Episode 42, The Nature or Attributes of God (Part II - Omniscience)

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Welcome to Episode 42 (Part II of IV), where we'll be discussing the philosophical questions surrounding 'omniscience'.

For religious believers, considering the questions that surround the nature or attributes of God, is important in their attempt to form a coherent understanding of their creator.

In the Summa Theologica, shortly after arguing for the existence of God, Saint Thomas Aquinas writes the following: “Having recognised that a certain thing exists, we have still to investigate the way in which it exists, that we may come to understand what it is that exists.” This seems like a peculiar thing to state. I know that there exists something, but I have no idea as to what this thing is. As Brian Davies points out in his book Philosophy of Religion: A Guide and Anthology, this not such an odd statement after all. Suppose I attempt to open a door, and something stops it from opening. I might say, ‘well something is certainly in the way’. If it makes sense to make this statement, it also makes sense to ask, 'what is it'?

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This episode is sponsored by Sudio headphones. Sudio provides some of the highest quality and most fashionable headphones on the market - at an affordable price. Click here to find out more!

Don't forget to use the discount code PANPSY for 15% off any purchase.



Part I. Omnipotence
Part II. Omniscience
Part III. Omnibenevolence
Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion

Episode 42, The Nature or Attributes of God (Part I - Omnipotence)

Classic Cast.jpg

Welcome to Episode 42 (Part I of IV), where we'll be discussing the philosophical questions surrounding 'omnipotence'.

For religious believers, considering the questions that surround the nature or attributes of God, is important in their attempt to form a coherent understanding of their creator.

In the Summa Theologica, shortly after arguing for the existence of God, Saint Thomas Aquinas writes the following: “Having recognised that a certain thing exists, we have still to investigate the way in which it exists, that we may come to understand what it is that exists.” This seems like a peculiar thing to state. I know that there exists something, but I have no idea as to what this thing is. As Brian Davies points out in his book Philosophy of Religion: A Guide and Anthology, this not such an odd statement after all. Suppose I attempt to open a door, and something stops it from opening. I might say, ‘well something is certainly in the way’. If it makes sense to make this statement, it also makes sense to ask, 'what is it'?

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/attempts to do the logically impossible

This episode is sponsored by Sudio headphones. Sudio provides some of the highest quality and most fashionable headphones on the market - at an affordable price. Click here to find out more!

Don't forget to use the discount code PANPSY for 15% off any purchase.



Part I. Omnipotence
Part II. Omniscience
Part III. Omnibenevolence
Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion

Episode 41, Christian B. Miller and 'The Character Gap' (Part II)

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Welcome to Episode 41 (Part II of II), where we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion. 

Bringing together contemporary psychology and moral philosophy, the work of Christian B. Miller in character education has been tremendously influential. Christian Miller is the A.C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and the Director of the Character Project funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the Templeton World Charity Foundation. As well as publishing over 75 papers, Professor Miller is the author of Moral Character: An Empirical Theory, Character and Moral Psychology, and The Character Gap: How Good Are We? In today’s interview, we’ll be talking to Professor Miller about his latest book, The Character Gap. In his own words:

Here is the predicament that most of us seem to be in. We are not virtuous people. We simply do not have characters that are good enough to qualify as honest, compassionate, wise, courageous and the like. We are not vicious people either – dishonest, callous, foolish cowardly, and so forth. Rather, we have a mixed character with some good sides and some bad sides. This, I have claimed, is the most plausible interpretation of what psychology tells us. It is also true to our lived experience in the world. Those are the facts as I see them. Now comes the value judgement – this is a real shame. . . Excellence of character, or being virtuous, is what we should all strive for.
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Part I. The Character Gap
Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion

Reading and References

Christian B. Miller's Website

Moral Character: An Empirical Theory - Christian B. Miller

Character and Moral Psychology - Christian B. Miller

The Character Gap: How Good Are We? - Christian B. Miller

Episode 41, Christian B. Miller and 'The Character Gap' (Part I)

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Welcome to Episode 41 (Part I of II), where we will be discussing Christian B. Miller's latest book, The Character Gap

Bringing together contemporary psychology and moral philosophy, the work of Christian B. Miller in character education has been tremendously influential. Christian Miller is the A.C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and the Director of the Character Project funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the Templeton World Charity Foundation. As well as publishing over 75 papers, Professor Miller is the author of Moral Character: An Empirical Theory, Character and Moral Psychology, and The Character Gap: How Good Are We? In today’s interview, we’ll be talking to Professor Miller about his latest book, The Character Gap. In his own words:

Here is the predicament that most of us seem to be in. We are not virtuous people. We simply do not have characters that are good enough to qualify as honest, compassionate, wise, courageous and the like. We are not vicious people either – dishonest, callous, foolish cowardly, and so forth. Rather, we have a mixed character with some good sides and some bad sides. This, I have claimed, is the most plausible interpretation of what psychology tells us. It is also true to our lived experience in the world. Those are the facts as I see them. Now comes the value judgement – this is a real shame. . . Excellence of character, or being virtuous, is what we should all strive for.
The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/allows you to cultivate the virtue of patience

Part I. The Character Gap
Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion

Reading and References

Christian B. Miller's Website

Moral Character: An Empirical Theory - Christian B. Miller

Character and Moral Psychology - Christian B. Miller

The Character Gap: How Good Are We? - Christian B. Miller

Episode 40, 'Offensive Language' with Rebecca Roache

Language Warning

This episode contains strong language.

If you are below the age of 15, please do not proceed past this point. 


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Welcome to Episode 40, where we'll be speaking to Rebecca Roache about offensive language.

Rebecca Roache is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London. Dr Roache specialises in practical ethics, logic, philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychiatry and early modern philosophy, but in this episode, we’ll be speaking to Rebecca specifically about the philosophy of language and swearing. 

In the words of Rebecca Roache:

"With a little imagination, we can find limitless and powerful ways to offend people if that’s what we want to do. We don’t need to give a f*ck about whether our favourite swear words are declining in their capacity to shock." (Ethics Centre, 2015  - click for full article)

This interview is produced ‘in association with The Institute of Art and Ideas and the Philosophy for Our Times podcast’. A very special thank you to everybody at the Institute of Art and Ideas for making this interview possible.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/uses offensive language

*We apologise for the audio quality of this episode. We recorded the interview at How the Light Gets In Festival, and although the rain had stopped for us momentarily, you’ll be able to hear festival-goers celebrating the outbreak of sunshine in the background. We’ll be back in the studio after this episode. Thank you, we hope you enjoy the show!


Part I. Offensive Language.
Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.

Episode 39, 'The Philosophy of Perception' with Bence Nanay

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Welcome to Episode 39, where we'll be speaking to Bence Nanay about 'the philosophy of perception'.

Bence Nanay is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Antwerp and Research Associate in philosophy at the University of Cambridge. Nanay is also the principal investigator of the European Research Council project, Seeing Things You Don’t See: Unifying the Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience of Multimodal Mental Imagery

As well as publishing more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, Nanay is the author of Between Perception and Action (2013) and Aesthetics as Philosophy of Perception (2016).

It will, therefore, come as no surprise that our focus today will be Nanay’s work in the field of ‘philosophy of perception’. In a rare intersection between psychology, neuroscience and philosophy, ‘the philosophy of perception’ is concerned with the status of perceptual data, the nature of perceptual experience, and how this data and these experiences relate to beliefs about, or knowledge of, the world.

This interview is produced ‘in association with The Institute of Art and Ideas and the Philosophy for Our Times podcast’. A very special thank you to everybody at the Institute of Art and Ideas for making this interview possible.

To celebrate the release of this interview, we’re giving away three signed copies of Nanay’s Between Perception and Action – to be in with a chance of winning, just head over to our Twitter page.

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*We apologise for the length and audio quality of this episode. We recorded the interview in-between Bence’s talks at How the Light Gets In Festival, where it was tipping it down with rain.


Part I. Bence Nanay: The Philosophy of Perception and Action.
Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.

Episode 38, ‘Philosophy in Everyday Life’ with Philosophy Now's Rick Lewis (Part II)

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Welcome to Episode 38 (Part II of II), where Rick will be giving his thoughts on some contemporary issues, before we engage in some further analysis and discussion.

Rick Lewis took his first degree in physics and philosophy of science at the University of Manchester, and later an MA in philosophy at the University of York. 

Making philosophy accessible and encouraging the person on the street to engage in philosophy in their everyday life was, and is, hugely important to Rick. That’s why in 1991 Rick founded the magazine Philosophy Now, of which, he has been the editor ever since. Soon after launching the magazine, Philosophy Now became the first philosophy title to appear on UK news-stands. 

This episode Jack, Andy, Olly and Rick will be discussing ‘the role of philosophy in everyday life’. For many, philosophy is something which can not only enrich our own lives but the lives of our fellow humans. For many others, philosophy is a waste of a life, something that diminishes, something which fails to enrich...

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/lives an examined life

Part I. Philosophy in Everyday Life.
Part II. Philosophy Now, Further Analysis and Discussion.

Episode 38, ‘Philosophy in Everyday Life’ with Philosophy Now's Rick Lewis (Part I)

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Welcome to Episode 38 (Part I of II), where we'll be discussing the importance of philosophy in everyday life with Rick Lewis.

Rick Lewis took his first degree in physics and philosophy of science at the University of Manchester, and later an MA in philosophy at the University of York. 

Making philosophy accessible and encouraging the person on the street to engage in philosophy in their everyday life was, and is, hugely important to Rick. That’s why in 1991 Rick founded the magazine Philosophy Now, of which, he has been the editor ever since. Soon after launching the magazine, Philosophy Now became the first philosophy title to appear on UK news-stands. 

This episode Jack, Andy, Olly and Rick will be discussing ‘the role of philosophy in everyday life’. For many, philosophy is something which can not only enrich our own lives but the lives of our fellow humans. For many others, philosophy is a waste of a life, something that diminishes, something which fails to enrich...

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/lives an examined life

Part I. Philosophy in Everyday Life.
Part II. Philosophy Now, Further Analysis and Discussion.

Episode 37, Religious Language (Part IV – Further Analysis and Discussion)

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Welcome to Episode 37 (Part IV of IV), where we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion.

Broadly speaking, the term 'religious language' refers to statements or claims made about God or gods. Many problems arise in the field of religious language, but our principal focus in this episode will be the problems that arise within the Abrahamic religions (that is, Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Simply put, it is unclear how one could use human-made language, to talk meaningfully about something infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable and infinitely loving. This problem is worrisome to believers as it has the potential to undermine their traditions; if we cannot speak meaningfully about God, then the texts and teachings of Abrahamic faiths can only be deemed unintelligible (i.e. impossible to understand). 

In his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, the 18th Century Scottish philosopher David Hume alluded to the problem as follows:

But when we look beyond human affairs… when we carry our speculations into the two eternities, before and after the present state of things; into the creations and formulation of the universe; the existence and properties of spirits; the powers and operations of one universal Spirit existing without beginning and without end; omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, infinite and incomprehensible: We must be far removed from the smallest tendency to scepticism not to be apprehensive, that we have here got quite the reach of our faculties.
The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/commits itself to the flames

Part I. The Via Negativa
Part II. Saint Thomas Aquinas and Ludwig Wittgenstein
Part III. The Verification and Falsification Principles
Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion

Episode 37, Religious Language (Part III - The Verification and Falsification Principles)

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Welcome to Episode 37 (Part III of IV), where we'll be discussing the verification and falsification principles.

Broadly speaking, the term 'religious language' refers to statements or claims made about God or gods. Many problems arise in the field of religious language, but our principal focus in this episode will be the problems that arise within the Abrahamic religions (that is, Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Simply put, it is unclear how one could use human-made language, to talk meaningfully about something infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable and infinitely loving. This problem is worrisome to believers as it has the potential to undermine their traditions; if we cannot speak meaningfully about God, then the texts and teachings of Abrahamic faiths can only be deemed unintelligible (i.e. impossible to understand). 

In his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, the 18th Century Scottish philosopher David Hume alluded to the problem as follows:

But when we look beyond human affairs… when we carry our speculations into the two eternities, before and after the present state of things; into the creations and formulation of the universe; the existence and properties of spirits; the powers and operations of one universal Spirit existing without beginning and without end; omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, infinite and incomprehensible: We must be far removed from the smallest tendency to scepticism not to be apprehensive, that we have here got quite the reach of our faculties.
The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/commits itself to the flames

Part I. The Via Negativa
Part II. Saint Thomas Aquinas and Ludwig Wittgenstein
Part III. The Verification and Falsification Principles
Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion

Episode 37, Religious Language (Part II – Thomas Aquinas and Ludwig Wittgenstein)

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Welcome to Episode 37 (Part II of IV), where we'll be discussing Saint Thomas Aquinas and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Broadly speaking, the term 'religious language' refers to statements or claims made about God or gods. Many problems arise in the field of religious language, but our principal focus in this episode will be the problems that arise within the Abrahamic religions (that is, Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Simply put, it is unclear how one could use human-made language, to talk meaningfully about something infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable and infinitely loving. This problem is worrisome to believers as it has the potential to undermine their traditions; if we cannot speak meaningfully about God, then the texts and teachings of Abrahamic faiths can only be deemed unintelligible (i.e. impossible to understand). 

In his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, the 18th Century Scottish philosopher David Hume alluded to the problem as follows:

But when we look beyond human affairs… when we carry our speculations into the two eternities, before and after the present state of things; into the creations and formulation of the universe; the existence and properties of spirits; the powers and operations of one universal Spirit existing without beginning and without end; omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, infinite and incomprehensible: We must be far removed from the smallest tendency to scepticism not to be apprehensive, that we have here got quite the reach of our faculties.
The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/commits itself to the flames

Part I. The Via Negativa
Part II. Saint Thomas Aquinas and Ludwig Wittgenstein
Part III. The Verification and Falsification Principles
Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion

Episode 37, Religious Language (Part I – The Via Negativa)

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Welcome to Episode 37 (Part I of IV), where we'll be discussing religious language and 'the via negativa', also known as 'the apophatic way'.

Broadly speaking, the term 'religious language' refers to statements or claims made about God or gods. Many problems arise in the field of religious language, but our principal focus in this episode will be the problems that arise within the Abrahamic religions (that is, Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Simply put, it is unclear how one could use human-made language, to talk meaningfully about something infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable and infinitely loving. This problem is worrisome to believers as it has the potential to undermine their traditions; if we cannot speak meaningfully about God, then the texts and teachings of Abrahamic faiths can only be deemed unintelligible (i.e. impossible to understand). 

In his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, the 18th Century Scottish philosopher David Hume alluded to the problem as follows:

But when we look beyond human affairs… when we carry our speculations into the two eternities, before and after the present state of things; into the creations and formulation of the universe; the existence and properties of spirits; the powers and operations of one universal Spirit existing without beginning and without end; omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, infinite and incomprehensible: We must be far removed from the smallest tendency to scepticism not to be apprehensive, that we have here got quite the reach of our faculties.
The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/commits itself to the flames

Part I. The Via Negativa
Part II. Saint Thomas Aquinas and Ludwig Wittgenstein
Part III. The Verification and Falsification Principles
Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion

Episode 36, The Daniel Dennett Interview (Part II - Philosophy of Mind)

Welcome to Episode 36 (Part II of II), where we'll be discussing philosophy of mind with Professor of philosophy, Daniel C. Dennett.

In the words of A. C. Grayling, Professor "Daniel C. Dennett is perhaps the most distinguished philosopher in the world".

In a 2013 study by Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, alongside philosophers Slavoj Zizek and Peter Singer, Daniel Dennett was ranked amongst the top 5 global thought leaders.

Currently the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies and the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, Daniel is best known for his contributions to cognitive science, philosophy of mind and philosophy of religion. His works Consciousness Explained, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Breaking the Spell and his latest work, From Bacteria to Bach and Back have had an immense impact in the worlds of philosophy and science. 

For many, Daniel Dennett, known as ‘one of the four horsemen of new atheism’, is a household name, celebrated as a man who has explained away the hard problem of consciousness, religion, and fundamental questions surrounding free-will.

We’re going to be discussing Daniel Dennett’s approach to philosophy of religion in Part I, before we dive into philosophy of mind in Part II.

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Part I. Philosophy of Religion

Part II. Philosophy of Mind


Episode 36, The Daniel Dennett Interview (Part I - Philosophy of Religion)

Welcome to Episode 36 (Part I of II), where we'll be discussing philosophy of religion with Professor of philosophy, Daniel C. Dennett.

In the words of A. C. Grayling, Professor "Daniel C. Dennett is perhaps the most distinguished philosopher in the world".

In a 2013 study by Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, alongside philosophers Slavoj Zizek and Peter Singer, Daniel Dennett was ranked amongst the top 5 global thought leaders.

Currently the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies and the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, Daniel is best known for his contributions to cognitive science, philosophy of mind and philosophy of religion. His works Consciousness Explained, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Breaking the Spell and his latest work, From Bacteria to Bach and Back have had an immense impact in the worlds of philosophy and science. 

For many, Daniel Dennett, known as ‘one of the four horsemen of new atheism’, is a household name, celebrated as a man who has explained away the hard problem of consciousness, religion, and fundamental questions surrounding free-will.

We’re going to be discussing Daniel Dennett’s approach to philosophy of religion in Part I, before we dive into philosophy of mind in Part II.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/explains away religion


Part I. Philosophy of Religion

Part II. Philosophy of Mind


Episode 35, Sexual Ethics (Part IV - Further Analysis and Discussion)

Welcome to Episode 35, where we'll be discussing sexual ethics.

Sexual ethics is the study of human sexuality and sexual behaviour. In a word, it seeks to understand and evaluate the moral conduct of relationships and sexual activities from a philosophical perspective.

Sex is hugely important to us all. Sex is an expression of love. It forms the foundation of our family lives, our social lives and even our self-identities. For many, we should celebrate sex, for we owe it our very existence! On the other hand, sex can be the cause of great pain and suffering. While sex brings life, no doubt, it ruins the lives of many. Cases of exploitation, harassment, assault and rape, show the darkest side of humanity. 

Sex can both make and corrupt humans. For Christians, different sexual acts and preferences can lead them closer to, and further away from God. For many moral philosophers, sexual acts can lead them closer to and further away from what is right.

Moral philosophers and theologians have long pondered questions surrounding this sensitive topic, and there is a lot more to be said that goes beyond the scope of this episode. In this episode, we will exclusively be tackling issues surrounding marriage and sexuality.

In Part I we’ll be discussing premarital sex, in Part II extramarital sex, in Part III homosexuality, and in Part IV we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/debates the ethical questions surrounding sex


Part I. Premarital Sex

Part II. Extramarital Sex

Part III. Homosexuality

Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion


Episode 35, Sexual Ethics (Part III - Homosexuality)

Welcome to Episode 35, where we'll be discussing sexual ethics.

Sexual ethics is the study of human sexuality and sexual behaviour. In a word, it seeks to understand and evaluate the moral conduct of relationships and sexual activities from a philosophical perspective.

Sex is hugely important to us all. Sex is an expression of love. It forms the foundation of our family lives, our social lives and even our self-identities. For many, we should celebrate sex, for we owe it our very existence! On the other hand, sex can be the cause of great pain and suffering. While sex brings life, no doubt, it ruins the lives of many. Cases of exploitation, harassment, assault and rape, show the darkest side of humanity. 

Sex can both make and corrupt humans. For Christians, different sexual acts and preferences can lead them closer to, and further away from God. For many moral philosophers, sexual acts can lead them closer to and further away from what is right.

Moral philosophers and theologians have long pondered questions surrounding this sensitive topic, and there is a lot more to be said that goes beyond the scope of this episode. In this episode, we will exclusively be tackling issues surrounding marriage and sexuality.

In Part I we’ll be discussing premarital sex, in Part II extramarital sex, in Part III homosexuality, and in Part IV we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion.

The file size is large, please be patient whilst the podcast buffers/downloads/debates the ethical questions surrounding sex


Part I. Premarital Sex

Part II. Extramarital Sex

Part III. Homosexuality

Part IV. Further Analysis and Discussion