A Warwick University Podcast review
I was delighted to discover over the weekend that the Philosophy Department has launched the “Common Room Philosophy” podcast. I am a podcast enthusiast and often listen to them on my daily walks to gain a little extra knowledge or just for amusement. Therefore, on my country walk today accompanied by my dog I listened to the first episode.
The episode focused on Chinese Philosophy, Daoism and a Philosophy of Comparisons and was a relaxed conversation between Toby Tremlett (the presenter) and Max Lacertosa a lecturer at Warwick. The name Common Room Philosophy is very fitting because the common room for philosophy at Warwik is a cosy little room with free coffee and conversations going on between students like this one. I found the style very relaxing, particularly the intro music and the enthusiastic but calm tones of the two, though admittedly it did require a little extra focus than most of my usual listens. I find it difficult to just sit down and listen to a podcast without extra stimulation but I think next time I’ll listen to it when doing something a bit more mundane, like household chores because nature and ensuring my unruly spaniel didn’t terrorise the wildlife was distracting.
The content itself was a very brief overview of the topics and the interviewee’s views. As a philosophy student I tend to latch onto certain phrases or ideas and have to give them some extra consideration and this came almost immediately with the question from the presenter “what does it mean to you to be a philosopher?” I wondered myself what I would answer from my perhaps naïve first year perspective. Max questioned whether he even is a philosopher which I respected because philosophy can be so devoid of answers you often wonder if you are asking the questions properly. He managed an interesting summary given the broad nature of the question and made a very interesting comparison to art. Later Chinese Philosophy came up which was what made me most interested in the episode to begin with as I am interested in taking the module in this in my third year. I got a very good taster for what this subject might involve and was intrigued to learn that Chinese Philosophy is often dismissed as just religion, or the religious aspect is perhaps over emphasised.
Who would benefit from listening to this podcast?
Prospective students Prospective philosophy students can have the chance to see what the lecturers in their department are like and how they go about discussing philosophy. The actual content could help you to see which parts of philosophy may interest you most as each episode will cover different topics. Even for those in other departments it may be nice to get a sense of Warwick over the summer and pick up some extra knowledge along the way. It might also help set you up for seminars because those follow a similar open-ended question answering structure.
Current Philosophy Students
This one seems obvious but seriously if you’re a philosophy student check it out! The audio quality is good, the atmosphere is great and if you’re missing the department as much as I am then it is the perfect thing to supplement our time away. Keeping the thought process, we learn to carry out in philosophy going is important and thinking about the issues raised in each episode can help with that. The Warwick Online Learning Certificate or revision can help in some ways but gaining new knowledge is much better.
Students from other departments
Philosophy feeds into every other subject so if you subscribe and check every so often what episode are available, you’re bound to stumble across a relevant one. You can impress your lecturers by adding some ideas you hear about into your essays or discussions. It could show you a module that might go along with your degree nicely for example there’s an episode up on the history of philosophy which may be good for a history student to listen to. You never know until you try whether it might be something that piques your interest. Certainly if you already like podcasts then I’d say give it a go.
There you have it I hope some of you may now go over to the podcast and give them some support, if you do be sure to give them a review! If you have another Warwick podcast to recommend, then leave it in the comments below. For another philosophy related podcast listen to “The infinite monkey cage” philosophy episode where they battle it out between physicists and philosophers to determine if philosophy is still relevant today.