Peter Adamson, Professor of Philosophy at the LMU in Munich and at King’s College London, takes listeners through the history of philosophy, “without any gaps”. www.historyofphilosophy.net
Here's the Latest Episode from History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps:
Leon Battista Alberti, Benedetto Cotrugli, and Poggio Bracciolini grapple with the moral and conceptual problems raised by the prospect of people getting filthy rich.
Tommaso Campanella’s “The City of the Sun” and other utopian works of the Italian Renaissance describe perfect cities as an ideal for real life politics.
Bruni, Poggio, Machiavelli, and Guicciardini explore political ideas and historical method in works on Roman and Italian history.
Leading Machiavelli scholar Quentin Skinner joins Peter to discuss morality, history, and religion in the Prince and the Discourses.
Peter celebrates reaching 350 episodes by explaining a single sentence in Machiavelli's "Discourses."
Machiavelli’s seminal work of political advice, "The Prince," tells the ruler how to be strong like a lion and cunning like a fox.
Did “civic humanism” really make republicanism a newly dominant political theory in the Italian Renaissance?
The prophetic preacher Girolamo Savonarola attacks pagan philosophy and puts forward his own political ideas, before coming to an untimely end.
An interview with Cecilia Muratori, an expert on the surprisingly modern ideas about non-human animals that emerged in the Renaissance.
Pico della Mirandola and Giannozzo Manetti praise humans as the centerpiece of the created world. But what about the other animals?
Pico della Mirandola argues for the harmony of the ancient authorities, draws on Jewish mysticism, and questions the value of humanist rhetoric.
Jewish philosophers in Renaissance Italy, focusing on Leone Ebreo’s Dialogues of Love, the Averroism of Elijah del Medigo, and Italian Kabbalah.
An interview with Denis Robichaud on how, and why, Plato was read in the Italian Renaissance.
Ficino describes a “Platonic” love purified of sexuality, prompting a debate carried on by Pico della Mirandola, Pietro Bembo, and Tullia d’Aragona.
Marsilio Ficino’s revival of Platonism, with a focus on his proofs for the soul’s immortality in his magnum opus, the Platonic Theology.
The blossoming of Renaissance Platonism under the Medici, who supported the scholarship of Poliziano, Ficino, and Pico della Mirandola.
Refutation of misogyny in Moderate Fonte and Lucrezia Marinella.
Cassandra Fedele, Isotta Nogarola, and Laura Cereta seek fame and glory through eloquence and learning.
Christine de Pizan's political philosophy, epistemology, and the refutation of misogyny in her "City of Ladies".
An interview with Sabrina Ebbersmeyer about the relation of emotion to reason and the body, and panpsychism, in the Renaissance.
The rediscovery of Epicurus, Lucretius, and Sextus Empiricus spreads challenging ideas about chance, atomism, and skepticism.
Humanists from Bruni and Valla to Pontano and Castiglione ask whether ancient ethical teachings can still help us learn how to live.
Jill Kraye returns to the podcast to discuss the nature of humanism, its relation to scholasticism, and its legacy.
Lorenzo Valla launches a furious attack on scholastic philosophy, favoring the resources of classical Latin.
Coluccio Salutati and Leonardo Bruni combine eloquence with philosophy, taking as their model the refined language and republican ideals found in Cicero.
Bessarion and George Trapenzuntius, rival scholars from the Greek east who helped inspire the Italian Renaissance.
A first look at the themes and figures of philosophy in the Italian Renaissance.
The series on Byzantium concludes as Michele Trizio discusses the mutual influence of Byzantium and Latin Christendom.
When the Byzantine empire ended in 1453, philosophy in Greek did not end with it. In this episode we bring the story up to the 20th century.
Was Gemistos Plethon, the last great thinker of the Byzantine tradition, a secret pagan or just a Christian with an unusual enthusiasm for Platonism?
Thomas Aquinas finds avid readers among Byzantines at the twilight of empire, and is used by both sides of the Hesychast controversy.
Gregory Palamas and the controversy over his teaching that we can go beyond human reason by grasping God through his activities or “energies”.
Mathematics and the sciences in Byzantium, focusing on scholars of the Palaiologan period like Blemmydes and Metochites.
Historian Judith Herrin joins us to talk about competition and mutual influence between Islam and Byzantium.
Intellectual exchange between Christians and Muslims, and the later flowering of Syriac literature including the philosopher Bar Hebraeus.
The Neoplatonist Proclus gets mixed reviews from Christians, as Nicholas of Methone refutes him but the Georgian philosopher Ioane Petritsi helps to revive his thought.
Peter's Munich colleague Oliver Primavesi tells us how Greek manuscripts are used to establish the text of authors like Aristotle.
Without handwritten copies produced by Byzantine scribes, we would know almost nothing about ancient philosophy. How and why were they made?
Legal and economic thought in Byzantium: the sources of the law’s authority, the relation of church and civil law, just price, and just war.
The role of women in Byzantine society and the complex attitudes surrounding eunuchs: did they make up a “third gender”?
A chat about commentaries on Aristotle from Byzantium with guest Katerina Ierodiakonou.
Princess Anna Komnene makes good use of her political retirement by gathering a circle of scholars to write commentaries on Aristotle.
The larger meaning of history in the chronicles written by Michael Psellos, Michael Attaleiates, Anna Komnene, and Niketas Choniates.
Psellos and other experts in rhetoric explore how this art of persuasion relates to philosophy.
Byzantine political thought from the time of Justinian down to the Palaiologos dynasty wrestles with the nature and scope of imperial power.
The trial of John Italos and other signs of Byzantine disquiet with the pagan philosophical tradition.
Dominic O'Meara speaks to Peter about Michael Psellos, focusing especially on his political philosophy.
Michael Psellos and his attitude towards pagan philosophy and the political life.
Peter's twin brother Glenn Adamson discusses the philosophical implications of craft.
Photius, “the inventor of the book review,” and other Byzantine scholars who preserved ancient learning.
Peter is joined by Andrew Louth for a discussion of John of Damascus and his theological use of philosophy.
John of Damascus helps to shape the Byzantine understanding of humankind and the veneration of images, despite living in Islamic territory.
Is it idolatry to venerate an icon of a saint, or of Christ? The dispute leads the Byzantines to ponder the relation between an image and its object.
Eastern Christian philosophy outside of Constantinople, focusing on translation and exegesis in the languages of Syriac and Armenian.
We begin to look at the third tradition of medieval philosophy, in which the heritage of classical antiquity is preserved and debated by the Byzantines.
Peter King, Catarina Dutilh Novaes, and Russ Friedman discuss their approaches to medieval philosophy, and its contemporary relevance.
Rachel Barney, Christof Rapp, and Mark Kalderon join Peter to discuss the importance of ancient philosophy for today's philosophers.
Bob Pasnau joins Peter to discuss ideas about substance from Aquinas down to the time of Locke, Leibniz and Descartes.
New paperbacks and a new series!
The Renaissance ideals of humanism and universal science flourish already in the medieval period, in the works of Petrarch and Ramon Llull.
New ideas and and new universities in Italy and greater Germany including Vienna and Prague, where Jan Hus carries on the radical ideas of Wyclif.
John Wyclif refutes nominalism and inspires the Lollard movement, which anticipated Reformation thought with its critique of the church.
Jean Gerson’s role in the political disputes of his day, the spread of lay devotion and affective mysticism, and the debate over the Romance of the Rose initiated by Christine de Pizan.
Peter is joined by Isabel Davis to discuss marriage, sex and chastity in Chaucer, focusing on the Wife of Bath's speech.
Medieval attitudes towards homosexuality, sex and chastity, and the status of women. Authors discussed include Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, and Chaucer.
Philosophical themes in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” and “Troilus and Criseyde,” as well as Langland’s “Piers Plowman.”
Julian of Norwich’s Shewings and the Cloud of Unknowing lay out challenging paths to knowledge of, and union with, God.
Martin Pickavé returns to the podcast to talk about theories of the emotions in Aquinas, Scotus and Wodeham.
Be surprised by how many philosophical problems arise in connection with angels (how many can dance on the head of a pin is not one of them).
Dietrich of Freiberg, Berthold of Moosburg, John Tauler and Henry Suso explore Neoplatonism and mysticism.
The scholastic and mystic Meister Eckhart sets out his daring speculations about God and humankind in both Latin and German.
Changing ideas about money, just price, and usury, up to the time of Buridan, Oresme, and Gregory of Rimini.
The medievals were too firm in their beliefs to entertain skeptical worries, right? Don't be so sure, as Peter learns from Dominik Perler.
The debate between Nicholas of Autrecourt and John Buridan on whether it is possible to achieve certain knowledge.
Peter speaks to Jack Zupko about John Buridan's secular and parsimonious approach to philosophy.
The hipster’s choice for favorite scholastic, John Buridan, sets out a nominalist theory of knowledge and language, and explains the workings of free will.
An interview with Monica Green reveals parallels between medicine and philosophy in the middle ages.
Ockham, Buridan, Oresme and Francis of Marchia explore infinity, continuity, atomism, and the impetus involved in motion.
Bradwardine and other thinkers based at Oxford make breakthroughs in physics by applying mathematics to motion.
Sara Uckelman soundly defeats Peter in the medieval logical game of "obligations."
The scholastics discuss the ambiguity of terms, the nature of logical inference, and logical paradoxes, and play the game of “obligations.”
Scotus, Ockham, and Bradwardine ask how we can be free if God knows and chooses the things we will do in the future.
Walter Burley flies the flag for realism against Ockham and other nominalists.
An interview with Susan Brower-Toland covering Ockham's views on cognition, consciousness, and memory.
How the language of thought relates to spoken and written language, according to William of Ockham.
Ockham trims away the unnecessary entities posited by other scholastics.
William of Ockham on freedom of action and freedom of thought.
In his book Defender of the Peace, Marsilius of Padua develops new theories of representative government, rights, and ownership.
Peter muses on recent political events in light of the history of philosophy.
Giles of Rome and Dante on the rival claims of the church and secular rulers.
Italy’s greatest poet Dante Alighieri was also a philosopher, as we learn from his Convivio and of course the Divine Comedy.
Marguerite Porete is put to death for her exploration of the love of God, The Mirror of Simple Souls.
A conversation with Tom Pink about medieval theories of freedom and action.
An introduction to philosophy in the 14th century, focusing on two big ideas: nominalism and voluntarism.
Peter hears about Duns Scotus' epistemology from expert Giorgio Pini.
Scotus explains how things can share a nature in common while being unique individuals.
Scotus argues that morality is a matter of freely choosing to follow God’s freely issued commands.
Scotus develops a novel theory of free will and, along the way, rethinks the notions of necessity and possibility.
Duns Scotus attacks the proposal of Aquinas and Henry of Ghent that being is subject to analogy.
Medieval discussions of the Trinity charted new metaphysical territory, as we see in this interview with Richard Cross.
Philosophy is pushed to its limits to provide rational explanations of two Christian theological doctrines.
An interview with Martin Pickavé on voluntarism in Henry of Ghent.
Henry of Ghent, now little known but a leading scholastic in the late 13th century, makes influential proposals on all the debates of his time.
Does medieval art tell us anything about medieval theories of aesthetics? Peter finds out from Andreas Speer.
Sex, reason, and religion in Jean de Meun’s completion of an allegory of courtly love, the Roman de la Rose.
The “modistae” explore the links between language, the mind, and reality.
Aquinas, Bonaventure, and the so-called “Latin Averroists” take up the question of whether the universe has always existed, and settle once and for all which comes first, the chicken or the egg.
Did Siger of Brabant and Boethius of Dacia, who have been called “Latin Averroists” and “radical Aristotelians,” really embrace a doctrine of “double truth”?
Peter answers listener questions on the nature of philosophy and the podcast series.
Two rounds of condemnations at Paris declare certain philosophical teachings as heretical. But what were the long term effects?
Scott MacDonald joins Peter to discuss Thomas Aquinas' views on human knowledge.
Aquinas follows medieval legal thinkers in defining the conditions under which war may be justified, and proposes his famous doctrine of double effect.
Natural law and political legitimacy in thirteenth century thinkers up to and including Thomas Aquinas.
Natural and supernatural virtue and happiness in Thomas Aquinas and his teacher, Albert the Great.
Thomas Aquinas makes controversial claims concerning the unity of the soul and the empirical basis of human knowledge.
An introduction to Thomas Aquinas, his views on faith and reason, and his famous “five ways” of proving God’s existence.
Therese Cory tells Peter what Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas thought about self-awareness.
Albert the Great’s theory of being and his attempt to explain what changes in the human mind when we come to see God in the afterlife.
Albert the Great earns his nickname “universal doctor” by devoting himself to the whole of nature, from geology and botany to the study of human nature.
Was medieval logic "formal"? Peter finds out from Catarina Dutilh Novaes.
Robert Kilwardby is infamous for his ban on teaching certain philosophical ideas at Oxford, yet made contributions in logic and on the soul.
Two Beguine authors, Hadewijch and Mechthild of Magdeburg, deploy the tropes of courtly love in vernacular writings about their mystical experiences.
New feed for Philosophy in India: http://hopwag2.podbean.com/feed/
Bonaventure and Peter Olivi respond to critics of the Franciscan vow of poverty, in a debate which produced new ideas about economics and rights.
Medieval ideas about what animals do and do not have in common with humans, and how we should treat them.
Peter Olivi proposes that awareness occurs not through passively being affected by things, but by actively paying attention to them.
Bonaventure argues that human knowledge depends on an illumination from God.
Charles Burnett tells Peter about the role of magic in medieval intellectual life.
Roger Bacon extols the power of science based on experience and uses a general theory of "species" to explain light and vision.
Translator, scientist and theologian Robert Grosseteste sheds light on the cosmos, human understanding, and the rainbow.
The scholastics explore Aristotle’s ethical teaching and the concept of moral conscience.
Philip the Chancellor introduces the transcendentals, a key idea in medieval metaphysics and aesthetics.
John Blund and William of Auvergne draw on Aristotle and Avicenna to argue that the soul is immaterial and immortal.
Richard Rufus and anonymous commentators on Aristotle explore the nature of motion, time, infinity and space.
The terminist logicians William of Sherwood and Peter of Spain classify the various ways that language can relate to the world.
Kent Emery joins Peter to discuss the effects of monastic and university culture on medieval philosophy.
The emergence of universities in Paris, Oxford, Bologna and elsewhere provide the main setting for medieval philosophy in the 13th century and beyond.
Greek and Arabic sources are rendered into Latin in a translation movement that will revolutionize medieval philosophy.
The life, visions, political intrigues and scientific interests of Hildegard of Bingen.
A discussion about Roman law and its reception in the medieval period, with ancient law expert Caroline Humfress.
Gratian and Peter Lombard help bring scholasticism to maturity by systematizing law and theology.
The “Investiture Contest” between church and state and the first major work of medieval political philosophy, John of Salisbury’s Policraticus.
Andrew Arlig joins Peter to discuss medieval discussions of mereology (the study of parts and wholes).
Gilbert of Poitiers proposes a unique way to explain how each individual is the individual it is.
In this special episode, Peter chats with the hosts of the History of the Crusades, History of Byzantium, and British History podcasts.
As early medieval science blossoms, Bernard Silvestris and Alan of Lille personify Nature in their philosophical prose-poems.
The controversial role of Chartres in the philosophical Renaissance of the twelfth century.
Discussion, debate and denunciation of philosophical attempts to explain the Trinity in Abelard, Richard of St Victor and Bernard of Clairvaux.
Hugh of Saint Victor and other scholars of the same abbey combine secular learning with spirituality.
John Marenbon returns to the podcast to discuss Abelard's views on necessity and freedom..
Peter Abelard sets out an innovative ethical theory that identifies intentions as the core of moral life.
Peter Abelard and Heloise prove themselves to be fascinating thinkers as well as star-crossed lovers.
Abelard and other logicians of the 12th century argue over the status of universals: are they words or things?
Anselm expert Eileen Sweeney discusses his approach to philosophy and the devotional aspect of his works.
The most famous argument in medieval philosophy is Anselm's proof of God's existence. But how is it supposed to work?
Anselm offers more than his famous ontological argument, including a subtle account of human freedom.
Peter Damian takes up a question with surprising philosophical implications: can God restore virginity to a woman who has lost it?
Little-known authors prepare the way for scholasticism with glosses on logic, metaphysical debate, and a poem about a cat.
Stephen Gersh (who was Peter's doctoral advisor!) joins him to discuss the sources and influence of Platonism in the Middle Ages.
We celebrate reaching episode 200 with a special double interview on the problem of defining medieval philosophy.
Eriugena delves into the Greek tradition to produce his masterpiece of metaphysics and theology, the Periphyseon.
John Scotus Eriugena debates free will with his rival Gottschalk, arguing that God predestines the saved but not the damned.
Alcuin leads a resurgence of interest in philosophy and the liberal arts at the court of Charlemagne.
Peter launches the series of podcasts on philosophy in medieval Latin Christendom with a look ahead at what’s to come.
Anke von Kügelgen joins Peter to discuss developments over the last century or so, including attitudes towards past thinkers like Avicenna, Averroes and Ibn Taymiyya.
From Sabzawārī in the 19th century to Seyyed Hossein Nasr today, Iranian thinkers promote and respond to the thought of Mullā Ṣadrā.
Muḥammad 'Abdūh and Muḥammad Iqbāl challenge colonialism and the traditional religious scholars of Islam.
Fatema Mernissi and others challenge the long-standing (but not complete) exclusion of women from the intellectual traditions of Islam.
18th and 19th century intellectuals in India and the Ottoman empire, from Shāh Walī Allāh to the Young Turks, continue Islamic traditions and grapple with European science.
Kātib Çelebi defends cigarettes and coffee, in just one of several philosophical and religious debates in the Ottoman empire.
Ideas spread to Mughal India from Iran, and prince Dārā Shikūh seeks to unite the wisdom of the Upanishads with the Koran.
Sajjad Rizvi talks to Peter about Mullā Ṣadrā's views on eternity, God's knowledge and the afterlife.
Mullā Ṣadrā proposes that all things are like sharks: in constant motion.
Mullā Ṣadrā, greatest thinker of early modern Iran, unveils his radical new understanding of existence.
Philosophy in Safavid Iran, and a look back at earlier philosophy among Shiites.
Robert Wisnovsky joins Peter to discuss the enormous body of unstudied philosophical commentaries in the later Eastern Islamic world.
The roots of the Safavid philosophical tradition in some rather ill-tempered debates at Shīrāz.
Philosophy and science survive and even thrive through the coming of the Mongols.
The controversial jurist Ibn Taymiyya sets forth an originalist theory of law and a searching criticism of the philosophers’ logic.
Later Islamic logicians try to solve the Liar Paradox and take on the advances of Avicenna's logic.
Peter is joined by Mohammed Rustom in a discussion about Sufi authors including Ibn 'Arabī and Rūmī
The Persian poet Rūmī and mystical philosopher al-Qūnawī carry on the legacy of Sufism.
Avicenna’s distinction between essence and existence triggers a running debate among philosophers and theologians.
Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī’s controversial career sees him adopt and then abandon Ismāʿīlism, team up with the Mongols, and offer a staunch defense of Avicenna.
The Illuminationists carry on Suhrawardī’s critique of “Peripatetic” philosophy and wonder if they will be reborn as giraffes.
Suhrawardī, founder of the Illuminationist (ishrāqī) tradition, proposes a metaphysics of light on the basis of his theory of knowledge by presence
The hugely influential Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī weaves Avicenna and Islamic theology into complex dialectical treatments of time, God, the soul, and ethics.
Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī makes up his own mind about physics and the soul, and along the way inaugurates a new style of doing philosophy.
An introduction to later developments in philosophical theology, sufism, and Illuminationism, focusing on the reception and critique of Avicenna.
Leading scholar of medieval Jewish thought Gad Freudenthal joins Peter in a concluding episode on Andalusian thought.
Joseph Albo and Isaac Abravanel critique Maimonides’ attempt to lay down foundations for the Jewish law.
The rich symbolism of the Zohar and the spiritual practices of Abraham Abluafia feature in the mystical movement known as Kabbalah.
The Book of Job provokes Saadia, Maimonides, Ibn Tibbon and Gersonides to reflect on why God allows suffering.
Tamar Rudavsky joins Peter to talk about the two great medieval Jewish thinkers after Maimonides: Gersonides and Crescas.
Ḥasdai Crescas shows Aristotelian physics who’s boss, by defending alternative conceptions of time, place and infinity.
The super-commentator Gersonides and other Jews digest the ideas of Averroes.
Maimonides’ works provoke a bitter dispute among Jews in France and Spain over the relation of philosophy to Judaism.
Maimonides as a "Mediterranean thinker": Peter is joined by Sarah Stroumsa.
Maimonides tries to settle the eternity of the world debate by declaring a draw.
The great Jewish philosopher and legal scholar Maimonides, and the ideas in his Mishneh Torah and Guide for the Perplexed.
Baḥya Ibn Paquda and Maimonides explore the ethical dimension of the Jewish scriptures and legal tradition.
Abraham Ibn Ezra, Ibn Daud and Maimonides consider the philosophical implications of astrology as science flourishes in the Jewish culture of Andalusia.
Judah Hallevi argues that Judaism has a better claim to belief than philosophy, Christianity, or Islam.
Peter chats with Sarah Pessin about the Neoplatonism of Jewish philosophers such as Isaac Israeli, Ibn Gabirol, and Maimonides.
Neoplatonism returns in Ibn Gabriol, who controversially holds that everything apart from God has both matter and form.
The historian Ibn Khaldūn applies the methods of philosophy to understand the rise and fall of political regimes.
Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, collides with philosophy in the work of Ibn ʿArabī.
Averroes scholar Richard C. Taylor joins Peter to talk about Averroes' views on the relation between Islam and philosophy.
Averroes defends the rather surprising notion that all of mankind shares a single intellect.
A special 150th double interview episode on the transmission of philosophy from Arabic into Latin.
An introduction to “the Commentator” Averroes, and his defense of philosophy in the Decisive Treatise.
Intellect and alienation in Ibn Bājja and Ibn Ṭufayl, author of the philosophical desert island castaway tale “Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān.”
The development of Islamic law and jurisprudence (fiqh), and the many-sided output of the legal theorist Ibn Ḥazm.
The flowering of philosophy among Muslims and Jews in al-Andalus (Muslim-controlled Spain and Portugal).
Why did al-Ghazālī judge "the philosophers" to be apostates? Peter finds out from Frank Griffel.
In his “Incoherence of the Philosophers,” al-Ghazālī attacks Avicenna’s theories about the eternity of the universe and insists on the possibility of miracles.
Al-Ghazālī’s search for truth leads him to philosophy, Asharite theology, and ultimately the mystical tradition of Sufism.
Peter talks to Dimitri Gutas about Avicenna's sources, philosophical methods, and influence.
With his Flying Man argument, Avicenna explores self-awareness and the relation between soul and body.
Avicenna’s proof of the Necessary Existent is ingenious and influential; but does it amount to a proof of God’s existence?
Avicenna revolutionizes metaphysics with groundbreaking ideas about necessity and contingency, and his new distinction between essence and existence.
Despite a tumultuous life, Avicenna manages to become the most influential of all medieval philosophers.
Al-Ash‘arī puts his stamp on the future of Islamic theology by emphasizing God’s untrammeled power and freedom.
Peter is joined by Farhad Daftary, a leading expert on the Shiite group known as the Ismā'īlīs.
Miskawayh, al-‘Amiri, al-Tawhidi, the Brethren of Purity and Ismaili missionaries bring together philosophy with Persian culture, literature and Islam.
Drawing on Galen and Aristotle, philosophers from al-Kindi to Miskawayh compose ethical works designed us to achieve health in soul, as well as body.
Peter turns DJ, with some actual music interspersed with discussion about theories of music in Arabic philosophical texts.
Ibn al-Haytham draws on the tradition of geometrical optics to explain the mystery of human eyesight.
Deborah Black joins Peter to talk about al-Farabi's innovations concerning knowledge and certainty.
Al-Fārābī combines Islam and Greek sources to present the ideal ruler as a philosopher who is also a prophet.
Peter begins to look at the systematic rethinking of Hellenic philosophy offered by al-Farabi, focusing on his logic and metaphysics.
A group of mostly Christian philosophers transpose the practices of antique Aristotelian philosophy to 10th century Baghdad.
A double dose of Peters, as Pormann joins Adamson to discuss medicine and philosophy in the Islamic world.
The doctor and philosopher Abu Bakr al-Razi sets out a daring philosophical theory involving five eternal principles: God, soul, matter, time and place.
Saadia Gaon draws on Greek philosophy and Islamic theology to provide a rational account of Jewish belief.
The roots of Jewish philosophy in the Islamic world, focusing on the Rabbinic background in the Mishnah and Talmud, and the thought of early figures like Isaac Israeli.
Al-Kindī uses Hellenic materials to discuss the eternity of the world, divine attributes, and the nature of the soul.
Greek philosophy and science make their way into the Islamic world via Syriac and Arabic translations and interpretations.
A first look at the philosophical contributions of Islamic theology (kalām) and its political context, focusing on the Muʿtazilites Abū l-Hudhayl and al-Naẓẓām.
The rise of Islam creates a new context for philosophy not only among Muslims, but also Jews and Christians.
John Marenbon joins Peter to discuss Boethius' solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge.
Boethius ushers in the medieval age with expert works on Aristotle, subtle treatises on theology, and the Consolation of Philosophy, written while he awaited execution.
Apuleius, Victorinus, Martianus Cappella, Macrobius and Calcidius present and interpret Platonic teachings for readers of Latin.
In a final episode on Augustine, Charles Brittain joins Peter to discuss On the Trinity.
In On the Trinity Augustine explores the human mind as an image of God.
Peter speaks with Sarah Byers about the Stoic influence on Augustine's ethics and theory of action.
In his City of God Augustine traces the histories and philosophical underpinnings of two “cities,” one devoted to worldly glory, the other to heavenly bliss.
Augustine defends free will, but rejects the Pelagian claim that we can be good without God's help.
Augustine argues that words are signs, but not signs that can bring us to knowledge.
In the Confessions Augustine weaves autobiography with reflections on the nature of God, man, and time.
Tertullian, Lactantius, Jerome and Ambrose use and abuse Hellenic philosophy.
George Boys-Stones joins Peter to discuss philosophy in the Bible and the Greek Fathers.
Christian ascetics like Antony, Macrina and Evagrius create a new ethical ideal by pushing the human capacity for self-control to its limits.
The early Byzantine thinker Maximus uses Aristotle to defend the orthodox view of Christ's two natures
A mysterious author calling himself Dionysius fuses Neoplatonism with Christianity
Basil of Caesarea, his brother Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus use philosophy to help the poor and to defeat their theological opponents
Origen of Alexandria weaves Platonic ideas into new and controversial theological ideas
Irenaeus, Clement and Justin Martyr consider the relevance of philosophy for Christianity
An overview of what the Church Fathers contributed to ancient philosophy
A special double interview celebrates reaching 100 episodes by looking at the cultural status of philosophy in the ancient world
Richard Sorabji joins Peter to discuss the ancient commentators on Aristotle
John Philoponus refutes Aristotle’s and Proclus’ arguments for the eternity of the universe, and develops new ideas in physics.
Julian the Apostate and the philosophers of Athens and Alexandria try to keep pagan philosophy alive in the late Roman empire
Dominic O'Meara speaks with Peter about political philosophy and mathematics in Neoplatonism
Anne Sheppard joins Peter to discuss aesthetics from Plato to Proclus
Proclus displays late Neoplatonism in all its glory
Iamblichus fuses Platonism with pagan religious conviction and sets the agenda for Neoplatonism in generations to come.
Porphyry defends vegetarianism and the harmony of Plato and Aristotle
James Wilberding joins Peter to examine what Plotinus and Porphyry contributed to the philosophy of nature
Plotinus struggles to explain the presence of suffering, evil and ugliness in a world caused by purely good principles – and tells us what role we should play in that world.
For Plotinus, Soul is on the border between the physical and intelligible realms. Can he convince us to identify ourselves with its highest part?
Plotinus posits an absolutely transcendent first principle, the One. What is it (or isn’t it), and how does it relate to Intellect?
Peter introduces Plotinus, the greatest philosopher of late antiquity and the founder of Neoplatonism
How did the mathematics of figures like Euclid and Archimides relate to ancient philosophy? Peter finds out in an interview with Serafina Cuomo
Ptolemy uses philosophy in the service of studying the stars, while philosophers of all persuasions evaluate the widespread practice of astrology.
Themistius, Quintilian, Lucian and other authors tell us about the connections between rhetoric and late ancient philosophy
Alexander of Aphrodisias writes the greatest ancient commentaries on Aristotle and tries to demolish the Stoic teaching on fate
Peter looks at the history of Aristotelianism up the time of the Roman Empire and the beginning of commentaries on his works
Jan Opsomer helps Peter to understand principles, Plato interpretation, and Plutarch in a wide-ranging discussion of Middle Platonism
Plutarch was a historian, a priest of Apollo, and a Platonist
Philo of Alexandria uses Platonism to understand the Bible of Moses
Pioneering thinkers Eudorus, Alcinous, and Numenius fuse Pythagoreanism with Platonism and pave the way for Plotinus.
In late antiquity, Aristotelianism and Platonism made a comeback, and pagan philosophy developed alongside Judaism and Christianity.
Jim Hankinson tells Peter about the life, work and philosophical contributions of Galen
Hellenistic doctors discover the nerves and argue about method; Galen passes judgment
Leading Hellenistic philosophy scholar Tony Long talks to Peter about the self, ethics and politics in the Stoics, Epicureans and Skeptics
Sextus Empiricus pushes skepticism to its limits with his uncompromising Pyrrhonism
Peter discusses Cicero's method and philosophical allegiances with Raphael Woolf
Cicero, inspired by the skepticism of the New Academy, uses his literary talents to present the wisdom of the Greeks
The Skeptical Academy attacks Stoic claims that certain knowledge is possible
Peter begins to examine ancient Skepticism, beginning with Pyrrho's life and doctrines, or lack thereof
John Sellars joins Peter to discuss the Roman Stoics and their "art of living"
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations are a classic of Stoicism written by the most powerful philosopher who ever lived
Epictetus, greatest of the Roman Stoics, tells you how to set yourself free
Seneca wields his rhetorically charged Latin to advance Stoic ethical theory
David Sedley discusses the Stoic school and its evolution
The Stoic ethical theory insists that perfection is possible, and that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism
The Stoic cosmos: suffused with divinity, surrounded by void, and endlessly repeating
The Stoics set out and defend an ambitious theory of knowledge, where it is possible to avoid all error
Introducing the early Stoics, Zeno, Cleanthes and Chrysippus, and their innovations in logic
James Warren chats with Peter about the pleasures of Epicureanism
In "On the Nature of Things" Lucretius sets Epicureanism into Latin poetic verse
The Epicureans reassure us against the terrors of death and punishment by the gods
Pleasure is the good, according to Epicurus. But how do we live most pleasantly?
Epicurus sets out an empiricist theory of knowledge and atomist physics, in support of hedonism
The Cyrenaics, the ultimate pleasure seekers of ancient philosophy
A recording of Peter's lecture delivered on Oct 25, 2011, at the Arts and Humanities festival on "The Power of Stories" at King's College London.
Diogenes and the other Cynics “deface the currency” by exposing the hypocrisy of Greek society.
Introducing the Stoics, Skeptics, Epicureans and Cynics, the schools of the Hellenistic age
The Old Academy and Theophrastus carry on the legacy of Plato and Aristotle
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
In the Rhetoric and Poetics, Aristotle explores persuasive speech and engages with ancient tragedy
Aristotle's Politics responds to Plato's Republic and sets out its own ideas about the ideal state, the types of political constitution, and the role of women and slaves
Drawing on the De Anima, On the Heavens, Physics and Metaphysics, Peter tackles Aristotle’s theory of mind and its relation to his theology.
Dominic Scott discusses Aristotle's method in his Nicomachean Ethics
What place does Aristotle leave for pleasure and friendship in his vision of the good life?
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics on happiness and virtue
In his zoology, Aristotle divides and defines all kinds of animals, and so invents the science of biology
Aristotle's theory of soul: its functions and how it relates to the body
Richard Sorabji discusses time, eternity and mosquitos in Aristotle's Physics
Aristotle's Physics explains change, time and place with the help of his actuality/potentiality distinction
The four types of explanation: formal, material, efficient and final cause
Aristotle's critique of Platonic Forms and defense of his own metaphysics
Hugh Benson discusses Aristotle's ideas about arriving at knowledge
Knowledge according to Aristotle's Posterior Analytics
Aristotle's invention of logic in the Organon (especially Categories, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics)
Aristotle's career, corpus and unparalleled influence
Plato's attack on the poets and his own use of myth in the Republic and other dialogues
Frisbee Sheffield discusses Plato's erotic dialogues, including the Symposium
Love, friendship and philosophy in the Symposium, Phaedrus and Lysis
A divine craftsman makes the cosmos from triangles in Plato's Timaeus
Philosophy of language and Heraclitean flux in Plato's Cratylus
Fiona Leigh discusses Plato's revised theory of Forms in the Sophist
The Third Man Argument and other criticisms of Forms in the Parmenides
The Divided Line, Form of the Good, and Cave in Plato's Republic
Plato's Republic defends and defines justice at the level of the ideal city and the person
Forms and the immortality of the soul in the Phaedo
MM McCabe discusses epistemology and virtue in Plato
Knowledge, relativism, and memory in the Theaetetus
The Meno and Plato's theory of recollection
Ethics against immoralism in a Socratic masterpiece.
Virtue and knowledge in Plato's Charmides and Euthydemus
The life, times and dialogues of Plato
Raphael Woolf discusses Socrates as presented by Plato
Socratic virtue, ignorance and irony in the Platonic dialogues Socrates' claim that no one does wrong willingly
Socrates according to the comic poet Aristophanes and the historian Xenophon
Rhetoric and relativism in Protagoras, Gorgias and other sophists
Hippocrates and the relation between early Greek medicine and philosophy
Malcolm Schofield on Heraclitus, Parmenides and other early Greek philosophers
Love, Strife and the four elements in Empedocles
Is everything mixed with everything? Anaxagoras on Mind and the cosmos
Ancient atomism as a response to Parmenides
Zeno's paradoxes and Melissus develop the Eleatic philosophy
The father of metaphysics, Parmenides of Elea
MM McCabe of King's discusses the fragments of Heraclitus
Everything changes in the riddling philosophy of Heraclitus
Pythagoras and mathematics in ancient philosophy
The gods in Homer and Hesiod, and the critique of Xenophanes
Two early Pre-Socratics claim that the world is made of air, and the infinite
In this first episode, Peter discusses the goals of the series and Thales, the first Greek philosopher.