best philosophical podcasts


In the vast realm of podcasts, where topics range from true crime to self-improvement, there is a hidden gem that often goes unnoticed but holds immense potential for personal growth and intellectual exploration – philosophical podcasts. These auditory journeys offer a unique and engaging platform for delving into the depths of philosophical concepts, pondering life’s big questions, and expanding our understanding of the world around us.

Philosophical podcasts have gained popularity in recent years due to their ability to bridge the gap between academia and the general public. They offer a refreshing alternative to traditional modes of learning by presenting complex philosophical ideas in a more accessible and conversational format. Whether you’re a seasoned philosophy enthusiast or a curious mind seeking intellectual stimulation, these podcasts can provide a rich and immersive experience.

In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the world of philosophical podcasts, unearthing the best shows, dissecting their content, and guiding you on how to engage with this fascinating medium effectively. We will delve into the criteria for evaluating philosophical podcasts, ensuring that you choose shows that meet your intellectual needs and curiosity. Furthermore, we will present a handpicked selection of the top philosophical podcasts, providing detailed insights into their hosts, topics discussed, and the overall listening experience.

By the end of this blog post, you will not only be equipped with a curated list of the best philosophical podcasts but also armed with the tools and knowledge to navigate this realm with confidence. So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a philosophical journey that will challenge your thinking, broaden your perspectives, and nourish your intellectual appetite. Let’s dive deep into the world of philosophical podcasts and unlock the treasures of wisdom that await us.

Understanding Philosophy Podcasts

Philosophical podcasts serve as a gateway to the realm of philosophical thought, offering a distinctive and engaging approach to exploring complex ideas. But what exactly are philosophical podcasts, and why should you consider incorporating them into your intellectual pursuits?

Definition and Purpose

Philosophical podcasts are audio shows that focus on discussing, analyzing, and exploring various philosophical concepts, theories, and ideas. These podcasts feature conversations between hosts, experts, and guests who delve into topics such as ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, existentialism, and more. The aim is to provide listeners with intellectual stimulation, provoke thoughtful reflection, and foster a deeper understanding of philosophical principles.

Unlike traditional academic lectures or dense philosophical texts, philosophical podcasts offer a more conversational and accessible format. They often present complex ideas in a relatable and engaging manner, making them suitable for both philosophy enthusiasts and newcomers to the field. By blending deep intellectual discussions with a touch of entertainment, these podcasts have gained popularity and attracted a diverse audience seeking to broaden their perspectives and engage with philosophical ideas in a more approachable manner.

Different Formats of Philosophical Podcasts

Philosophical podcasts come in various formats, each offering a unique approach to exploring philosophical topics. Some podcasts feature interviews with renowned philosophers, providing insights into their work and allowing listeners to gain a deeper appreciation for specific philosophical theories. Other shows center around panel discussions or debates, where experts engage in lively conversations, offering diverse perspectives on philosophical ideas. Additionally, there are podcasts that focus on exploring the history of philosophy, taking listeners on a chronological journey through the evolution of philosophical thought.

The format of a podcast can significantly impact the overall listening experience. Interviews often provide in-depth insights into the thoughts and ideas of influential philosophers, allowing listeners to gain a deeper understanding of their work and impact. Panel discussions and debates, on the other hand, offer a dynamic and engaging approach, presenting contrasting viewpoints and encouraging critical thinking. History-based podcasts provide a comprehensive overview of the development of philosophical thought over time, enabling listeners to trace the roots of various ideas and understand their historical context.

Benefits of Consuming Philosophical Content through Podcasts

Engaging with philosophical podcasts can bring a multitude of benefits to your personal growth and intellectual development. Here are a few reasons why you should consider incorporating philosophical podcasts into your listening routine:

  1. Accessibility: Philosophical podcasts provide a more approachable entry point into the world of philosophy, making complex ideas more digestible and relatable. The conversational nature of these podcasts allows for a deeper understanding of philosophical concepts, even for those without prior knowledge or formal education in philosophy.

  2. Convenience: Podcasts offer the flexibility to consume philosophical content anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re commuting, exercising, or relaxing at home, you can immerse yourself in thought-provoking conversations and explore profound ideas without being tied to a specific time or location.

  3. Diverse Perspectives: Philosophical podcasts often feature a range of hosts, guests, and experts from different backgrounds and philosophical traditions. This diversity provides you with exposure to varied viewpoints, encouraging critical thinking and broadening your understanding of different philosophical approaches.

  4. Engaging Presentations: Many philosophical podcasts employ engaging storytelling techniques, humor, and real-life examples to make complex philosophical ideas more relatable and enjoyable. This engaging presentation style helps sustain interest and facilitates a deeper connection with the subject matter.

  5. Continual Learning: Philosophical podcasts offer a never-ending source of intellectual stimulation and growth. With new episodes released regularly, you can embark on a continuous journey of learning, exploring different philosophical topics, and expanding your knowledge base.

By immersing yourself in philosophical podcasts, you can tap into the vast reservoir of philosophical wisdom, challenge your existing beliefs, and develop a more nuanced understanding of the world. These podcasts serve as a catalyst for intellectual exploration, fueling curiosity and fostering a deeper appreciation for the complexities of human thought and existence.

Criteria for Evaluating Philosophical Podcasts

With the abundance of philosophical podcasts available, it can be challenging to navigate through the vast sea of options. To ensure that you choose podcasts that align with your interests and provide a high-quality listening experience, it is essential to establish criteria for evaluating these shows. By considering the following factors, you can make informed decisions and select podcasts that will truly enrich your philosophical journey.

Expertise and Credentials of the Hosts or Guests

One crucial aspect to consider when evaluating philosophical podcasts is the expertise and credentials of the hosts or guests. Look for hosts who have a solid background in philosophy or related disciplines, as their knowledge and understanding will influence the depth and accuracy of the discussions. Guests who are recognized experts in their respective fields can also contribute valuable insights and provide a well-rounded exploration of philosophical topics. Consider researching the background and qualifications of the hosts and guests to ensure that you are engaging with individuals who possess the necessary expertise to provide reliable and thought-provoking content.

Quality of Content and Depth of Exploration

The quality of content is paramount when it comes to evaluating philosophical podcasts. Pay attention to the depth of exploration and analysis presented in each episode. Are the conversations superficial or do they delve into the nuances and complexities of philosophical concepts? Are the hosts able to explain abstract ideas in a clear and accessible manner? Look for podcasts that offer in-depth discussions, fostering a deeper understanding and providing intellectual stimulation. A podcast that encourages critical thinking, raises thought-provoking questions, and challenges conventional wisdom can significantly enhance your philosophical journey.

Production Value and Audio Quality

While the content is of utmost importance, it is also essential to consider the production value and audio quality of a podcast. A well-produced podcast with clear audio and professional editing enhances the overall listening experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the conversations. On the other hand, podcasts with poor audio quality or inconsistent production values can be distracting and diminish the impact of the content. Pay attention to the production quality, ensuring that the podcast you choose offers a seamless and enjoyable listening experience.

Consistency of Episodes and Reliability of Updates

Consistency is another crucial factor to consider when evaluating philosophical podcasts. Look for shows that release episodes on a regular basis, as this demonstrates a commitment to engaging with their audience and providing a continuous flow of content. Consistent updates ensure that you have a consistent supply of fresh episodes to dive into, allowing you to maintain momentum in your philosophical exploration. Additionally, consider the reliability of updates. Are episodes released on schedule, or are there significant gaps between releases? Consistency and reliability are indicators of a podcast’s commitment to its listeners and can help you establish a steady listening routine.

Listener Reviews and Feedback

One valuable resource for evaluating philosophical podcasts is the feedback provided by fellow listeners. Take the time to explore listener reviews and comments on various podcast platforms or online forums. Pay attention to both positive and negative feedback to get a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular podcast. Keep in mind that individual preferences may vary, so consider multiple reviews to gain a more well-rounded perspective.

By considering these criteria, you can make informed decisions when selecting philosophical podcasts that align with your interests and provide a high-quality listening experience. Evaluating podcasts based on expertise, content quality, production value, consistency, and listener feedback will ensure that you embark on a meaningful philosophical journey with shows that meet your expectations.

Top Philosophical Podcasts

Now that we have established the criteria for evaluating philosophical podcasts, it’s time to delve into the world of exceptional shows that will captivate your mind and enrich your philosophical exploration. The following selection represents a diverse range of podcasts, each offering a unique approach to discussing philosophical ideas and concepts.

1. Philosophize This!

Philosophize This! is an immensely popular podcast hosted by Stephen West, who has a knack for making complex philosophical ideas accessible and engaging. This podcast covers a wide range of philosophical topics, from ancient thinkers like Socrates and Plato to modern philosophers like Michel Foucault and Slavoj Žižek. West’s clear and concise explanations, coupled with his passion for the subject matter, make Philosophize This! an excellent starting point for anyone new to philosophy. With over 150 episodes to explore, this podcast provides a comprehensive introduction to various philosophical ideas and thinkers.

2. The Partially Examined Life

The Partially Examined Life takes a unique approach to philosophical discussions by presenting a panel of hosts engaged in thoughtful conversations on a wide range of topics. Hosted by Mark Linsenmayer, Seth Paskin, Wes Alwan, and Dylan Casey, this podcast explores philosophical texts and ideas, encouraging listeners to critically engage with the material. The hosts’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives lead to lively discussions that challenge conventional thinking and provide a fresh take on philosophical concepts. With over 250 episodes to choose from, The Partially Examined Life offers a treasure trove of intellectual stimulation.

3. The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

For those interested in exploring the historical development of philosophy, The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps is an exceptional podcast hosted by Peter Adamson. This podcast takes on the ambitious task of covering the entire history of philosophy, starting from ancient thinkers like Thales and Pythagoras and continuing through the medieval, modern, and contemporary periods. Adamson’s in-depth knowledge, engaging storytelling, and dedication to inclusivity make this podcast a must-listen for anyone interested in tracing the evolution of philosophical thought. With over 300 episodes, The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps provides an unparalleled journey through the rich tapestry of philosophical ideas.

4. Very Bad Wizards

Very Bad Wizards is a unique podcast that explores the intersection of philosophy and psychology. Hosted by philosopher Tamler Sommers and psychologist David Pizarro, this podcast delves into topics such as moral psychology, free will, consciousness, and more. Sommers and Pizarro bring their expertise and engaging banter to the table, creating thought-provoking discussions that bridge the gap between philosophy and psychology. With a blend of humor and intellectual depth, Very Bad Wizards offers a refreshing and accessible approach to exploring the complexities of the human mind.

5. The Philosophy Bites Podcast

If you prefer bite-sized philosophical insights, The Philosophy Bites Podcast is the perfect choice. Hosted by Nigel Warburton and David Edmonds, this podcast features short but impactful episodes that introduce listeners to key philosophical ideas. Each episode features interviews with leading philosophers, allowing the hosts to extract concise and enlightening explanations of various concepts. The Philosophy Bites Podcast covers a wide range of topics, from ethics and aesthetics to philosophy of mind and political philosophy. With over 500 episodes, this podcast offers a wealth of philosophical wisdom in easily digestible portions.

These top philosophical podcasts provide a diverse range of perspectives, formats, and areas of focus. Whether you’re just starting your philosophical journey or seeking to deepen your understanding of specific concepts, these shows offer an abundance of intellectual stimulation and thought-provoking discussions. So, grab your headphones, tune in to these exceptional podcasts, and embark on a philosophical adventure that will expand your mind and ignite your curiosity.

How to Get Started with Philosophical Podcasts

Now that you have discovered some of the best philosophical podcasts available, it’s time to dive into the world of intellectual exploration and embark on your own philosophically enriching journey. To make the most of your podcast listening experience, it’s important to establish a solid foundation and approach. Here are some key steps to help you get started and make the most out of your philosophical podcast experience.

Finding and Subscribing to Podcasts

One of the first steps in getting started with philosophical podcasts is to find the shows that resonate with your interests and align with your philosophical goals. You can begin by exploring the podcasts mentioned in this blog post or conducting your own research to discover additional shows that cater to your specific areas of interest. Podcast platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts offer a vast selection of shows to choose from.

Once you have identified the podcasts you want to explore, subscribing to them ensures that you receive automatic updates whenever new episodes are released. Subscribing also allows you to create a personalized listening queue, making it easier to stay organized and keep track of the shows you enjoy.

Creating a Personal Listening Routine

To make the most of your philosophical podcast journey, it’s important to establish a regular listening routine. Consider setting aside dedicated time for podcast listening, whether it’s during your morning commute, while exercising, or before bed. By incorporating podcasts into your daily or weekly routine, you can consistently engage with philosophical ideas and ensure that you make progress in your intellectual exploration.

Creating a conducive listening environment can also enhance your experience. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can fully immerse yourself in the discussions without distractions. Some listeners find taking notes during episodes helpful for capturing key insights and ideas, while others prefer to simply listen and reflect. Experiment with different approaches to find what works best for you.

Taking Notes and Reflecting on Episodes

Philosophical podcasts often cover a wide range of topics, and the ideas discussed can be complex and thought-provoking. To further your understanding and retain the knowledge gained from each episode, consider taking notes or jotting down key takeaways. This practice can help solidify your understanding of the concepts discussed and serve as a valuable resource for future reference.

Additionally, take the time to reflect on each episode and contemplate the ideas presented. Philosophical discussions are meant to inspire critical thinking and introspection. Consider how the ideas discussed relate to your own life, beliefs, and experiences. Engaging in thoughtful reflection can deepen your understanding and provoke further exploration of philosophical concepts.

Engaging with the Podcast Community

Podcasts often have dedicated communities of listeners who engage in discussions, share insights, and provide feedback. Engaging with the podcast community can enhance your experience and provide opportunities for intellectual exchange. Consider joining online forums, social media groups, or even reaching out to the podcast hosts or guests with your thoughts and questions. Engaging with others who share your interest in philosophy can foster a sense of community and open doors to new perspectives and ideas.

Exploring Additional Resources for Further Philosophical Exploration

While podcasts offer a fantastic medium for philosophical exploration, they are just the beginning of your intellectual journey. To further deepen your understanding and explore specific philosophical topics in greater detail, consider supplementing your podcast listening with additional resources. This can include reading philosophical texts, attending lectures or seminars, participating in online courses or discussion groups, or even engaging in philosophical debates with like-minded individuals. By combining various resources, you can cultivate a well-rounded approach to philosophical exploration and expand your horizons beyond podcast episodes.

By following these steps and immersing yourself in the world of philosophical podcasts, you can embark on a transformative intellectual adventure. Remember to approach each episode with an open mind, embrace the diversity of ideas presented, and enjoy the process of deepening your philosophical understanding. Happy listening!


Congratulations! You have now been introduced to the world of philosophical podcasts, discovered some of the best shows available, and learned how to make the most out of your listening experience. By engaging with these podcasts, you have opened the door to a world of intellectual exploration, critical thinking, and personal growth.

Philosophical podcasts offer a unique platform for delving into the depths of philosophical ideas and concepts. They provide a bridge between academic philosophy and the general public, making complex ideas more accessible and relatable. Whether you are a seasoned philosophy enthusiast or a curious beginner, these podcasts can enrich your understanding of the world, challenge your beliefs, and inspire profound introspection.

Remember, the key to maximizing the benefits of philosophical podcasts lies in selecting shows that align with your interests, evaluating them based on criteria such as expertise, content quality, production value, consistency, and listener feedback. By choosing podcasts that meet these criteria, you can ensure a high-quality listening experience that will truly enhance your philosophical journey.

As you engage with philosophical podcasts, create a personalized listening routine, take notes to solidify your understanding, reflect on the ideas presented, and engage with the podcast community. By actively participating in discussions and sharing your thoughts and insights, you can expand your understanding, gain new perspectives, and foster a sense of community with like-minded individuals.

Remember that philosophical podcasts are just one avenue for exploration. Supplement your podcast listening with additional resources such as books, lectures, courses, and discussions to deepen your understanding and broaden your philosophical horizons. Embrace the opportunity to engage with philosophy in various forms and continue to challenge yourself intellectually.

So, grab your headphones, tune in to the recommended philosophical podcasts, and embark on a transformative journey of intellectual exploration. Allow the conversations, ideas, and insights to provoke thought, spark curiosity, and inspire personal growth. Philosophy is a lifelong journey, and these podcasts are your companions along the way.

Now, it’s time to dive deep, listen attentively, and unlock the treasures of wisdom that await you in the world of philosophical podcasts. Happy listening and may your philosophical journey be filled with enlightenment, contemplation, and a deep appreciation for the complexities of human thought and existence.