History Philosophy Without Gaps podcast
April 6, 2014 1:04 PM   Subscribe

It has been more than a year since Peter Adamson's The History of Philosophy without any Gaps podcast has been on the front page of metafilter. Since then he has been plugging away at a podcast a week. Previously.

The obvious distinction of his presentation is the focus on Philosophy in the World of Islam. Some numbers to illustrate this:

In the Pelican HIstory of Western Philosophy there is one paragraph on Avicenna and Averroes. That's it. In Bertrand Russell History of Western Philosophy the Muslims are covered in one nine page chapter. The philosphers so far covered in Adamson's podcast in 3 or more episodes:

19__________________Plato & Socrates

Some highlights among the 170 (so-far) episodes:

Episode 103, Origen. Origen is described as the most important of the Christians in Antiquity after Aquinas. He leaves out the auto-castration and the apocatastasis and explains how bad information was embedded into the history/legend of Origen.

Episode 122. Founded in Translation: From Greek to Syriac and Arabic. This episode includes a presentation of some of Adamson's original academic work. Arabic Plotinus: A Philosophical Study of the 'Theology of Aristotle'.

Episode 132. Eye of the Beholder: Theories of Vision This episode presents the work of Ibn al-Haytham on Optics. This is one of the most important scientific advances of its day and is a work that was used by Bacon and Kepler and many others.

Episode 145. Frank Griffel on al-Ghazālī. This episode discusses al-Ghazali's use of Aristotlian logical methods to make superior interpretations of the Koran. In the previous thread commenters remarked that his early episodes with guests had poor sound quality on the guest part. This problem seems to have been completely fixed.

Episode 163. Burnt Offerings: The Maimonides Controversy. Conservative Jews in 12th century Spain condemned Maimonides' books and had them burned.

On October 4, 2013 Adamson was interviewed on the degree of freedom website and discussed his plans for many more episodes and more years. He is aiming to get up through Kant.

Also if listening to 170 22-to-29 minute podcasts is too slow for you, Peter is one of the editors of the Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy which has a lot of material in one spot that we rarely hear about.
posted by bukvich (17 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
plans for many more episodes and more years.

Yeah! I love these, but I am so far behind - mainly due to relistening.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:24 PM on April 6, 2014

Really want an iTunes link
posted by grobstein at 1:28 PM on April 6, 2014

Second link on this page. (On iTunes it's just called History of Philosophy, which makes it hard to search for).
posted by dontjumplarry at 1:53 PM on April 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's a truly great podcast.
posted by painquale at 2:10 PM on April 6, 2014

Subscribed! This is the first thing I've added to my podcast listening since removing about 3/4 of my podcast subscriptions a couple years ago. It'd better be good.
posted by ardgedee at 3:31 PM on April 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love this podcast so much, but in the past month the feed has stopped updating - has he changed the URL or something, or is my Podcasts app just acting up?
posted by Jimbob at 5:16 PM on April 6, 2014

I know you mentioned Russell just to point out how neglected Arabic philosophy has been, but I ought to point out that his book on history of philosophy isn't a very good source for the general reader. It's an entertaining book, but this wasn't his strong suit.
posted by thelonius at 6:11 PM on April 6, 2014

i love this podcast! I'm a huge fan of his work with islamic philosophies because I am constantly surprised at how modern it seems. I can't wait to start running again this summer so I can start listening again.
posted by rebent at 7:42 PM on April 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been kind of curious why he skipped over the philosophy of the bible itself. There is certainly at the very least some ethical philosophy being practiced in the New Testament. Seems bizarre to spend seven chapters on Augustine and none on Paul or Jesus. He covered the book of job recently, but afaik, that's it.
posted by empath at 9:28 PM on April 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

There is a comment box on his website and so far he seems to me generous in spending time answering questions. I think I might know what he would say, but it seems weird to speculate on what he thinks when we can go right there and ask him direct.
posted by bukvich at 9:34 PM on April 6, 2014

Holy fuck, he is not joking with the no gaps business. Incredible.

Does he plan to take this all the way through modern philosophy? I hope so....
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:06 AM on April 7, 2014

That is an interesting question, Empath. I was surprised to learn about all the philosophic traditions that were very familiar to me because I grew up in the christian church. I would have loved a more cut-and-dry "This is similar but it's a coincidence, this is an aspect that comes from cult X, this is something new that Jesus invented, this is something new that Paul invented" type of breakdown.

That said, wow, that sounds like a whole nother can of worms that could take a many-year podcast of its own!
posted by rebent at 11:16 AM on April 7, 2014

Note: if you are into giraffes or Buster Keaton you will really like this podcast.
posted by buffalo at 12:26 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Really want an iTunes link

Really don't. iTunes links are anti-internet.
posted by srboisvert at 6:34 AM on April 9, 2014

An iTunes link in addition to the generally available website link would be great. And I would have cheered the deletion of a FPP that only links to iTunes or any other proprietary channel. And I'd rather see this thread be a discussion about the podcast, not platforms, right?
posted by ardgedee at 7:09 AM on April 9, 2014

Oh, THERE'S all that context!
posted by angusiguess at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2014

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