Philosophy at Bristol Series

This podcast series is intended to showcase the ideas and research areas of members of the Philosophy department at the University of Bristol. Professor Alexander Bird, whose interests include the philosophy of science and metaphysics, leads the discussions.


Podcast 001: Taking Science Seriously – Scientific vs. Alternative Medicine

The first podcast in the series. Professor Alexander Bird takes a look at the debate over alternative medicines – particularly homeopathy and the anti-vaccination movement.


Podcast 002: What is in a Paradigm?

In this podcast Professor Bird discusses what Thomas Khun meant by a ‘paradigm’.


Podcast 003: What does my body need ME for? 

As part of the University’s centenary celebrations in 2009, Professor Daniel Dennett, Austin B Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University, delivered a lecture entitled ‘What does my body need ME for? The role of consciousness in human intelligence’. The conference was delivered in memory of Susan Hurley, Professor of Philosophy at the University who specialised in the philosophy of mind and defended the theory of vehicle externalism.


Podcast 004: Science and Truth

The first group podcast from the Philosophy  Department at Bristol. The nature of science, and whether science tells us the truth about the world is the focus of this podcast.


BBC Radio 3 – New Generation Thinkers: The Embodied Mind

On 6 November 2008 Zoe Drayson broadcast her essay on the ’embodied mind’ on Radio 3, as part of its long-running series ‘The Essay’ as one of its ‘New Generation Thinkers’. In this essay she explores the role of the body and the environment in producing intelligent behaviour.

(NB: Ignore the iPlayer claim at the top of the page about the broadcast not being available, scroll down the page to where it says ‘Listen to the Programme’.)


Podcast 005: Knowledge and Scepticism

In this second group podcast, the group discusses whether we really know what we think we know.


Podcast 006: Mind and Brain

In this podcast the relationship between the mind and the brain, the body, and the world is discussed. Does the mind need a brain? For that matter, might it encompass more than the body?


Podcast 007: Why Rousseau Matters

Professor Chris Bertram’s inaugural professorial lecture. In this podcast Professor Bertram examines the importance of the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778)


Podcast 008: Reason and Rationality

Alex is joined by special guest Ralph Wedgewood to discuss reason and what it is to be rational.


Podcast 009: Plato on Love

This podcast explores the philosophical origins of the idea of ‘platonic love’, with special guests Danielle Allen and Jessica Moss. The group talk about Plato’s views on love and how they relate to philosophy and ‘the good’.


Podcast 010: Does Physics Answer Metaphysical Questions? 

Professor James Ladyman delivers his inaugural lecture concerning historical developments within physics and its progress in producing increasingly accurate descriptions of physical phenomena. However, just as traditional Newtonian mechanics and other well-known theories have been discredited by current research despite their empirical excellence, do the theories we hold true now stand any firmer in their metaphysical assertions?