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Philosophy on the run: Vanderbilt professors host ‘Philosophy 15’ video podcast

Two Vanderbilt professors have started a video podcast to generate conversation about philosophical principles and dilemmas.

Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse aim to make the Philosophy 15 podcast accessible to nonacademics who want to ponder the big questions.

“These are not lectures. These aren’t last words on anything,” said Talisse, W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy and chair of the Vanderbilt philosophy department. “Our aim with each episode is in less than 15 minutes to present in a serious way a philosophical problem or issue and reveal the complexities of even some very simple issues.”

Thirty episodes are available so far on YouTube.

Listeners should be prepared to furrow their brows as they engage with the philosophic discussions, said Aikin, assistant professor of philosophy.

“Everybody’s for critical thinking, but they’re always talking about how critical thinking is something that the opposition needs to have,” Aikin said in the first podcast.“It’s so much easier to see the fallacies and the errors in those we oppose than on our own side.”

Talisse also hosts an audio podcast, Why We Argue, an interview show featuring academics, philosophers, historians, journalists, politicians and other notable public figures. He blogs regularly at 3 Quarks Daily.

Aikin contributes to the blog The Non Sequitur and writes a column for the 3 Quarks Daily blog.