It was with great sadness this weekend that I heard via Facebook and on the Australian Broadcast Corporation website of the untimely passing of Alan Saunders. Saunders was the host of the ABC Radio National program The Philosopher’s Zone, a weekly broadcast covering a broad range of topics, both in philosophy and outside of philosophy in a philosophical manner.
I first started listening to the show as a podcast via iTunes over 2 years ago and wrote a review in August of 2010. I was a little critical of his style, but it was more out of a desire for more than the weekly, 30 minute format could accomodate in tackling lofty topics. Saunders always demonstrated a strong grasp of the philosophical issues at hand, delivered his questions and comments calmly with his made-for-media voice and exhibited a generous spirit towards his guests, the issues, the thinkers and the history of philosophy. He also clearly had a clever sense of humor that peeked out far too infrequently.
My blog post led to correspondence with the show’s producer, Kyla Slaven, who kindly acknowledged my interest and gave me feedback occassionally on topics I addressed here. She shares Saunders’s enthusiasm and love for philosophy and his broad intellectual curiosity. So I say to Alan Saunders’s family, friends, colleagues, fans and particularly to Kyla, may his memory be a blessing.