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Philosophy F.O.T.

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Philosophy For Our Times

The IAI seeks to challenge the notion that our present accepted wisdom is the truth. It aims to uncover the flaws and limitations in our current thinking in search of alternative and better ways to hold the world.

 The Institute of Art and Ideas is committed to placing philosophy and big ideas at the heart of public life - building philosophy for our times.

Described by Total Politics as "Europe's answer to TED", the IAI hosts the world’s largest philosophy and music festival, HowTheLightGetsIn and curates hundreds of debates, and talks, a year with the world’s leading thinkers.

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Broadcast under a Creative Commons Licence.

Philosophy F.O.T. Show Archive:

E144| The Sex Myth | Interview with Brooke Magnanti

Friday 22nd March 2019

Brooke Magnanti is best known by her pen name Belle de Jour, from the blog behind Secret Diary of a Call Girl. In this exclusive interview, Brooke explains how we should free ourselves from the shackles surrounding sex from shame, to guilt and toxic femininity.In association with the New College of the Humanities.

E143 | The New Enlightenment | Julian Baggini, Amie Thomasson, Hilary Lawson

Tuesday 19th March 2019

'Dare to know' was the radical rallying cry of the Enlightenment. But since then, philosophers from Nietzsche to Derrida have argued there are limits to knowledge so profound that truth is an impossible goal. Is the enlightenment dream over? Or can we forge a New Enlightenment that abandons ultimate truth but provides us with directions just as radical and exciting as the original? A Short History of Truth author, Julian Baggini, post-realist philosopher Hilary Lawson and metaphysician Amie Thomasson.In association with the New College of the Humanities.

E142 | Truth in a post truth world | Interview with Hilary Lawson

Friday 15th March 2019

Hilary Lawson is a post realist philosopher, known for his theory of Closure. In this exclusive interview, Hilary explains how we should understand truth in a post truth world and why we need Enlightenment thinking now more than ever.In association with the New College of the Humanities

E141 | Why is there something rather than nothing? | Amie Thomasson, George Ellis, Rupert Sheldrake

Tuesday 12th March 2019

The fundamental problem of philosophy, argued Heidegger, is 'why is there something rather than nothing?' Now, some scientists claim nothing doesn't exist and that even deepest space is full of virtual particles. Have we misunderstood the very idea of nothing? Is this little more than a logical mistake, or might understanding nothing just be the key to explaining the universe? Templeton prize winning cosmologist George Ellis, metaphysician Amie Thomasson and author of The Science Delusion Rupert Sheldrake unlock the mystery.In association with the New College of the Humanities.

E140 | The Secrets of Consciousness | Interview with Rupert Sheldrake

Friday 8th March 2019

Rupert Sheldrake is a renowned author and biologist, known for his research into parapsychology. In this exclusive interview, Rupert shares with us the secrets of consciousness, putting forward a panpsychist view of what it is to be conscious and debunking why materialism has failed.In association with the New College of the Humanities.

E139 | Leadership in the Age of Trump | Jess Phillips, Jon Barnes, Tania Branigan

Tuesday 5th March 2019

There are many who see Trump and Putin as a threat to world peace. But are they in power because we believe that strong leaders are good for us? Is it a mistake to imagine that leaders can solve all of our problems? Can we imagine a politics where we voted for policies rather than personalities? Or do we need leaders, however flawed they might be? Outspoken Labour MP Jess Phillips, Guardian journalist and China expert Tania Branigan and author of Democracy squared Jon Barnes imagine a different sort of politics.In association with the New College of the Humanities.

E138 | The Digital Revolution | Interview with Jon Barnes

Friday 1st March 2019

Jon Barnes is a guest lecturer at the world's top business schools, innovator and author. In this exclusive interview, Jon shares with us how technology is already being used to shape the way we vote, organise and think about politics. From Democracy Squared to Tech Monopolies, Jon's work has focused on the relationship between technology and democracy and here he shares why he thinks we should be optimistic about the digital revolution which can democratise our democracies.In association with the New College of the Humanities.

E137 | Thinking across the world | Julian Baggini

Tuesday 26th February 2019

How have ideas across the world shaped the places from which they emerged? Author and philosopher Julian Baggini explores global thinking and its varied influence on our cultures, our ideals and how we see ourselves.In association with the New College of the Humanities.

Bonus episode: Behind the scenes at our music and philosophy festival HowTheLightGetsIn!

Friday 22nd February 2019

In this special bonus episode, we go behind the scenes of HowTheLightGetsIn, the world’s largest music and philosophy festival, to find out the philosophy behind the festival and hear from the producers about what speakers, ideas, music and comedy will be abuzz at HowTheLightGetsIn Hay 2019 from 24-27th May. Tickets here: Or check our social media: Facebook: Twitter: In association with the New College of the Humanities.

E135 | What Is Justice? | Sarah Langford

Tuesday 19th February 2019

Sarah Langford is a barrister. Her job is to stand in court representing the mad and the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the black and white of the law and tell it to the courtroom.These stories may not make headlines but they will change the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways. They are stories which, but for a twist of luck, might have been yours. Can our legal system ever keep its promise of justice? Author of ‘In Your Defence’ Sarah Langford tells her story of a life in the courtroom, and shows us how our attitudes and actions can shape not only the outcome of a case, but the legal system itself. In association with the New College of the Humanities.