History of Philosophy podcast series
Peter Adamson, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King's College London, takes listeners through the history of philosophy, "without any gaps." Beginning with the earliest ancient thinkers, the series will look at the ideas and lives of the major philosophers (eventually covering in detail such giants as Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Aquinas, Descartes, and Kant) as well as the lesser-known figures of the tradition.
For more information, please visit the Department of Philosophy web pages.
In this collection
Lucretius' poem On the Nature of Things sets Epicureanism into verse. Peter takes a look at its treatment of the soul, free will and the swerve and human society.
Peter considers Epicurus' attempt to dispel the fear of death and the gods, and along the way looks at the topics of soul, atheism, and philosophy as therapy.
Epicurus is infamous for thinking that pleasure is the good. But surprisingly, he says the highest pleasure is mere absence of pain. In this episode, Peter enjoys the challenge of trying to understand why.
Peter begins to examine the philosophy of Epicurus, focusing on his empiricist theory of knowledge and his atomic physics.
Peter considers Aristippus and the Cyrenaics, a group of hedonistic philosophers who were in touch with their feelings ... but nothing else.
In this episode we unleash the most outrageous ancient philosophers, Diogenes and the Cynics, and their quest to "deface the currency" by exposing the hypocrisy of Greek society.
Peter introduces the Hellenistic philosophical schools - the Cynics, Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics - and asks how they responded to earlier thinkers.
Peter wraps up Plato and Aristotle by discussing their followers: Speusippus and Xenocrates (the "Old Academy"), and the polymath Theophrastus.
Peter's colleagues MM McCabe and Raphael Woolf join him for a special 50th episode interview, to discuss Aristotle's reactions to his teacher Plato.
A penultimate episode on Aristotle considers his discussion of persuasive speech in the Rhetoric and his account of ancient tragedy in the Poetics.