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Philosopher's Zone

The simplest questions often have the most complex answers. The Philosopher's Zone is your guide through the strange thickets of logic, metaphysics and ethics.

Popular episodes

The individual and the collective

Nov 28 • 28:27
Climate change has landed us in a collective action dilemma – a situation where cooperation would benefit us all, but conflicting individual interests keep getting in the way. How can we, as individuals, enlarge our sense of self to the point where the broader community – national and global – is more than just an abstraction? And is “we-mode” reasoning always morally pref...

Philosophy and psychedelic experience

Nov 21 • 28:26

Buddhist logic

Nov 14 • 28:27
Logic in the Western philosophical tradition is often viewed as something abstract and universal – a bit like mathematics, involving formulas and equations that hold true in every circumstance, regardless of historical or cultural context. The tradition of Buddhist logic takes a different turn, considering logic as something connected to knowledge rather than just the stru...

Care ethics

Nov 7 • 28:26
If there's one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined, it's the importance of looking out for each other. But these days the network of our relationships is so vast, so complex and so riddled with competing interests, that it can be hard to pin down exactly what "looking out for each other" requires. This week we met a philosopher who believes that an approach known as...

Philosophy and children

Oct 31 • 28:27

Gender and gaming

Oct 24 • 28:27
Gender has long been an issue in the world of video games, but since the "Gamergate" online harassment campaign of 2014 - where women gamers, developers and journalists were doxxed and threatened by anti-feminist trolls - it's come to the fore. This week we're talking about women's voices and roles in gaming, and exploring ways in which gender might be reimagined in video ...

What is dignity?

Oct 17 • 28:27

Yan Fu: China meets Western liberalism

Oct 10 • 28:22
Yan Fu was a late 19th century naval officer and writer who was fascinated with Western philosophy. His translations of works by Thomas Huxley, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and others were celebrated successes in China. But his books feature notes and interpretative gestures that make them something more than just straight translations – they’re works of philosophy in thei...

The trouble with our moral evolution

Oct 3 • 28:27

RN Presents: This Much Is True

Sep 29 • 03:16
You might have noticed there's some bizarre stuff circulating out there these days, under the guise of "knowledge" or "fact". And we need to take it seriously, because even the most far-flung conspiracy theories can have direct effects on how a substantial number of people think, behave and vote. Why do people believe the things they believe? and for that matter, why do yo...

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