25 Best Philosophy Podcasts to Check Out in 2020
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Are you fond of abstract reasoning and rational arguments?
Do you enjoy meaningful conversations with deep and sensible thinkers?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you will surely enjoy the shows we have listed below. We have gathered the 25 best philosophy podcasts that you can listen to this year to keep yourself updated about the nature of reality and existence.
Read on and check out our list!
What You Will Learn
- 25 Best Philosophy Podcasts
- 1. Elucidations Podcast
- 2. The Partially Examined Life
- 3. Philosophize This!
- 4. The Philosopher’s Zone
- 5. In Our Time
- 6. The Philosophy Guy
- 7. History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps
- 8. Akimbo: A Podcast from Seth Godin
- 9. Hi-Phi Nation
- 10. The Public Philosopher
- 11. Philosophy Bites
- 12. Aubrey Marcus Podcast
- 13. Making Sense
- 14. WHY? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life
- 15. Very Bad Wizards
- 16. Pop Culture Philosophers
- 17. On Being
- 18. The Panpsycast Philosophy
- 19. Philosophy 24/7
- 20. Intelligence Squared
- 21. Think Again
- 22. The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast
- 23. Point of Inquiry
- 24. Philosophy Talk Starters
- 25. Moral Maze
- Final Thoughts on Best Philosophy Podcasts to Check Out
25 Best Philosophy Podcasts
Elucidations is a philosophy podcast hosted by Matt Teichman and recorded at the University of Chicago. Every month, a prominent philosopher sits with him to talk about their philosophical beliefs and expertise. Some of the topics that the podcast tackles are religious freedom and moral psychology.
Matt Teichman is a full-time lecturer in the division of humanities at the University of Chicago. He specializes in the philosophy of language, which focuses on the relationship between philosophy and linguistics. In some episodes, he is joined by co-hosts such as university interns Ben Andrew and Steven Chen.
The Partially Examined Life is one of the best philosophy podcasts out there. The founders describe themselves as “some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living, but then thought better of it.”
This podcast is the brainchild of Mark Linsenmayer, who reached out to Seth Paskin and Wes Alwan to produce the show. Soon after that, Dylan Casey joined the group, and since then they have all been regular contributors.
The Partially Examined Life is all about philosophy, philosophers, and philosophical texts. In each episode, the hosts introduce a short reading that leads to the discussion of a philosophical question or idea.
This podcast is very easy for beginners to relate to. You will notice that it unfolds like a course, from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle down to the most modern philosophers of our time.
You are introduced to a new philosophical topic in each episode, and you don’t have to be a graduate of philosophy to understand what the show is trying to communicate. Host Stephen West helps you understand the world in the simplest ways possible.
[Looking for a bit more philosophy? Find out more with some of the best books on philosophy.]
The Philosopher’s Zone is hosted by David Rutledge and powered by ABC Radio National. David Rutledge has been an ABC RN reporter since 2001, but he has been a broadcaster since 1998. In this podcast, he focuses on emerging philosophical issues related to logic, ethics, and metaphysics.
The show’s tagline states that “the simplest questions often have the most complex answers.” Simply put, the podcast tackles daily life concerns and provides bountiful explanations.
5. In Our Time
In Our Time is actually a history podcast divided into five parts: history, culture, philosophy, religion, and science. It is hosted by Melvyn Bragg and broadcast by the BBC Radio 4 network. The show has a huge fan base, with over two million listeners worldwide.
The podcast typically covers various philosophers and their work. For instance, one episode talks about Aristotle and how he came up with the concept of life. In each episode, Bragg and his guests also talk about how these philosophical ideas apply to the modern world.
Brenden Weber is the genius behind this wonderful podcast. He is a writer that has a great passion for all things related to philosophy, particularly those that are connected to our culture and environment.
In this show, Weber talks about concepts of philosophy, psychology, and spirituality that are commonly portrayed through entertainment like books and movies, as well as public figures. Weber believes that although there are things we do not agree with, we should learn to accept and apply them anyway—and he talks about how to do so in this podcast.
Hosted by Peter Adamson, this podcast tells the history of philosophy literally without any gaps in between. It probes deep into the lives and beliefs of the major philosophers and discusses the foundations of philosophy in a historical context.
Adamson is a professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, teaching late ancient and Arabic philosophy. He started the podcast in 2010 and hit four million downloads by 2014. Today, the podcast continues to educate people about history and philosophy.
“Akimbo” means “from the bend in the river” or “the bend in an archer’s bow.” During ancient times, it was a symbol of strength and endless possibilities, which is why Seth Godin decided to use the word as the name of his new philosophy podcast about cultural change and positivity.
Seth Godin is a well-known, award-winning author and business expert. He knows how to be productive and get things done at work, and he actively shares this knowledge with the world. He even offers Udemy courses about unconventional leadership.
Hi-Phi Nation is a “show about philosophy that turns stories into ideas.” It is powered and managed by Slate Group, a daily online magazine and podcast network that provides up-to-date news on politics, business, technology, and culture. The podcast begins with a story, from which its host, Barry Lam, extracts ideas and examines the philosophical conflicts that arise.
The Public Philosopher is another podcast produced and managed by BBC Radio 4. It is hosted by Michael Sandel, a political philosopher who teaches government theory at Harvard Law School. An article in China Newsweek called him the most influential foreign figure of the year.
In the podcast, Sandel talks about the mentality and thinking behind current controversies. Some of the topics he has talked about include genetics and morality, markets and morals, and morality in politics. According to a review, this podcast is a “wonderful exploration of modern-day societal moral dilemmas.”
11. Philosophy Bites
This show describes itself as a “podcast of top philosophers interviewed on bite-sized topics.” It is hosted by David Edmonds, a radio producer at the BBC World Service, and Nigel Warburton, a British freelance writer and philosopher. Both have PhD’s in philosophy.
In this podcast, Edmonds and Warburton interview top philosophers who share their views and beliefs about various topics. Some of their guests include Robert White, Paul Sagar, and Christian Miller. Two books related to the podcast have also been published.
Aubrey Marcus is a modern philosopher who asks the important, difficult questions, like how do we find our purpose in life, how do we wake up to who we truly are, and how do we become better human beings?
Marcus is the founder and CEO of Onnit, a lifestyle brand that is based on a philosophy called Total Human Optimization. He is also a New York Times bestselling author and a MAPS.org and Heffter Institute organizer.
13. Making Sense
In this podcast, Sam Harris explores significant questions people ask about the human mind, society, and current events. For instance, a recent episode with Paul Bloom examines the tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant. They also discuss moral responsibility.
Sam Harris is widely known for books such as “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation.” He focuses on neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, rationality, and meditation in his works. He has a degree in philosophy from Stanford University.
Jack Russell Weinstein is the man behind this philosophy podcast. He is an American philosopher who specializes in political philosophy, the history of philosophy, and contemporary liberal theory. He currently serves as a professor at the University of Dakota.
According to Weinstein’s website, “WHY? takes you on a journey through the great questions, the puzzling answers, and the deepest recesses of your mind.” It aims to make philosophy easy to understand and to help people realize that it is relevant in our daily lives.
15. Very Bad Wizards
This podcast features two men who share the same love for ethics, pop culture, and cognitive science: Tamler Sommers (a philosopher) and David Pizarro (a psychologist). In every episode, they discuss moral philosophy and the most recent works tackling moral psychology and neuroscience. But more importantly, they explore how philosophy and psychology are interconnected.
Sommers is a writer who specializes in ethics and free will. He received his doctorate at Duke University and is currently a professor at the University of Houston. Pizzaro is an associate professor in the department of psychology at Cornell University. He is one of the leading researchers in the field of moral judgment and intuition.
If you are into geek and nerd culture, you will surely enjoy this podcast. In each episode, the hosts chat about pop culture. Some of the most recent topics include video games, horror movies, aliens, and sci-fi.
The podcast is hosted by John “Hammertime” Holshoe and Rockin’ Robbie Billups, and helps you understand how and why pop culture impacts people.
17. On Being
On Being has the goal of pushing people to think deeper, practice moral imagination, cultivate social courage and joy, and renew their inner and outer lives. It is hosted by Krista Tippett, the founder and CEO of “The On Being Project.” She is also a New York Times bestselling author and a National Humanities Medal awardee.
In this podcast, Tippett seeks to discover the answer to two simple questions: “What does it mean to be human?” and “How do we want to live?” Some of her notable guests include the Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou, Desmond Tutu, Thich Nhat Hanh, Paulo Coelho, and Ellie Wiesel.
This podcast describes itself as an “informal and informative philosophy podcast.” It mainly aims to support those in the academe—teachers, students, and scholars in philosophy—people whose goal is to awaken more free-thinking individuals and inspire a new society of philosophers.
The main man behind this podcast is Jack Symes, who serves as the producer, co-editor, and co-host of the show. He has a degree in philosophy from the University of Liverpool. The other co-hosts include Dr. Gregory Miller, Andrew Horton, and Olly Marley.
19. Philosophy 24/7
The goal of Philosophy 24/7 is simple—to provide information to people about pressing moral and political issues. Each episode is a concise interview of the host, David Edmonds, with a leading philosopher. He asks his guests to share their thoughts about moral, societal, and political topics.
Edmonds is the other half of the duo that hosts the Philosophy Bites podcast. Some of the topics that he has covered in this podcast include political disagreement, responsibility and justice, and intellectual arrogance.
Intelligence Squared is a platform where people from around the world participate in debates, live forums, and talks. It aims to enable people to make wise decisions based on essential information. Every year, it holds 40 to 50 live events in early a dozen countries. It has been featured in a lot of prominent magazines, such as Financial Times, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, and The Telegraph.
The project’s founders have established a podcast to keep people informed, inspired, and entertained. The podcast features the debates, talks and discussions, and past events that the community has participated in over the past few years.
21. Think Again
This is a rather unique philosophy podcast. In every episode, Jason Gots surprises his guests with questions that have nothing to do with their expertise. Imagine asking Einstein about gambling and contemporary parenting instead of black holes and time travel, and you get the gist.
Gots believes that the best conversations are borne out of issues we are not prepared to discuss. This pushes us to get out of our comfort zones and think outside the box. Some of his most notable guests include Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Maria Popova, and Stephen Hawking.
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson has a degree in psychology. He is a clinical psychologist and a professor at the University of Toronto. As an Internet figure, he is most famous for his YouTube channel, which features his public lectures and interviews.
The podcast is a pure audio counterpart to his YouTube videos. He usually talks about philosophical and psychological topics, such as the connection of science to religion, the interrelation between motivation, emotion, and cognition, and the nature of human personality.
23. Point of Inquiry
Point of Inquiry is managed and operated by the Center for Inquiry (CFI) in Los Angeles. It is hosted by James Underdown, the executive director of CFI. Its main goal is to “foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.”
This podcast is where the brightest and boldest of minds meet to engage in deep conversations regarding science, politics, religion, and culture. Some of the show’s most remarkable guests include Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Adam Savage, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins.
Philosophy Talk Starters is composed of a team of philosophers including Ken Taylor, Josh Landy, Debra Satz, and John Perry (as host emeritus). According to the website, their goal is to “celebrate the value of the examined life.” In each episode, the host philosophers engage in a conversation about a wide range of topics ranging from pop culture to society’s scientific, humanistic, and moral views.
This podcast is a fun and stimulating way to learn new things and discover truths about the world. It will challenge you to question your assumptions and make you curious and interested.
25. Moral Maze
Moral Maze is another BBC Radio 4 podcast that tackles moral and ethical issues covered in the recent news. The show revolves around a “combative, provocative, and engaging debate” with Michael Buerk as the main facilitator. Some of his regular participants (panelists) include Andrew Doyle, Giles Fraser, Anne McElvoy, and Nesrine Malik.
This podcast originated as a live discussion program in 1990. It became available as a podcast in November 2011.
Final Thoughts on Best Philosophy Podcasts to Check Out
Philosophy is a slightly complicated topic to deal with—it involves complex questions with hundreds of possible answers. But once you get the hang of its complexities, you might just find yourself enjoying it.
If you are interested to discover the answers to the things you randomly ask yourself, or if you simply want to learn why things are the way they are, check out the podcasts we shared above. Each has its own specialty, style, and focus that may help you learn a lot about the world we are living in.
Have you already tried listening to some of the podcasts above?
We would love to know your thoughts, so please share them in the comment sections below!