Sunday, June 14, 2009

Isaiah Berlin - Philosopher's Zone and Oxford

Oxford University is commemorating a hundred years since the birth of the philosopher and historian of ideas Isaiah Berlin. For the occasion there is a special podcast which contains a number of lectures by Berlin. I have reviewed one on Moses Hess and here I would like to point to DIY Scholar, who has reviewed one on Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Also the Australian broadcaster ABC paid attention to the centenary and aired a conversation with Isaiah Berlin on Philosopher's Zone, which was also podcast. Before this they had invited John Gray to speak about Isaiah Berlin, which was also a great listen.

Back to the Oxford series. That series closed with a lecture by Alan Ryan who did a wonderful job in trying to capture Isaiah Berlin. (Oxford on iTunesU, iTunes feed)

More Philosopher's Zone:
Philosopher's Zone,
Mary Shelley and Frankenstein.

More John Gray:
Religion and the Market,
Gray's Anatomy.

Ethics Bites - BBC, open university,

Occasionally I have run into the cooperation between the BBC and The Open University at I should engage one day in a systematic search for the podcasts over there. Until then, here is one among them I discovered when I researched my review of Michael Sandel's appearance at Philosophy Bites. As it turns out, Dave Edmonds and Nigel Warburton have made a podcast for under the name Ethics Bites (feed). Ethics Bites seems to have podfaded, but the feed is still accessible and full of great content.

I have listened to the last two episodes, Free Speech and The ethics of Climate Change. These interviews are conducted along the same lines as Philosophy Bites, where Nigel Warburton interviews the guest and in around a quarter they summon up the field. James Garvey's remarks on climate change, gives a good inventory of what the dilemmas are and this is ethics that is immediately relevant for politics. Garvey, in this respect, is very outspoken and even if you think prejudiced, the podcast forces us to ponder.

The talk with Tim Scanlon about Free Speech was especially useful for me, because of the added attention I have given lately to podcasts with Michael Sandel, John Gray and Isaiah Berlin. The subject of freedom and the evaluation of John Stuart Mill has turned out to be a returning subject in all of these. Tim Scanlon's appearance on Ethics Bites touched on Mill and Freedom as well, thus greatly contributing to the overall picture.

Things We Forgot to Remember.

More Philosophy Bites:
Aristotle's Ethics,
Alternative Hedonism,
Non-realism of God.