 29, 2014 • 38 min
We celebrate reaching episode 200 with a special double interview on the problem of defining medieval philosophy.
199 - Much Ado About Nothing - Eriugena’s Periphyseon
Nov 22, 2014 • 22 min
Eriugena delves into the Greek tradition to produce his masterpiece of metaphysics and theology, the Periphyseon.
198 - Grace Notes - Eriugena and the Predestination Controversy
Nov 16, 2014 • 22 min
John Scotus Eriugena debates free will with his rival Gottschalk, arguing that God predestines the saved but not the damned.
197 - Charles in Charge - The Carolingian Renaissance
Nov 9, 2014 • 20 min
Alcuin leads a resurgence of interest in philosophy and the liberal arts at the court of Charlemagne.
196 - Arts of Darkness - Introduction to Medieval Philosophy
Nov 3, 2014 • 20 min
Peter launches the series of podcasts on philosophy in medieval Latin Christendom with a look ahead at what’s to come.
195 - Anke von Kügelgen on Contemporary Islamic Thought
Oct 26, 2014 • 44 min
Anke von Kügelgen joins Peter to discuss developments over the last century or so, including attitudes towards past thinkers like Avicenna, Averroes and Ibn Taymiyya.
194 - Iran So Far - After Ṣadrā
Oct 19, 2014 • 22 min
From Sabzawārī in the 19th century to Seyyed Hossein Nasr today, Iranian thinkers promote and respond to the thought of Mullā Ṣadrā.
193 - All for One and One for All - Muḥammad ‘Abdūh and Muḥammad Iqbāl
Oct 12, 2014 • 23 min
Muḥammad ‘Abdūh and Muḥammad Iqbāl challenge colonialism and the traditional religious scholars of Islam.
192 - The Stronger Sex - Women Scholars and Islam
Oct 6, 2014 • 22 min
Fatema Mernissi and others challenge the long-standing (but not complete) exclusion of women from the intellectual traditions of Islam.
191 - The Young Ones: Encounters with European Thought
Oct 3, 2014 • 24 min
18th and 19th century intellectuals in India and the Ottoman empire, from Shāh Walī Allāh to the Young Turks, continue Islamic traditions and grapple with European science.
190 - Turkish Delights - Philosophy under the Ottomans
Aug 24, 2014 • 22 min
Kātib Çelebi defends cigarettes and coffee, in just one of several philosophical and religious debates in the Ottoman empire.
189 - Subcontinental Drift - Philosophy in Islamic India
Aug 17, 2014 • 23 min
Ideas spread to Mughal India from Iran, and prince Dārā Shikūh seeks to unite the wisdom of the Upanishads with the Koran.
188 - Sajjad Rizvi on Mulla Sadra
Aug 10, 2014 • 30 min
Sajjad Rizvi talks to Peter about Mullā Ṣadrā’s views on eternity, God’s knowledge and the afterlife.
187 - Return to Sender - Mulla Sadra on Motion and Knowledge
Aug 3, 2014 • 21 min
Mullā Ṣadrā proposes that all things are like sharks: in constant motion.
186 - To Be, Continued - Mulla Sadra on Existence
Jul 27, 2014 • 22 min
Mullā Ṣadrā, greatest thinker of early modern Iran, unveils his radical new understanding of existence.
185 - Follow the Leader - Philosophy under the Safavids
Jul 20, 2014 • 24 min
Philosophy in Safavid Iran, and a look back at earlier philosophy among Shiites.
184 - Robert Wisnovsky on Commentary Culture
Jul 13, 2014 • 30 min
Robert Wisnovsky joins Peter to discuss the enormous body of unstudied philosophical commentaries in the later Eastern Islamic world.
183 - Family Feud - Philosophy at Shiraz
Jul 6, 2014 • 22 min
The roots of the Safavid philosophical tradition in some rather ill-tempered debates at Shīrāz.
182 - Aftermath - Philosophy and Science in the Mongol Age
Jun 29, 2014 • 21 min
Philosophy and science survive and even thrive through the coming of the Mongols.
181 - By the Book - Ibn Taymiyya
Jun 22, 2014 • 21 min
The controversial jurist Ibn Taymiyya sets forth an originalist theory of law and a searching criticism of the philosophers’ logic.
180 - Proof Positive - The Logical Tradition
Jun 16, 2014 • 22 min
Later Islamic logicians try to solve the Liar Paradox and take on the advances of Avicenna’s logic.
179 - Mohammed Rustom on Philosophical Sufism
Jun 8, 2014 • 37 min
Peter is joined by Mohammed Rustom in a discussion about Sufi authors including Ibn ‘Arabī and Rūmī
178 - Eyes Wide Shut - Rumi and Philosophical Sufism
Jun 1, 2014 • 22 min
The Persian poet Rūmī and mystical philosopher al-Qūnawī carry on the legacy of Sufism.
177 - To Be or Not to Be - Debating Avicenna’s Metaphysics
May 24, 2014 • 21 min
Avicenna’s distinction between essence and existence triggers a running debate among philosophers and theologians.
176 - A Man for all Seasons - al-Tusi
May 18, 2014 • 23 min
Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī’s controversial career sees him adopt and then abandon Ismāʿīlism, team up with the Mongols, and offer a staunch defense of Avicenna.
175 - Bright Ideas - Illuminationism
May 11, 2014 • 22 min
The Illuminationists carry on Suhrawardī’s critique of “Peripatetic” philosophy and wonder if they will be reborn as giraffes.
174 - Leading Light - Suhrawardi
May 4, 2014 • 23 min
Suhrawardī, founder of the Illuminationist (ishrāqī) tradition, proposes a metaphysics of light on the basis of his theory of knowledge by presence
173 - For the Sake of Argument - Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
Apr 27, 2014 • 22 min
The hugely influential Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī weaves Avicenna and Islamic theology into complex dialectical treatments of time, God, the soul, and ethics.
172 - All Things Considered - Abu l-Barakat al-Baghdadi
Apr 19, 2014 • 21 min
Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī makes up his own mind about physics and the soul, and along the way inaugurates a new style of doing philosophy.
171 - Golden Ages - The Later Eastern Traditions
Apr 13, 2014 • 23 min
An introduction to later developments in philosophical theology, sufism, and Illuminationism, focusing on the reception and critique of Avicenna.
170 - Gad Freudenthal on Jewish Philosophy and Science
Apr 6, 2014 • 33 min
Leading scholar of medieval Jewish thought Gad Freudenthal joins Peter in a concluding episode on Andalusian thought.
169 - A Matter of Principles - Albo and Abravanel
Mar 30, 2014 • 22 min
Joseph Albo and Isaac Abravanel critique Maimonides’ attempt to lay down foundations for the Jewish law.
168 - Chariot of Fire - Kabbalah
Mar 23, 2014 • 24 min
The rich symbolism of the Zohar and the spiritual practices of Abraham Abluafia feature in the mystical movement known as Kabbalah.
167 - When Bad Things Happen to Good People - Suffering in Jewish Philosophy
Mar 16, 2014 • 22 min
The Book of Job provokes Saadia, Maimonides, Ibn Tibbon and Gersonides to reflect on why God allows suffering.
166 - Tamar Rudavsky on Gersonides and Crescas
Mar 8, 2014 • 29 min
Tamar Rudavsky joins Peter to talk about the two great medieval Jewish thinkers after Maimonides: Gersonides and Crescas.
165 - Neither the Time Nor the Place - Hasdai Crescas
Mar 2, 2014 • 24 min
Ḥasdai Crescas shows Aristotelian physics who’s boss, by defending alternative conceptions of time, place and infinity.
164 - Man and Superman - Gersonides and the Jewish Reaction to Averroes
Feb 23, 2014 • 21 min
The super-commentator Gersonides and other Jews digest the ideas of Averroes.
163 - Burnt Offerings - The Maimonides Controversy
Feb 16, 2014 • 22 min
Maimonides’ works provoke a bitter dispute among Jews in France and Spain over the relation of philosophy to Judaism.
162 - Sarah Stroumsa on Maimonides
Feb 8, 2014 • 26 min
Maimonides as a “Mediterranean thinker”: Peter is joined by Sarah Stroumsa.
161 - He Moves in Mysterious Ways - Maimonides on Eternity
Feb 2, 2014 • 20 min
Maimonides tries to settle the eternity of the world debate by declaring a draw.
160 - The Great Eagle - Maimonides
Jan 26, 2014 • 20 min
The great Jewish philosopher and legal scholar Maimonides, and the ideas in his Mishneh Torah and Guide for the Perplexed.
159 - With All Your Heart - Ethics and Judaism
Jan 19, 2014 • 20 min
Baḥya Ibn Paquda and Maimonides explore the ethical dimension of the Jewish scriptures and legal tradition.
158 - Born Under a Bad Sign - Freedom and Astrology in Jewish Philosophy
Jan 12, 2014 • 22 min
Abraham Ibn Ezra, Ibn Daud and Maimonides consider the philosophical implications of astrology as science flourishes in the Jewish culture of Andalusia.
157 - Choosing My Religion - Judah Hallevi
Jan 5, 2014 • 23 min
Judah Hallevi argues that Judaism has a better claim to belief than philosophy, Christianity, or Islam.
156 - Sarah Pessin on Jewish Neoplatonism
Dec 29, 2013 • 30 min
Peter chats with Sarah Pessin about the Neoplatonism of Jewish philosophers such as Isaac Israeli, Ibn Gabirol, and Maimonides.
155 - Matter over Mind - Ibn Gabirol
Dec 22, 2013 • 23 min
Neoplatonism returns in Ibn Gabriol, who controversially holds that everything apart from God has both matter and form.
154 - The Philosophy of History - Ibn Khaldun
Dec 15, 2013 • 24 min
The historian Ibn Khaldūn applies the methods of philosophy to understand the rise and fall of political regimes.
153 - A Matter of Taste – Ibn Arabi and Mysticism
Dec 8, 2013 • 25 min
Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, collides with philosophy in the work of Ibn ʿArabī.
152 - Richard Taylor on Averroes
Dec 1, 2013 • 29 min
Averroes scholar Richard C. Taylor joins Peter to talk about Averroes’ views on the relation between Islam and philosophy.
151 - Single Minded - Averroes on the Intellect
Nov 24, 2013 • 23 min
Averroes defends the rather surprising notion that all of mankind shares a single intellect.
150 - Charles Burnett and Dag N Hasse on Arabic Latin Translations
Nov 17, 2013 • 39 min
A special 150th double interview episode on the transmission of philosophy from Arabic into Latin.
149 - Back to Basics - Averroes on Reason and Religion
Nov 9, 2013 • 24 min
An introduction to “the Commentator” Averroes, and his defense of philosophy in the Decisive Treatise.
148 - Fantasy Island - Ibn Bajja and Ibn Tufayl
Nov 3, 2013 • 23 min
Intellect and alienation in Ibn Bājja and Ibn Ṭufayl, author of the philosophical desert island castaway tale “Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān.”
147 - Laying Down the Law – Ibn Hazm and Islamic Legal Theory
Oct 27, 2013 • 26 min
The development of Islamic law and jurisprudence (fiqh), and the many-sided output of the legal theorist Ibn Ḥazm.
146 - Philosophy’s Reign in Spain - Andalusia
Oct 20, 2013 • 22 min
The flowering of philosophy among Muslims and Jews in al-Andalus (Muslim-controlled Spain and Portugal).
145 - Frank Griffel on al-Ghazali
Oct 13, 2013 • 23 min
Why did al-Ghazālī judge “the philosophers” to be apostates? Peter finds out from Frank Griffel.
144 - Miracle Worker - al-Ghazali against the Philosophers
Oct 6, 2013 • 22 min
In his “Incoherence of the Philosophers,” al-Ghazālī attacks Avicenna’s theories about the eternity of the universe and insists on the possibility of miracles.
143 - Special Delivery - al-Ghazali
Sep 29, 2013 • 22 min
Al-Ghazālī’s search for truth leads him to philosophy, Asharite theology, and ultimately the mystical tradition of Sufism.
142 - Dimitri Gutas on Avicenna
Sep 22, 2013 • 29 min
Peter talks to Dimitri Gutas about Avicenna’s sources, philosophical methods, and influence.
141 - Into Thin Air - Avicenna on the Soul
Sep 15, 2013 • 21 min
With his Flying Man argument, Avicenna explores self-awareness and the relation between soul and body.
140 - By All Means Necessary - Avicenna on God
Aug 4, 2013 • 23 min
Avicenna’s proof of the Necessary Existent is ingenious and influential; but does it amount to a proof of God’s existence?
139 - By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Avicenna on Existence
Jul 28, 2013 • 20 min
Avicenna revolutionizes metaphysics with groundbreaking ideas about necessity and contingency, and his new distinction between essence and existence.
138 - The Self-Made Man - Avicenna’s Life and Works
Jul 21, 2013 • 22 min
Despite a tumultuous life, Avicenna manages to become the most influential of all medieval philosophers.
137 - God Willing – the Asharites
Jul 14, 2013 • 23 min
Al-Ash‘arī puts his stamp on the future of Islamic theology by emphasizing God’s untrammeled power and freedom.
136 - Farhad Daftary on the Ismailis
Jul 7, 2013 • 26 min
Peter is joined by Farhad Daftary, a leading expert on the Shiite group known as the Ismā’īlīs.
135 - Undercover Brothers – Philosophy in the Buyid Age
Jun 30, 2013 • 26 min
Miskawayh, al-‘Amiri, al-Tawhidi, the Brethren of Purity and Ismaili missionaries bring together philosophy with Persian culture, literature and Islam.
134 - Balancing Acts - Arabic Ethical Literature
Jun 23, 2013 • 22 min
Drawing on Galen and Aristotle, philosophers from al-Kindi to Miskawayh compose ethical works designed us to achieve health in soul, as well as body.
133 - Strings Attached - Music and Philosophy
Jun 16, 2013 • 28 min
Peter turns DJ, with some actual music interspersed with discussion about theories of music in Arabic philosophical texts.
132 - Eye of the Beholder - Theories of Vision
Jun 9, 2013 • 22 min
Ibn al-Haytham draws on the tradition of geometrical optics to explain the mystery of human eyesight.
131 - Deborah Black on al-Farabi’s Epistemology
Jun 1, 2013 • 30 min
Deborah Black joins Peter to talk about al-Farabi’s innovations concerning knowledge and certainty.
130 - State of Mind - al-Farabi on Religion and Politics
May 26, 2013 • 21 min
Al-Fārābī combines Islam and Greek sources to present the ideal ruler as a philosopher who is also a prophet.
129 - The Second Master - al-Farabi
May 19, 2013 • 24 min
Peter begins to look at the systematic rethinking of Hellenic philosophy offered by al-Farabi, focusing on his logic and metaphysics.
128 - Aristotelian Society - the Baghdad School
May 12, 2013 • 24 min
A group of mostly Christian philosophers transpose the practices of antique Aristotelian philosophy to 10th century Baghdad.
127 - Peter E Pormann on Medicine in the Islamic World
May 5, 2013 • 26 min
A double dose of Peters, as Pormann joins Adamson to discuss medicine and philosophy in the Islamic world.
126 - High Five - al-Razi
Apr 28, 2013 • 24 min
The doctor and philosopher Abu Bakr al-Razi sets out a daring philosophical theory involving five eternal principles: God, soul, matter, time and place.
125 - Reasoned Belief - Saadia Gaon
Apr 21, 2013 • 22 min
Saadia Gaon draws on Greek philosophy and Islamic theology to provide a rational account of Jewish belief.
124 - The Chosen Ones - Judaism and Philosophy
Apr 14, 2013 • 23 min
The roots of Jewish philosophy in the Islamic world, focusing on the Rabbinic background in the Mishnah and Talmud, and the thought of early figures like Isaac Israeli.
123 - Philosopher of the Arabs - al-Kindi
Apr 7, 2013 • 22 min
Al-Kindī uses Hellenic materials to discuss the eternity of the world, divine attributes, and the nature of the soul.
122 - Founded in Translation - From Greek to Syriac and Arabic
Mar 30, 2013 • 22 min
Greek philosophy and science make their way into the Islamic world via Syriac and Arabic translations and interpretations.
121 - This is a Test - the Mutazilites
Mar 24, 2013 • 26 min
A first look at the philosophical contributions of Islamic theology (kalām) and its political context, focusing on the Muʿtazilites Abū l-Hudhayl and al-Naẓẓām.
120 - The Straight Path - Philosophy in the Islamic World
Mar 16, 2013 • 22 min
The rise of Islam creates a new context for philosophy not only among Muslims, but also Jews and Christians. .
119 - John Marenbon on Boethius
Mar 10, 2013 • 25 min
John Marenbon joins Peter to discuss Boethius’ solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge.
118 - Fate, Hope and Clarity - Boethius
Mar 3, 2013 • 21 min
Boethius ushers in the medieval age with expert works on Aristotle, subtle treatises on theology, and the Consolation of Philosophy, written while he awaited execution.
117 - Born Again - Latin Platonism
Feb 24, 2013 • 23 min
Apuleius, Victorinus, Martianus Cappella, Macrobius and Calcidius present and interpret Platonic teachings for readers of Latin.
116 - Charles Brittain on Augustine’s On the Trinity
Feb 17, 2013 • 26 min
In a final episode on Augustine, Charles Brittain joins Peter to discuss On the Trinity.
115 - Me, Myself and I - Augustine on Mind and Memory
Feb 9, 2013 • 21 min
In On the Trinity Augustine explores the human mind as an image of God.
114 - Sarah Byers on Augustine’s Ethics
Feb 3, 2013 • 29 min
Peter speaks with Sarah Byers about the Stoic influence on Augustine’s ethics and theory of action.
113 - Heaven and Earth - Augustine’s City of God
Jan 26, 2013 • 23 min
In his City of God Augustine traces the histories and philosophical underpinnings of two “cities,” one devoted to worldly glory, the other to heavenly bliss.
112 - Help Wanted - Augustine on Freedom
Jan 20, 2013 • 22 min
Augustine defends free will, but rejects the Pelagian claim that we can be good without God’s help.
111 - Papa Don’t Teach - Augustine on Language
Jan 13, 2013 • 22 min
Augustine argues that words are signs, but not signs that can bring us to knowledge.
110 - Life and Time - Augustine’s Confessions
Jan 6, 2013 • 21 min
In the Confessions Augustine weaves autobiography with reflections on the nature of God, man, and time.
109 - Spreading the Word - the Latin Church Fathers
Dec 30, 2012 • 23 min
Tertullian, Lactantius, Jerome and Ambrose use and abuse Hellenic philosophy.
108 - George Boys-Stones on the Greek Church Fathers
Dec 23, 2012 • 25 min
George Boys-Stones joins Peter to discuss philosophy in the Bible and the Greek Fathers.
107 - Practice Makes Perfect - Christian Asceticism
Dec 16, 2012 • 24 min
Christian ascetics like Antony, Macrina and Evagrius create a new ethical ideal by pushing the human capacity for self-control to its limits.
106 - Double or Nothing - Maximus the Confessor
Dec 9, 2012 • 22 min
The early Byzantine thinker Maximus uses Aristotle to defend the orthodox view of Christ’s two natures
105 - Naming the Nameless - the Pseudo-Dionysius
Dec 2, 2012 • 22 min
A mysterious author calling himself Dionysius fuses Neoplatonism with Christianity
104 - Let’s Talk Turkey - the Cappadocians
Nov 25, 2012 • 22 min
Basil of Caesarea, his brother Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus use philosophy to help the poor and to defeat their theological opponents
103 - Fall and Rise - Origen
Nov 17, 2012 • 24 min
Origen of Alexandria weaves Platonic ideas into new and controversial theological ideas
102 - Please Accept Our Apologies - the Greek Church Fathers
Nov 11, 2012 • 24 min
Irenaeus, Clement and Justin Martyr consider the relevance of philosophy for Christianity
101 - Father Figures - Introduction to Ancient Christian Philosophy
Nov 4, 2012 • 23 min
An overview of what the Church Fathers contributed to ancient philosophy
100 - Michael Trapp and Caroline Humfress on Ancient Culture and Philosophy
Oct 28, 2012 • 38 min
A special double interview celebrates reaching 100 episodes by looking at the cultural status of philosophy in the ancient world
099 - Richard Sorabji on the Commentators
Oct 21, 2012 • 27 min
Richard Sorabji joins Peter to discuss the ancient commentators on Aristotle
098 - For a Limited Time Only - John Philoponus
Oct 14, 2012 • 23 min
John Philoponus refutes Aristotle’s and Proclus’ arguments for the eternity of the universe, and develops new ideas in physics.
097 - A Tale of Two Cities - The Last Pagan Philosophers
Oct 6, 2012 • 25 min
Julian the Apostate and the philosophers of Athens and Alexandria try to keep pagan philosophy alive in the late Roman empire
096 - Dominic O’Meara on Neoplatonism
Sep 30, 2012 • 28 min
Dominic O’Meara speaks with Peter about political philosophy and mathematics in Neoplatonism
095 - Anne Sheppard on Ancient Aesthetics
Sep 23, 2012 • 24 min
Anne Sheppard joins Peter to discuss aesthetics from Plato to Proclus
094 - The Platonic Successor - Proclus
Sep 16, 2012 • 23 min
Proclus displays late Neoplatonism in all its glory
093 - Pythagorean Theorems - Iamblichus
Sep 8, 2012 • 23 min
Iamblichus fuses Platonism with pagan religious conviction and sets the agenda for Neoplatonism in generations to come.
092 - King of Animals - Porphyry
Sep 2, 2012 • 21 min
Porphyry defends vegetarianism and the harmony of Plato and Aristotle
091 - James Wilberding on Nature and Neoplatonism
Aug 26, 2012 • 24 min
James Wilberding joins Peter to examine what Plotinus and Porphyry contributed to the philosophy of nature
090 - A Decorated Corpse – Plotinus on Matter and Evil
Jul 22, 2012 • 23 min
Plotinus struggles to explain the presence of suffering, evil and ugliness in a world caused by purely good principles – and tells us what role we should play in that world.
089 - On the Horizon - Plotinus on the Soul
Jul 15, 2012 • 23 min
For Plotinus, Soul is on the border between the physical and intelligible realms. Can he convince us to identify ourselves with its highest part?
088 - Simplicity Itself - Plotinus on the One and Intellect
Jul 8, 2012 • 22 min
Plotinus posits an absolutely transcendent first principle, the One. What is it (or isn’t it), and how does it relate to Intellect?
087 - A God is My Co-Pilot - the Life and Works of Plotinus
Jul 1, 2012 • 21 min
Peter introduces Plotinus, the greatest philosopher of late antiquity and the founder of Neoplatonism
086 - Serafina Cuomo on Ancient Mathematics
Jun 24, 2012 • 27 min
How did the mathematics of figures like Euclid and Archimides relate to ancient philosophy? Peter finds out in an interview with Serafina Cuomo
085 - Sky Writing - Astronomy, Astrology, and Philosophy
Jun 17, 2012 • 22 min
Ptolemy uses philosophy in the service of studying the stars, while philosophers of all persuasions evaluate the widespread practice of astrology.
084 - Silver Tongues in Golden Mouths - Rhetoric and Ancient Philosophy
Jun 9, 2012 • 24 min
Themistius, Quintilian, Lucian and other authors tell us about the connections between rhetoric and late ancient philosophy
083 - Not Written in Stone – Alexander of Aphrodisias
Jun 2, 2012 • 22 min
Alexander of Aphrodisias writes the greatest ancient commentaries on Aristotle and tries to demolish the Stoic teaching on fate
082 - Lost and Found – Aristotelianism after Aristotle
May 27, 2012 • 23 min
Peter looks at the history of Aristotelianism up the time of the Roman Empire and the beginning of commentaries on his works
081 - Jan Opsomer on Middle Platonism
May 20, 2012 • 24 min
Jan Opsomer helps Peter to understand principles, Plato interpretation, and Plutarch in a wide-ranging discussion of Middle Platonism
080 - Delphic Utterances - Plutarch
May 13, 2012 • 22 min
Plutarch was a historian, a priest of Apollo, and a Platonist
079 - To the Lighthouse - Philo of Alexandria
May 6, 2012 • 22 min
Philo of Alexandria uses Platonism to understand the Bible of Moses
078 - Middle Men - the Platonic Revival
Apr 29, 2012 • 23 min
Pioneering thinkers Eudorus, Alcinous, and Numenius fuse Pythagoreanism with Platonism and pave the way for Plotinus.
077 - Caesarian Section – Philosophy in the Roman Empire
Apr 22, 2012 • 25 min
In late antiquity, Aristotelianism and Platonism made a comeback, and pagan philosophy developed alongside Judaism and Christianity.
076 - R.J. Hankinson on Galen
Apr 15, 2012 • 28 min
Jim Hankinson tells Peter about the life, work and philosophical contributions of Galen
075 - The Joy of Sects - Ancient Medicine and Philosophy
Apr 8, 2012 • 24 min
Hellenistic doctors discover the nerves and argue about method; Galen passes judgment
074 - Tony Long on the Self in Hellenistic Philosophy
Apr 1, 2012 • 28 min
Leading Hellenistic philosophy scholar Tony Long talks to Peter about the self, ethics and politics in the Stoics, Epicureans and Skeptics
073 - Healthy Skepticism - Sextus Empiricus
Mar 25, 2012 • 22 min
Sextus Empiricus pushes skepticism to its limits with his uncompromising Pyrrhonism
072 - Raphael Woolf on Cicero
Mar 18, 2012 • 28 min
Peter discusses Cicero’s method and philosophical allegiances with Raphael Woolf
071 - Rhetorical Questions - Cicero
Mar 11, 2012 • 23 min
Cicero, inspired by the skepticism of the New Academy, uses his literary talents to present the wisdom of the Greeks
070 - The Know-Nothing Party - the Skeptical Academy
Mar 4, 2012 • 23 min
The Skeptical Academy attacks Stoic claims that certain knowledge is possible
069 - Beyond Belief - Pyrrho and Skepticism
Feb 26, 2012 • 22 min
Peter begins to examine ancient Skepticism, beginning with Pyrrho’s life and doctrines, or lack thereof
068 - John Sellars on the Roman Stoics
Feb 19, 2012 • 27 min
John Sellars joins Peter to discuss the Roman Stoics and their “art of living”
067 - The Philosopher King - Marcus Aurelius
Feb 12, 2012 • 23 min
Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations are a classic of Stoicism written by the most powerful philosopher who ever lived
066 - You Can Chain My Leg - Epictetus
Feb 5, 2012 • 22 min
Epictetus, greatest of the Roman Stoics, tells you how to set yourself free
065 - Anger Management - Seneca
Jan 29, 2012 • 22 min
Seneca wields his rhetorically charged Latin to advance Stoic ethical theory
064 - David Sedley on Stoicism
Jan 22, 2012 • 27 min
David Sedley discusses the Stoic school and its evolution
063 - Like a Rolling Stone - Stoic Ethics
Jan 15, 2012 • 22 min
The Stoic ethical theory insists that perfection is possible, and that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism
062 - We Didn’t Start the Fire - the Stoics on Nature
Jan 8, 2012 • 21 min
The Stoic cosmos: suffused with divinity, surrounded by void, and endlessly repeating
061 - Nobody’s Perfect - the Stoics on Knowledge
Jan 1, 2012 • 21 min
The Stoics set out and defend an ambitious theory of knowledge, where it is possible to avoid all error
060 - Walking on Eggshells - the Stoics on Logic
Dec 25, 2011 • 23 min
Introducing the early Stoics, Zeno, Cleanthes and Chrysippus, and their innovations in logic
059 - James Warren on Epicureanism
Dec 18, 2011 • 28 min
James Warren chats with Peter about the pleasures of Epicureanism
058 - Reaping the Harvest - Lucretius
Dec 11, 2011 • 22 min
In “On the Nature of Things” Lucretius sets Epicureanism into Latin poetic verse
057 - Nothing to Fear - Epicureans on Death and the Gods
Dec 4, 2011 • 22 min
The Epicureans reassure us against the terrors of death and punishment by the gods
056 - Am I Bothered? - Epicurean Ethics
Nov 27, 2011 • 22 min
Pleasure is the good, according to Epicurus. But how do we live most pleasantly?
055 - The Constant Gardener - Epicurus and his Principles
Nov 20, 2011 • 22 min
Epicurus sets out an empiricist theory of knowledge and atomist physics, in support of hedonism
054 - Instant Gratification - the Cyrenaics
Nov 13, 2011 • 21 min
The Cyrenaics, the ultimate pleasure seekers of ancient philosophy
Filling the Gaps - a Brief History of Nothing
Nov 9, 2011 • 55 min
A recording of Peter’s lecture delivered on Oct 25, 2011, at the Arts and Humanities festival on “The Power of Stories” at King’s College London.
053 - Beware of the Philosopher - the Cynics
Nov 6, 2011 • 22 min
Diogenes and the other Cynics “deface the currency” by exposing the hypocrisy of Greek society.
052 - Fighting Over Socrates - the Hellenistic Schools
Oct 30, 2011 • 22 min
Introducing the Stoics, Skeptics, Epicureans and Cynics, the schools of the Hellenistic age
051 - The Next Generation - the Followers of Plato and Aristotle
Oct 23, 2011 • 22 min
The Old Academy and Theophrastus carry on the legacy of Plato and Aristotle
050 - MM McCabe and Raphael Woolf on Aristotle on Plato
Oct 16, 2011 • 36 min
Peter’s colleagues MM McCabe and Raphael Woolf join him for a special 50th episode interview, to discuss Aristotle’s reactions to his teacher Plato
049 - Stage Directions - Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Poetics
Oct 9, 2011 • 20 min
In the Rhetoric and Poetics, Aristotle explores persuasive speech and engages with ancient tragedy
048 - Constitutional Conventions - Aristotle’s Political Philosophy
Oct 2, 2011 • 21 min
Aristotle’s Politics responds to Plato’s Republic and sets out its own ideas about the ideal state, the types of political constitution, and the role of women and slaves
047 God Only Knows: Aristotle on Mind and God
Sep 25, 2011 • 21 min
Drawing on the De Anima, On the Heavens, Physics and Metaphysics, Peter tackles Aristotle’s theory of mind and its relation to his theology.
046 - Dominic Scott on Aristotle’s Ethics
Sep 18, 2011 • 28 min
Dominic Scott discusses Aristotle’s method in his Nicomachean Ethics
045 - The Second Self - Aristotle On Pleasure And Friendship
Sep 11, 2011 • 20 min
What place does Aristotle leave for pleasure and friendship in his vision of the good life?
044 - The Goldilocks Theory - Aristotle’s Ethics
Sep 3, 2011 • 20 min
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics on happiness and virtue
043 - Classified Information - Aristotle’s Biology
Jul 24, 2011 • 22 min
In his zoology, Aristotle divides and defines all kinds of animals, and so invents the science of biology
042 - Soul Power - Aristotle’s De Anima
Jul 17, 2011 • 21 min
Aristotle’s theory of soul: its functions and how it relates to the body
041 - Richard Sorabji on Time and Eternity in Aristotle
Jul 10, 2011 • 26 min
Richard Sorabji discusses time, eternity and mosquitos in Aristotle’s Physics
040 - Let’s Get Physical - Aristotle’s Natural Philosophy
Jul 3, 2011 • 22 min
Aristotle’s Physics explains change, time and place with the help of his actuality/potentiality distinction
039 - Form and Function - Aristotle’s Four Causes
Jun 26, 2011 • 20 min
The four types of explanation: formal, material, efficient and final cause
038 - Down To Earth - Aristotle on Substance
Jun 19, 2011 • 20 min
Aristotle’s critique of Platonic Forms and defense of his own metaphysics
037 - Hugh Benson on Aristotelian Method
Jun 12, 2011 • 26 min
Hugh Benson discusses Aristotle’s ideas about arriving at knowledge
036 - A Principled Stand - Aristotle’s Epistemology
Jun 7, 2011 • 20 min
Knowledge according to Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics
035 - The Philosopher’s Toolkit - Aristotle’s Logical Works
May 30, 2011 • 20 min
Aristotle’s invention of logic in the Organon (especially Categories, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics)
034 - Mr. Know It All - Aristotle’s Life And Works
May 23, 2011 • 20 min
Aristotle’s career, corpus and unparalleled influence
033 - Last Judgments - Plato, Poetry and Myth
May 16, 2011 • 21 min
Plato’s attack on the poets and his own use of myth in the Republic and other dialogues
032 - Frisbee Sheffield on Platonic Love
May 9, 2011 • 25 min
Frisbee Sheffield discusses Plato’s erotic dialogues, including the Symposium
031 - Wings of Desire - Plato’s Erotic Dialogues
May 2, 2011 • 21 min
Love, friendship and philosophy in the Symposium, Phaedrus and Lysis
030 - A Likely Story - Plato’s Timaeus
Apr 25, 2011 • 20 min
A divine craftsman makes the cosmos from triangles in Plato’s Timaeus
029 - What’s in a Name? - Plato’s Cratylus
Apr 18, 2011 • 19 min
Philosophy of language and Heraclitean flux in Plato’s Cratylus
028 - Fiona Leigh on Plato’s Sophist
Apr 11, 2011 • 25 min
Fiona Leigh discusses Plato’s revised theory of Forms in the Sophist
027 - Second Thoughts - Plato’s Parmenides and the Forms
Apr 4, 2011 • 19 min
The Third Man Argument and other criticisms of Forms in the Parmenides
026 - Ain’t No Sunshine - The Cave Allegory of Plato’s Republic
Mar 28, 2011 • 19 min
The Divided Line, Form of the Good, and Cave in Plato’s Republic
025 - Soul and The City - Plato’s Political Philosophy
Mar 20, 2011 • 20 min
Plato’s Republic defends and defines justice at the level of the ideal city and the person
024 - Famous Last Words - Plato’s Phaedo
Mar 14, 2011 • 19 min
Forms and the immortality of the soul in the Phaedo
023 - MM McCabe on Knowledge in Plato
Mar 7, 2011 • 23 min
MM McCabe discusses epistemology and virtue in Plato
022 - I Know Because The Caged Bird Sings - Plato’s Theaetetus
Feb 28, 2011 • 18 min
Knowledge, relativism, and memory in the Theaetetus
021 - We Don’t Need No Education - Plato’s Meno
Feb 21, 2011 • 17 min
The Meno and Plato’s theory of recollection
020 - Virtue Meets Its Match - Plato’s Gorgias
Feb 14, 2011 • 18 min
Ethics against immoralism in a Socratic masterpiece.
019 - Know Thyself - Two Unloved Platonic Dialogues
Feb 7, 2011 • 18 min
Virtue and knowledge in Plato’s Charmides and Euthydemus
018 - In Dialogue - The Life And Writings Of Plato
Jan 31, 2011 • 19 min
The life, times and dialogues of Plato
017 - Raphael Woolf on Socrates
Jan 24, 2011 • 26 min
Raphael Woolf discusses Socrates as presented by Plato
016 - Method Man - Plato’s Socrates
Jan 17, 2011 • 17 min
Socratic virtue, ignorance and irony in the Platonic dialogues Socrates’ claim that no one does wrong willingly
015 - Socrates without Plato - the Portrayals of Aristophanes and Xenophon
Jan 10, 2011 • 20 min
Socrates according to the comic poet Aristophanes and the historian Xenophon
014 - Making the Weaker Argument the Stronger - the Sophists
Jan 3, 2011 • 20 min
Rhetoric and relativism in Protagoras, Gorgias and other sophists
013 - Good Humor Men - the Hippocratics
Dec 27, 2010 • 19 min
Hippocrates and the relation between early Greek medicine and philosophy
012 - Malcolm Schofield on the Presocratics
Dec 20, 2010 • 23 min
Malcolm Schofield on Heraclitus, Parmenides and other early Greek philosophers
011 - All You Need Is Love, and Five Other Things - Empedocles
Dec 13, 2010 • 16 min
Love, Strife and the four elements in Empedocles
010 - Mind Over Mixture - Anaxagoras
Dec 6, 2010 • 19 min
Is everything mixed with everything? Anaxagoras on Mind and the cosmos
009 - The Final Cut - Democritus And Leuccipus
Nov 25, 2010 • 18 min
Ancient atomism as a response to Parmenides
008 - You Can’t Get There From Here - Zeno And Melissus
Nov 22, 2010 • 17 min
Zeno’s paradoxes and Melissus develop the Eleatic philosophy
007 - The Road Less Traveled - Parmenides
Nov 15, 2010 • 17 min
The father of metaphysics, Parmenides of Elea
006 - MM McCabe on Heraclitus
Nov 7, 2010 • 20 min
MM McCabe of King’s discusses the fragments of Heraclitus
005 - Old Man River - Heraclitus
Nov 1, 2010 • 18 min
Everything changes in the riddling philosophy of Heraclitus
004 - The Man With The Golden Thigh - Pythagoras
Oct 25, 2010 • 19 min
Pythagoras and mathematics in ancient philosophy
003 - Created In Our Image - Xenophanes Against Greek Religion
Oct 25, 2010 • 19 min
The gods in Homer and Hesiod, and the critique of Xenophanes
002 - Infinity and Beyond - Anaximander and Anaximenes
Oct 25, 2010 • 18 min
Two early Pre-Socratics claim that the world is made of air, and the infinite
001 - Everything is Full of Gods - Thales
Oct 25, 2010 • 22 min
In this first episode, Peter discusses the goals of the series and Thales, the first Greek philosopher.