Philosopher's Zone

by ABC Radio · · · · 63 subscribers

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.

Nihilism and utopia July 26, 2020

COVID-19 has exposed a streak of nihilism in 21st century capitalist societies. How do we move forward without succumbing to despair on one hand, or utopian thinking on the other?

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Tags: philosophy, society & culture

Older Episodes

When Nicola Redhouse had each of her two children she experienced shattering post-natal anxiety that sent her deep into the mystery of the self, and the relationship between mind and body.
Montesquieu was the 18th century French philosopher who introduced the term "despotism" into our political vocabulary. Today, his analysis is as relevant as ever.
The digital dead July 5, 2020
When we die, our digital selves sometimes live on. How should we prepare for our electronic afterlives?
Philosophy by postcard June 28, 2020
A fascinating public philosophy project, celebrating a major figure whose work deserves greater recognition — not just as a philosopher, but as a pioneering woman in a very male world.
If a woman wants to experience pregnancy but can't, the answer could be a uterus transplant. The technology is promising, if still very new — but how ethically sound is it?
Any conversation about racial justice has to go back to basics: questions about the nature of humanity and the meaning of freedom.
Speaking out against racism by insisting on the collusion of white people — even well-meaning ones — in a system that's racist to the core can bring serious consequences. George Yancy knows this well.
Tired of having a casual, abstract flirtation with philosophy? It might be time to step up and commit.
Driverless cars are coming, and with them, a host of troubling ethical issues around who has access to mobility — and who doesn't.
This week we explore the philosophical foundations of a more realistic model for citizen participation in urban planning.
The big snore May 10, 2020
Norwegian philosopher Lars Svendsen explores the intricacies, the joys, and the creative potential of boredom.
Can our genes tell us if we're gay? Or intelligent? Science says the answer is complex, and there's more to genetic determinism than meets the eye.
Border patrol April 26, 2020
Refugees are often spoken and written about as outsiders, peripheral to Australian life. But what if the refugee actually knows things about Australia that we don't?
Thinking a pandemic April 19, 2020
Considering the history, the politics and the ethics of COVID-19 can reveal fascinating — and uncomfortable — insights about ourselves and our society.
What is this mysterious relationship between what time feels like and what time really is?
Institutions shape every aspect of our lives, yet they can be strangely amorphous things, operating according to norms and conventions that often undermine each other. For women, this can result in institutional discrimination – in workplaces and public organisations, but also in less tangible institutions like the family and the …
If we outsource our moral intuition to artificial intelligence, do we risk becoming morally de-skilled?
Simone de Beauvoir had a keen appreciation of the challenges of ageing – “old age exposes the failure of our entire civilisation” – so can we find resources in her brand of existentialism that address some of the issues raised by LGBT elders?
Dangerous minds March 15, 2020
Heidegger was an unrepentant Nazi. Nietzsche's later work contains passages that openly advocate slavery and genocide. Today, with far-right extremism on the rise around the world, how concerned should we be when reading – and teaching – the work of these canonical figures?