best philosophy podcast


Welcome to the world of philosophy podcasts! In this era of digital media, the popularity of podcasts has skyrocketed, and philosophy enthusiasts are no exception. Whether you are a seasoned philosopher or just dipping your toes into the vast ocean of philosophical ideas, philosophy podcasts offer a unique and accessible way to engage with profound concepts, thought-provoking debates, and the wisdom of centuries.

But what exactly are philosophy podcasts? In simple terms, they are audio programs that delve into the realm of philosophy, exploring a wide range of topics such as ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and more. Hosted by knowledgeable individuals, these podcasts provide a platform for in-depth discussions, interviews with leading philosophers, and captivating explorations of philosophical ideas.

The growing popularity of philosophy podcasts can be attributed to various factors. Firstly, they offer a convenient and flexible way to engage with philosophical content. Whether you’re commuting to work, doing household chores, or simply relaxing, you can tune in to a philosophy podcast and feed your intellectual curiosity. Gone are the days when philosophical discussions were confined to the pages of dense academic texts; now, you can immerse yourself in deep philosophical conversations with just a pair of headphones and a smartphone.

Furthermore, philosophy podcasts cater to a diverse audience, ranging from seasoned philosophers seeking to expand their knowledge to beginners who are curious to explore the fundamental questions of life. These podcasts provide a space where complex philosophical ideas are broken down, making them more accessible and understandable to listeners of all backgrounds. By presenting philosophical concepts in a conversational and engaging manner, philosophy podcasts have revolutionized the way we approach philosophy, making it more inclusive and relatable.

Engaging with philosophy podcasts offers a multitude of benefits. Firstly, they provide a platform for intellectual stimulation and personal growth. By listening to thought-provoking discussions and exploring various philosophical perspectives, you can enhance your critical thinking skills, broaden your understanding of the human experience, and develop a more nuanced worldview. Philosophy podcasts also foster a sense of community, connecting like-minded individuals who are passionate about philosophical ideas and facilitating engaging conversations beyond the podcast episodes.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of philosophy podcasts in depth. We will discuss the criteria for evaluating the quality of these podcasts, explore the top philosophy podcasts that have garnered widespread acclaim, and highlight additional noteworthy podcasts worth exploring. Additionally, we will delve into strategies for getting the most out of philosophy podcasts and provide tips on how to actively engage with the content.

So, whether you’re a philosophy enthusiast searching for your next intellectual adventure or a curious individual ready to embark on a philosophical journey, join us as we delve into the realm of philosophy podcasts and discover the best ones that will inspire, challenge, and broaden your understanding of the world.

Criteria for Evaluating Philosophy Podcasts

When it comes to choosing the best philosophy podcast to suit your interests and needs, it’s essential to have certain criteria in mind. With the proliferation of podcasts in the digital landscape, having a set of standards can help you navigate through the vast selection and find podcasts that offer high-quality content, engaging delivery, and a profound exploration of philosophical topics. Let’s explore the key criteria for evaluating philosophy podcasts:

Expertise and Credibility of the Hosts

One of the first aspects to consider when evaluating a philosophy podcast is the expertise and credibility of the hosts. A podcast hosted by individuals who have a solid background in philosophy, whether through academic study or extensive independent research, can significantly enhance the quality of the content. Hosts who have a deep understanding of philosophical concepts and can provide insightful commentary and analysis can make the listening experience more enriching.

Moreover, it is crucial to assess the credibility of the hosts. Are they respected within the philosophical community? Do they have a track record of publishing or contributing to reputable philosophical journals or books? Evaluating the expertise and credibility of the hosts can help ensure that the podcast offers reliable and well-informed discussions on philosophical topics.

Quality of Content and Depth of Philosophical Exploration

The core of any philosophy podcast lies in the quality of its content and the depth to which philosophical ideas are explored. A great philosophy podcast should go beyond surface-level discussions and delve into the complexities of philosophical concepts. It should stimulate critical thinking and inspire listeners to ponder profound questions about the nature of reality, morality, consciousness, and more.

To evaluate the quality of content, consider whether the podcast covers a wide range of philosophical topics, including both well-known and niche subjects. Are the discussions well-researched and supported by scholarly references? Does the podcast provide nuanced perspectives and engage with different philosophical schools of thought? Look for podcasts that offer intellectual rigor, thoughtful analysis, and a genuine passion for philosophical exploration.

Presentation Style and Engaging Delivery

While the content itself is crucial, the presentation style and delivery of the podcast also play a significant role in capturing the listener’s attention and maintaining engagement. A podcast that employs a conversational and accessible approach can make complex philosophical ideas more digestible for listeners of all levels of expertise.

Consider the hosts’ communication skills and their ability to articulate abstract concepts in a clear and engaging manner. Do they strike a balance between being informative and entertaining? Are they able to convey their passion for philosophy through their delivery? Look for podcasts that strike a harmonious balance between intellectual depth and an engaging presentation style.

Production Quality and Sound Engineering

An often overlooked aspect of evaluating philosophy podcasts is the production quality and sound engineering. While it may seem trivial, the technical aspects of a podcast can significantly impact the overall listening experience. A well-produced podcast with high-quality audio can enhance the immersion and make the content more enjoyable to consume.

Assess the production value of the podcast by considering factors such as audio clarity, background noise, and overall sound design. Are there distracting audio glitches or inconsistencies that detract from the content? A podcast with professional production quality demonstrates a commitment to providing the best listening experience and reflects the dedication of the hosts to their craft.

Frequency and Consistency of Episodes

Lastly, when evaluating philosophy podcasts, it is important to consider the frequency and consistency of episode releases. Consistency is key, as it demonstrates the hosts’ commitment to delivering regular content to their audience. A podcast that releases new episodes on a consistent basis allows listeners to form a routine and engage with the content regularly.

Additionally, consider the duration of episodes. Are they too short, leaving you wanting more, or are they excessively long, making it challenging to allocate time for listening? Finding a podcast that strikes the right balance in terms of episode length can contribute to a satisfying listening experience.

By considering these criteria for evaluating philosophy podcasts, you can ensure that the podcasts you choose align with your preferences and provide a valuable and enriching exploration of philosophical ideas. Now, let’s dive into the top philosophy podcasts that have captivated audiences worldwide.

Top Philosophy Podcasts

In the vast landscape of philosophy podcasts, several shows have gained recognition for their exceptional content, insightful discussions, and thought-provoking explorations of philosophical ideas. These podcasts offer a diverse range of perspectives, catering to both seasoned philosophers and those new to the world of philosophy. Let’s delve into the top philosophy podcasts that have captivated audiences worldwide:

The Partially Examined Life

Overview of the Podcast

The Partially Examined Life is a highly acclaimed philosophy podcast hosted by a group of passionate and knowledgeable individuals. Founded in 2009, this podcast has amassed a dedicated following due to its engaging discussions and rigorous examination of philosophical texts and ideas. Each episode focuses on a specific work, ranging from ancient philosophers like Plato and Aristotle to modern thinkers like Nietzsche and Kant.

Key Features and Episodes

What sets The Partially Examined Life apart is its commitment to in-depth exploration and analysis. The hosts delve deep into the philosophical texts, dissecting arguments, and engaging in thoughtful discussions. The podcast strikes a balance between academic rigor and accessibility, making complex ideas more approachable for listeners.

Some noteworthy episodes include “Plato’s Symposium,” where the hosts explore the nature of love and desire through Plato’s dialogue, and “Kierkegaard – Fear and Trembling,” which delves into Kierkegaard’s examination of faith and ethics. These episodes showcase the podcast’s ability to navigate complex philosophical concepts while remaining engaging and thought-provoking.

Guest Speakers and Expertise

The hosts of The Partially Examined Life are well-versed in philosophy and bring their unique perspectives to each episode. Additionally, the podcast occasionally features guest speakers, including prominent philosophers and scholars, who contribute their expertise to the discussions. This diversity of voices enriches the podcast and offers a broader range of insights for listeners.

Listener Reviews and Feedback

The Partially Examined Life has garnered a loyal following of listeners who appreciate the podcast’s commitment to intellectual rigor and engaging discussions. Listeners often praise the hosts’ ability to break down complex philosophical ideas and make them accessible to a wide audience. The podcast’s active online community fosters engaging conversations and encourages listeners to dive deeper into philosophical topics.

Philosophize This!

Overview of the Podcast

Philosophize This! is a popular philosophy podcast hosted by Stephen West. Launched in 2013, this podcast aims to make philosophy accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of familiarity with the subject. Stephen takes a chronological approach, starting from ancient philosophers and progressing through history, making this podcast an excellent resource for beginners seeking to explore the foundations of philosophy.

Key Features and Episodes

What sets Philosophize This! apart is its engaging and conversational style. Stephen’s enthusiasm for philosophy shines through in each episode, making complex ideas more relatable and understandable. He breaks down philosophical concepts into digestible explanations, providing historical context and relating them to contemporary issues.

Notable episodes include “Plato – The Republic,” where Stephen explores Plato’s ideal state and the concept of justice, and “Nietzsche – God is Dead and So Is Captain Morgan,” which delves into Nietzsche’s critique of religion and the implications for morality. These episodes showcase Stephen’s ability to present philosophical ideas in an engaging and accessible manner.

Accessibility and Beginner-Friendly Approach

One of the strengths of Philosophize This! is its beginner-friendly approach. Stephen’s clear and concise explanations make philosophical concepts more approachable, allowing listeners with little to no prior knowledge of philosophy to grasp complex ideas. This podcast serves as an excellent starting point for individuals looking to embark on their philosophical journey.

Listener Reviews and Feedback

The podcast has garnered numerous positive reviews from listeners who appreciate Stephen’s ability to demystify philosophy and make it enjoyable for a broad audience. Listeners often commend the podcast for its clarity, engaging storytelling, and the way it encourages critical thinking and reflection. Philosophize This! has cultivated a vibrant community of philosophy enthusiasts who engage in stimulating discussions surrounding each episode.

History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

Overview of the Podcast

History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps is a highly acclaimed podcast hosted by Peter Adamson, a professor of philosophy at the LMU Munich and King’s College London. This podcast takes a chronological approach to the history of philosophy, aiming to cover the entire span of philosophical thought, from ancient times to the present day. With its comprehensive coverage and meticulous research, History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps is a treasure trove for those interested in exploring the rich tapestry of philosophical ideas throughout history.

Key Features and Episodes

What sets History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps apart is its commitment to providing a comprehensive and continuous narrative of the history of philosophy. Peter Adamson meticulously researches each period and philosopher, providing listeners with a detailed understanding of their ideas and contributions. The podcast covers a wide range of topics, from ancient Greek philosophy to medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy, and beyond.

Notable episodes include “Plato on Love,” where Peter delves into Plato’s philosophy of love and its significance in his overall thought, and “Avicenna on the Soul,” where he explores Avicenna’s understanding of the nature of the soul and its relation to the body. These episodes showcase the podcast’s dedication to exploring philosophical ideas in depth and presenting them in a coherent and engaging manner.

Historical Depth and Comprehensive Coverage

One of the strengths of History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps is its commitment to providing a comprehensive overview of the history of philosophy. The podcast goes beyond the well-known philosophers and familiar periods, delving into lesser-known figures and often-neglected traditions. This comprehensive approach allows listeners to gain a deeper understanding of the historical context and the development of philosophical ideas over time.

Peter’s expertise as a historian of philosophy shines through in each episode, as he brings to light the intellectual currents and debates that shaped philosophical thought throughout history. His meticulous research and attention to detail make History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps an invaluable resource for those seeking a thorough exploration of the subject.

Listener Reviews and Feedback

History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps has received widespread acclaim from listeners who appreciate the podcast’s historical rigor and engaging storytelling. Listeners often praise Peter’s ability to make complex philosophical concepts accessible and his talent for connecting ideas across different periods and traditions. The podcast has fostered an active online community, where listeners can engage in discussions, ask questions, and delve deeper into the topics covered in each episode.

The podcast’s comprehensive coverage and dedication to historical accuracy have garnered praise from both enthusiasts and experts in the field of philosophy. History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps stands as a testament to the richness and diversity of the philosophical tradition and serves as an invaluable resource for those seeking a deep dive into the history of ideas.

The Philosopher’s Zone

Overview of the Podcast

The Philosopher’s Zone is a captivating philosophy podcast hosted by Joe Gelonesi. Produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), this podcast explores a wide range of philosophical topics through interviews with leading philosophers and thinkers from around the world. The Philosopher’s Zone offers a unique blend of intellectual depth, thought-provoking conversations, and a global perspective on philosophical ideas.

Key Features and Episodes

What sets The Philosopher’s Zone apart is its focus on interviews with prominent philosophers. Joe Gelonesi engages in insightful discussions with philosophers who are at the forefront of their respective fields, exploring their research, ideas, and contributions to the philosophical discourse. These interviews provide listeners with direct access to the minds of leading thinkers, giving them a glimpse into the cutting-edge ideas and debates within the field of philosophy.

Notable episodes include “Ethics and the Modern World,” where Joe Gelonesi discusses the ethical challenges posed by technology, climate change, and globalization, and “Philosophy in the Islamic World,” which explores the rich philosophical traditions of the Islamic world and their relevance today. These episodes highlight The Philosopher’s Zone’s ability to explore a diverse range of topics and provide a global perspective on philosophical ideas.

Interviews with Leading Philosophers

The strength of The Philosopher’s Zone lies in its ability to bring philosophy to life through engaging interviews with leading philosophers. By delving into the personal experiences, research, and insights of these philosophers, the podcast offers listeners a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the contemporary philosophical landscape. The interviews provide a platform for exploring complex ideas and offer a glimpse into the thought processes and motivations of influential thinkers.

Listener Reviews and Feedback

The Philosopher’s Zone has received positive reviews from listeners who appreciate its thought-provoking interviews and engaging conversations. Listeners often praise the podcast for its ability to make philosophy accessible and relevant to everyday life. The interviews with leading philosophers are frequently commended for their depth, clarity, and ability to spark intellectual curiosity.

The podcast’s global perspective also resonates with listeners, as it offers insights into philosophical traditions from around the world. The Philosopher’s Zone has cultivated an active and engaged community of listeners who appreciate the podcast’s commitment to exploring diverse philosophical ideas and fostering meaningful conversations.

The Philosopher’s Zone stands as a testament to the vitality of contemporary philosophy and its relevance to the modern world. By providing a platform for leading philosophers to share their ideas and insights, this podcast enriches the philosophical discourse and invites listeners to engage with the ever-evolving landscape of philosophical thought.

Very Bad Wizards

Overview of the Podcast

Very Bad Wizards is a unique and engaging podcast that takes a novel approach to the intersection of philosophy and psychology. Hosted by David Pizarro, a psychologist, and Tamler Sommers, a philosopher, this podcast combines the insights of both disciplines to delve into a wide range of philosophical and psychological topics. Very Bad Wizards offers a thought-provoking and entertaining exploration of human nature, morality, and the complexities of the mind.

Key Features and Episodes

What sets Very Bad Wizards apart is its ability to bridge the gap between philosophy and psychology. The hosts engage in lively discussions that tackle profound questions about morality, consciousness, free will, and more. Drawing from philosophical theories and psychological research, they explore the human condition in a way that is accessible, relatable, and often infused with humor.

Notable episodes include “The Moral Landscape,” where David and Tamler discuss Sam Harris’s controversial book on morality and its implications for ethical decision-making, and “The Psychology of Tribalism,” which explores the psychological mechanisms that contribute to group identity and tribal behavior. These episodes showcase the podcast’s ability to integrate philosophical and psychological insights, offering a unique perspective on complex topics.

Unique Blend of Philosophy and Psychology

Very Bad Wizards stands out for its ability to seamlessly blend philosophical ideas with psychological research. The hosts bring together their expertise and perspectives from their respective disciplines, creating a dynamic and engaging podcast that appeals to both philosophy enthusiasts and those interested in human behavior and cognition.

By incorporating psychological studies and findings into philosophical discussions, Very Bad Wizards provides a fresh and interdisciplinary approach to exploring fundamental questions about morality, identity, and the nature of the self. This unique blend of philosophy and psychology offers listeners a deeper understanding of the complexities of human nature and the factors that shape our beliefs and actions.

Listener Reviews and Feedback

Very Bad Wizards has garnered a dedicated following of listeners who appreciate the podcast’s ability to tackle challenging topics with a blend of intellectual rigor and humor. Listeners often praise the hosts’ chemistry and their ability to make complex ideas accessible and engaging to a wide audience.

The podcast’s ability to bridge the gap between philosophy and psychology has been widely applauded, with listeners finding value in the interdisciplinary approach to understanding the human experience. Very Bad Wizards has fostered an active online community, where listeners can engage in discussions and explore the philosophical and psychological ideas presented in each episode.

Very Bad Wizards stands as a testament to the power of interdisciplinary dialogue and the insights that can be gained by integrating different perspectives. By bringing together philosophy and psychology, this podcast offers a fresh and captivating exploration of the complexities of the human mind and the moral landscape we navigate.

Additional Philosophy Podcasts Worth Exploring

In addition to the top philosophy podcasts we have discussed so far, there are several other noteworthy shows that offer unique perspectives, specialized content, and thought-provoking discussions. These podcasts provide further opportunities for exploration and engagement with philosophical ideas. Let’s delve into some additional philosophy podcasts worth exploring:

The History of Philosophy in India

The History of Philosophy in India is a fascinating podcast that focuses specifically on the rich and diverse philosophical traditions of India. Hosted by Peter Adamson and Jonardon Ganeri, this podcast takes listeners on a journey through the vibrant world of Indian philosophy, exploring concepts such as karma, dharma, and the nature of consciousness. By highlighting the contributions of Indian philosophers throughout history, this podcast provides a fresh perspective on the global philosophical tradition.

The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast

The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast offers a comprehensive exploration of various philosophical topics, ranging from ethics and metaphysics to philosophy of mind and political philosophy. Hosted by Jack Symes, Andrew Horton, and Ollie Marley, this podcast combines engaging discussions and interviews with leading philosophers to provide listeners with a well-rounded understanding of different aspects of philosophy. The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast also features a unique segment called “Philosophy in the News,” where the hosts analyze philosophical implications of current events.

The New Thinkery

The New Thinkery is a podcast that focuses on classical and political philosophy. Hosted by Greg McBrayer, David Corey, and Alex Priou, this show offers insightful discussions on the works of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Machiavelli, as well as exploring contemporary political debates through a philosophical lens. The New Thinkery provides a platform for exploring enduring questions about justice, power, and the nature of the state, making it a valuable resource for those interested in political philosophy.

Hi-Phi Nation

Hi-Phi Nation is a podcast that combines storytelling with philosophical inquiry. Hosted by Barry Lam, this show delves into philosophical questions by exploring real-life stories and engaging with the experiences of individuals. By intertwining narratives and thought-provoking discussions, Hi-Phi Nation offers a unique approach to philosophy, making it accessible and relatable to a wide audience. This podcast encourages listeners to reflect on the philosophical dimensions of human experiences and the moral dilemmas we encounter in our lives.

The Public Philosopher

The Public Philosopher, hosted by Michael Sandel, brings philosophy out of the academic realm and into the public sphere. This podcast features live recordings of Sandel’s engaging and interactive lectures, where he explores ethical issues and moral dilemmas in front of a live audience. The Public Philosopher encourages listeners to critically examine their values and engage in thoughtful discussions about the ethical challenges that shape our society. This podcast offers a unique opportunity to witness the power and relevance of philosophy in the public domain.

These additional philosophy podcasts provide diverse perspectives and explore a wide range of philosophical topics. Whether you are interested in delving into specific philosophical traditions, examining contemporary political debates, or exploring the ethical dimensions of everyday life, these podcasts offer valuable insights and thought-provoking discussions. Get ready to expand your philosophical horizons and explore the richness of the philosophical landscape through these captivating shows.