Thursday, November 18, 2010

Heads-up for 18 November 2010

In Our Time (BBC)
Foxe's Book of Martyrs 18th Nov 2010
Melvyn Bragg discusses one of the most important books of the Reformation, Foxe's 'Book of Martyrs' that recounts the horrific deaths of hundreds of martyrs put to death in the reign of Mary I. Melvyn is joined by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University; Justin Champion, Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway, University of London; and Elizabeth Evenden, Lecturer in Book History at Brunel University.
(review, feed)

Forum Network
Paul Auster: Sunset Park
Writer Paul Auster reads from his newest book, Sunset Park, which follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse: An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families; a group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world; William Wyler?s 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives; a celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway; an independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage; these are just some of the elements Auster weaves together in this novel about contemporary America and its ghosts.
(review, feed)

Thinking Allowed (BBC)
Laurie Taylor talks to Professor Philip Smith about his new research looking at public incivility and examines the impact of the AK-47 (the Kalashnikov rifle) with former US Marine and writer C.J Chivers and military historian Richard Holmes
(review, feed)

Three issues of Philosophy Bites

In recent weeks the eminent podcast Philosophy Bites has released three excellent new issues, which I recommend one by one. (feed)

Inequality. Nigel Warburton and David Edmonds spoke with Alex Voorhoeve about inequality. Our main stream line of thought seems to sort of imply that inequality is bad, but is it really so? And if yes, why? Voorhoeve gives very insightful answers to the question and shows how inequality eventually disrupts human interaction.

Moral Responsibility. Gideon Rosen is a skeptic on the subject of moral responsibility. We normally assume people are morally responsible for their actions and the only exceptions we might accept are extreme cases of ignorance about facts or moral incapacity such as mental disease. Rosen shows another set of possible exceptions and this allows for a huge close on th range of responsibility - yet he does not rule it out completely.

What is philosophy? This sort of seems to be the question for this podcast to start with, yet the question has not been asked until this bonus episode, or more accurately: the answers have not been compiled until this episode. What does it mean? Are Warburton and Edmonds making some kind of inventory? Is this the beginning of a hiatus? In any case, listen and find how many of the philosophers explode in embarrassed laughter as they have to answer the question.

More Philosophy Bites:
The genocide and the trial,
Dirty Hands,
Understanding decisions,
Nietzsche repossessed.