Have you gotten lost in our 200+ episodes? Don't quite know where to dive into our back catalog? Due to several people nagging me over email in recent years, I've finally updated our Episodes by Topic page to carry us through the present day.
This includes new tabs dedicated to the philosophy of language and to psychology, which we've now done quite enough in. As you might have suspected, we've done a good job of covering most of the basic positions in ethics and political philosophy, though we still haven't gotten around to error theory in the former (no ethics) and anarchism in the latter (no government). We'll get to these eventually. And of course, there's plenty of contemporary/twentieth-century work in both of these areas; we just recorded with Elizabeth Anderson who introduced us to a whole new-to-us literature on egalitarianism (see her 1999 article), and folks regularly request more neo-Marxism of various sorts, which we can only take in small doses. (We haven't even done Das Kapital yet!)
We've done a less thorough job in metaphysics, but have begun to address this with our soon-to-be released episodes on Parmenides (on the Oneness of Being) and then Plato's dialogue "Parmenides" (which gets at basic issues in predication: how things have properties). This opens the door to us covering Aristotle's Metaphysics and some of the Neoplatonists, and of course there are many more contemporary views we could cover, though we have gotten into some of the more recent debates (e.g., with Kripke, Chalmers, Quine, etc.).
None of those holes in our coverage are actually on our calendar as of yet, but we've recorded three episodes beyond what you've heard and have mapped out a few more; check out the newly updated Upcoming Episodes page for links to the specific texts we're covering through the next few months.
I can give you a little info on a few of the other topics we've been actively considering:
- #205 will tentatively be with Dr. Drew again, discussing clinical and philosophical literature on suicide (we'd return to Camus and add Durkheim, but are still figuring out the rest of the readings).
- We will try before the end of 2018 to read Frantz Fanon, presumably with Law Ware if he's available.
- We have another priority episode mapped out with a guest returning to Kierkegaard and also Hubert Dreyfus on K's essay "The Present Age" and Internet culture.
- We've long planned returns to Merleau-Ponty (The Structure of Behavior) and Foucault (The Order of Things).
- We're definitely looking to do another philosophy of art episode before too long: maybe on Schiller or Herder or Dewey.
- We've long planned to have an episode on personal identity, and had actively scheduled a two-parter on Locke's epistemology to start this off. Also Derek Parfit just died recently, and we'd like to cover him.
- Our next non-Western episode after the upcoming Hinduism one will almost certainly be on Zen/Chan Buddhism.
- We've gotten many requests over the years to cover Walter Benjamin and have him clearly in mind. Also Habermas.
- Our next text in classic political philosophy will likely be by Montesquieu.
- Wes and Seth both want us to do Isaiah Berlin soon.
There are plenty of other figures (e.g., Spencer, Malebranche, Fichte, Baudrillard, Zizek, Wollstonecraft, Avicenna, T.S. Eliot, Marcuse) that we have every intention of getting to, but which haven't been top-of-mind just recently. As always, we welcome your suggestions! You can even reply to this post to submit (or repeat!) yours.
One area we're a bit hazy on is who to aim to get for our next big-time philosopher guest, having just had Blackburn and Anderson (not yet released) this year (not to mention Pano and Emily Wilson!). Folks we've asked who have said no include Dan Dennett (though he didn't say no forever, so I could check back with him), Judith Butler (I don't think that one was a "no" so much as a vague yes that never turned into an actual appearance), Susan Haack (not a no per se, just a never responding to my email), Douglas Hofstadter, T.M. Scanlon, and Ned Block (though that was several years ago, and more a matter that he hadn't released a book recently). We've gotten several requests to have Chomsky and Zizek on, but I'm doubting those would be good interviews for us. Who's your favorite living philosopher that you think we should try to get on the show? (Presumably not someone who's very very old, just for logistic purposes, though our John Searle interview worked out OK...)
One final bit of preliminary news: We'd hoped for ep. 200 to have a live show, but couldn't get it together in time to plan this (I blame Seth's new baby!). Instead, we're planning one for our ten-year anniversary, and will be posting a survey before too long to try to figure out where exactly to do this to get the biggest audience: L.A.? NYC? Chicago? San Francisco? Austin? Seattle? Probably one of those places. If you happen to have an in with a venue (like a comedy or music club) that could potentially host this gig for us, please let us know!
Wow, what a rich and diverse menu you have provided us with! Your good will, hard work, and love of wisdom will allow us to feast philosophically for a long time. Thanks for actually listening to your fans. PEL maintains its status as the best philosophy podcast of all time!
Jennifer Tejada says
Wow! I requested Judith Butler a while back so I’m doubling down bc I had no idea she’d be a guest! Very hopeful for this one.
I think you guys should talk to Tony Chemero about his research into enactivism/radical-embodiment , if he is close to right about human-being than this will be a substantial contribution to many of the topics that you folks have done shows about at a time when academic philosophy can’t offer much in the way of progress as a discipline, could be a whole new ordering of the field.
you can get a taste of his thought @ http://ensoseminars.com/presentations/past22/
Tim Mallace says
I would love to see you guys in person at a Comic Con. Maybe you could do a live show/panel on philosophical thought in sci-fi. You guys are like rock stars to me. I’d stand in line and pay some dollars to have a pic with Wes while he signs my copy of Kant’s Critique of Reason. I’m serious.
Wes Alwan says
Ha — that sounds like fun! I’ll look into Comic Con. I have some upcoming events: educational podcast conference at Harvard; talk on Frankenstein at Brown; talk on Planet of the Apes at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.
sounds good, can you please record them for us?
Wes Alwan says
great thanks Wes
George Poulos says
Would love to hear you all talk about current theories of consciousness and the science of consciousness. Richard Brown has written some excellent papers, has plenty of great philosophy videos online (like this recent one: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XNQE-ZhrwKo), and was part of the fun old school philosophy podcast SpaceTimeMind. He’d be a great guest on PEL
Ross Schueller says
I know it’s been requested often, but I’d love to hear an episode or two about the Frankfurt School and Marcuse in particular. I’ve never done any serious reading of Marcuse but my vague understanding of his critiques of consumer culture seem interesting in this moment. I’d like to read it at the same time as you so that I can listen to you work through the text as I’m trying to understand it myself.
Surprised you haven’t done him already.
Aside from the brilliant ‘Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy’, plethora of nuanced and insightful essays to choose from.
Mark Linsenmayer says
Agreed, I love Williams! We haven’t actually had him on our list, though, so thanks for the push.
Derek parfit ♥️