Thursday, January 30, 2014

Alain de Botton on News and Newsnight along with some On line philosophy resources ...

One of the reason's I've taken an interest in Philosophy is the populists who have made it possible to talk about the great thinkers of the past and the idea that what they thought about might be relevant to our lives today, one of the best exponents as far as I'm concerned is Alain de Botton who makes readable books about modern life and witty playful; television programmes covering the same themes.
Alain has just completed a new book on the subject of 'The News' it's called The News: A User's Manual and Amazon tell me that it'll be available from February 6th.
Alain who is an accomplished self promoter (and I hope this does not sound critical in view of what his stated  wishes are) was last night trailing this new publication on BBC2's Newsnight with a discussion which included arch spin doctor Alastair Campbell - it was (as you might expect) amusing, embarrassing and appropriate.

[In fact Newsnight was very engaging last night as well as looking at possible changes to UK Labour party's voting structure there was a revealing report on the Liberal Democrats struggle to accommodate their  'extreme' Muslim constituency with regards to the Jesus/Mohammed cartoons].

Here's the report Alain put together to lead into the discussion:


As I go along, finding out a bit more about Philosophy  I'm locating  a number of useful (to me) resources and some interesting  posts, videos and critiques on the subject of Philosophy. My intention is to note them here and update as I proceed (but also if the mood takes me revisit earlier postings and update too).

I will try and categorize and comment on the nature of the selection too.


Wikipedia - for me this is pretty much always a good starting point for a philosopher, or line of thought
examples Trigger's Broom and the connected  Ship of Theseus.

Youtube again this is a great general resource 3 minute guides often capture a key theme effectively
Taking the same example  Trigger's Broom and The Ship of Thesus puzzle. [ Just in case you think this lot is not a problem take a look at Jennifer Wang's look at the phenomenon].

Radio, TV &  Podcasts

The Philosopher's Arms
In Our Time
ABC Australia
Bryan Magee TV series
Philosophy Bites back

Populist Philosophers of today

Alain de Botton
Jules Evans
Michael Foley

The time-line..

Pre-Socratics -
Heraclitus of Ephesus - thought to of coined the axiom about flux and not being able to stand in the same river twice.

Diogenes (of Sinope) - famous for an encounter with Alexander the Great and living in a barrel - an American guy talking about him and here Melvyn Bragg in a discussion about the Cynics



René Descartes 1596–1650

John Locke 1632–1704

G.W. Leibniz 1646–1716

Bishop Berkeley 1685–1753

David Hume 1711–1776 3 minute view, Melvyn Bragg's BBC Radio In Our Time,  and  Philosophy Bites on Hume and a quick mention by me.

Immanuel Kant 1724–1804

G.W.F. Hegel 1770–1831

Karl Marx 1818–1883

Friedrich Nietzsche 1844–1900

Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889–1951

Martin Heidegger 1889–1976

Jean-Paul Sartre 1905–1980

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