Monday, January 12, 2009

Philosopher's Zone - ABC podcast review

ABC's podcast Philosopher's Zone has not yet taken me in. Naturally, as with other philosophy podcasts, it is always a gamble, from issue to issue. Philosophy is so wide, there are necessarily only a few subjects and angles that appeal to you. Even then.

Philosopher's Zone is presented by Alan Saunders and the format is an interview with one or more guests on a specific subject. In the past weeks there were three subjects that I could make some connection with. The first was Asian Philosophy. The second was about Karl Popper. The third was an interview with Martha Nussbaum.

A recurring problem are the sudden interruptions which apparently correspond with the commercial breaks in the live program, but on the podcast they are outright disruptive. The speaker is in the middle of an interesting train of thought and you are waiting for continuation or a deeper question and then in stead you get a kind of reset and need to start all over. In the issue about Asian philosophy, the result is your are getting selected cuts from a lecture in stead of the whole and are reduced to the tip of the iceberg that is the tip of the iceberg of such a large subject as Asian philosophy. In the other two interviews it is less disruptive, but still a forced shift of subject or perspective.

Despite the quality of the subjects and the speakers, there is a fragmentation that bothered me most of all. More programs that are not live recordings are going through a director's cut, but Philosopher's Zone does not get comprehensive in the cut, it is just cut.

More Philosopher's Zone:
Mary Shelley and Frankenstein.

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