Reading philosophy can get a bit dry right? and putting your music on shuffle while you commute to work can get a bit old. Welcome to philosophy podcasts! Here’s my list for the 10 best philosophy podcasts in no particular order, there’s something in here for every one interested in philosophy from beginners to hard core chin scratching.
Philosophy For Beginners | University of Oxford
As the name suggests this one is philosophy 101, a series of 5 introductory lectures from Marianne Talbot at the University of Oxford it also includes 2 additional episodes giving the reading list and where to read more once you’ve finished this series. Covering the history from Pre-Socrates to present day, ethics, metaphysics and epistemology and more this is great series to dip your toes into philosophy.
General Philosophy | University of Oxford
Another intro to philosophy series. It’s a recording of lectures to first year philosophy students at the University of Oxford. So Ivy league college material for free! There’s 41 episodes which cover the 8-week General Philosophy course for first year undergrads. Covering the history of philosophy, it takes a particular philosophy problem and how different philosophers have approached it. If you’re interested in the big questions of life, this is one you shouldn’t miss.
Philosophy Bites | Edmonds & Warburton
Going since 2007 and downloaded over 34 million times, this is one of the most enduring, and best philosophy podcasts around. It’s structured as interviews with philosophers on a particular topic that run for around 15-20 minutes and with over 400 “bites” in the back category you can binge this for a while. It’s suitable for beginners though it’s not Philosophy 101 style. More just interesting discussions so is suitable for everyone to get the grey matter stimulated.
Philosophy the classics| Nigel Warburton
An introduction to 27 classic philosophical doctrines. It’s actually a reading of Warburton’s book of the same name. That’s the same Warburton as the Philosophy Bites podcast. So it’s more audio book than true podcast, regardless you’ll get a introduction to Plato’s The Republic, Artistotle’s Nemachiman Ethics, Machievalli’s The Prince, Descartes Meditations, Kant, Schopnhauer, Kierkegaard and more. For those looking for an insight to the key philosophical thinkers and their works this is a great place to start.
In Our Time: Philosophy | BBC Radio 4
Like Philosophy Bites, this is structured as interviews with guests to discuss key issues in philosophy, but each episode is about 40 – 45 minutes, so they get into more detail on each one. From “wealth of nations”, “utilitarianism”, Art of War to Kant’s Categorical Imperative and much much more. Again not an intro to philosophy and not structured as a course, it is still a fascinating series to get into.
The Partially Examined Life | Mark Lisenmayer
A round table discussion of a particular topic these informal chats are much more like sitting around chewing the fat than a lecture or interview. You don’t need any prior knowledge of philosophy going into this and you can listen in any order you want. Going since 2009 they have since branched out to offer more episodes on music as well. Some of the content is behind a paywall so keep that in mind.
Philosophy Now | Philosophy Now Magazine
Another one of philosophical discussions with guests around different topics. Some of these are hardcore like discussing the argument that according to quantum mechanics the universe is mental in nature. So not one if you’re new to philosophy. Still other episodes aren’t quite as heavy and are quite informative and entertaining.
The History of Philosophy | Peter Adamson
Hosted by a Professor of Philosophy at King’s College in London, this series goes through the history of philosophy “without any gaps” to look the philosopher’s lives, ideas and the era they lived. Unlike other podcasts this one will introduce you to lesser known figures. It’s also continuing to release episodes on a regular basis unlike many of the others in this list.
Modern Day Philosophers | Daniel Lobell
Are comedian’s modern-day philosophers? Lobell thinks so and, in this series, he combines philosophy with comedy to discuss various philosophical topics. A lighter approach to what can be a pretty dry area of study, this podcast is one of the best philosophy podcasts out there as it’s about as different as you can get from the others in this list.
The Thirst Podcast’s Pint-Sized Philosophy
Pub philosophy at its finest, this series looks at contemporary issues through philosophical approach. Covering topics such as the nanny state, the prison system and twitter and freedom of speech this is all about using philosophy to consider issues in life. A good series to listen to when you want some intellectual discussion but don’t want a lecture.
There you have it, the 10 best philosophy podcasts we’ve found, if we’ve missed any, drop their details in the comments below.