Thoughts: Philosophy Untangled
By Glasgow University Philosophy Students
Thoughts: Philosophy UntangledApr 17, 2023
#44. Logic ft. Greg Restall
Calum and Adam sit down with Dr Greg Restall to get an introduction to the field of logic within Philosophy. They talk about what logic can be like at the start of your university philosophy career, and how the "baby logician" can avoid falling into the trap of becoming a "debate bro" who fails to further the discourse. Greg then also explains paradoxes, as well as what the current field of logic looks like.
Sound Editor: Sean Duxbury
Greg Restall is Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Queensland in 1994, and has held positions at the Australian National University, Macquarie University, and the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on logic, metaphysics, and philosophy of language. He is the author of An Introduction to Substructural Logics (Routledge, 2000), Logic (Routledge, 2006), Logical Pluralism (Oxford University Press, 2006; with Jc Beall) and Logical Methods (MIT Press, 2023; with Shawn Standefer). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His personal website is: https://consequently.org
#43. Rights: Who Gets Them? ft. Martin Bunzl
Jonah and Alexandros are joined once again by Martin Bunzl, emeritus profesor of philosophy at Rutgers University, to consider the significance of rights. Ranging from consciousness to politics, to elephants and lakes, the conversation considers questions like 'what are rights for?', 'what is the relationship of rights to duties?', and 'what kinds of beings get rights?'
#42. Spinoza ft. Dr. Alexander Douglas
In this episode Alexandros and Calum sit down with Dr Alexander Douglas, a senior lecturer at the University of St Andrews, to discuss the life and work of Baruch Spinoza. They touch on several topics, including Spinoza's controversial theological stances, his substance monism and the implication of his views for how society should operate.
#41. Erotica, Pornography and Oppression ft Emilia Wilson
This week, Emilia Wilson from Univeristy of St Andrews joins us to discuss erotica, pornography and oppression. They talk about the differences between erotica and pornography, and what this means for us socially, ethically and politically.
Trigger warnings: sexual violence, sexual assault, consent, rape
Content warnings: discussion of sexual acts, pornography, sexual violence, ejaculation, BDSM, masturbation, consent.
"Date Rape: A Feminist Analysis" Lois Pineau
"A Non-Ideal Theory of Consent" Quill R Kukla
"Blurred Lines: How Fictional is Pornography" Aidan McGlynn
"How Not To Watch Feminist Pornography" R K Heck
"Scorekeeping in a pornographic language game" Rae Langton & Caroline West
A short video on consent by Planned Parenthood:
'A closer look at sexual coercion'
#40. Freedom of Speech & Content Constraints ft. Dr. Derek Ball
When is speech 'free' speech? Are we free to think anything we want? Can thought ever truly be 'free'? In this episode, Calum and Jonah discuss what it means to have freedom of speech and thought, with Dr. Derek Ball. They discuss how the structure of our mind, our language and our world can constrain the content of our ideas, and whether some kinds of content constraints may in fact be necessary.
#39. Digital Ethics of Care ft. Michelle O'Reilly
This week Jonah and Amelia are joined by Dr Michelle O'Reilly, who'll be discussing her work on 'Digital Ethics of Care' - how we can improve conduct online, how adolescents think about themselves and others on social media, how philosophy might help, and much more.
#38. Medical Gaslighting as Obstetric Violence ft Sara Cohen Shabot
In this episode, Jasmine and Arianna talk to Prof Cohen Shabot, Chair of The Women's and Gender Studies Graduate Program at the University of Haifa about how philosophy can be used in our everyday lives, specifically looking at medical gaslighting and obstetric violence.
Trigger warnings include miscarriage, non-consent and gender-based violence.
#37. Aristotle's Ethics: A Look at Imitation, Habituation and Virtue ft. Margaret Hampson
How does one go about living a good life? In this episode Calum and Alex talk to Dr Margaret Hampson who is a lecturer in Ancient Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. They explore how Aristotle thinks about virtue in the Nichomachean Ethics, including what it consists of and how it links to the idea of living a good, flourishing life. The conversation then goes into more depth about the processes that Aristotle outlines for becoming a more virtuous person and Margaret’s interpretation of these processes, with a focus on the ideas of imitation and habituation.
#Episode 36. Drugs, Society and the Law ft. Peter Krykant and Dr Saket Priyadarshi
Calum and Neil get the opportunity to talk to Peter Krykant, who is a political activist and Project Lead with the harm reduction charity Cranstoun, and Dr Saket Priyadarshi, who is an Associate Medical Director with Greater Glasgow and Clyde Alcohol and Drug Services. This episode discusses the distinctions between different forms of drugs, the issues surrounding drug use within society, the causes of these issues and what some possible solutions might be. It also includes a host discussion at the end where Calum, Neil and Jonah tie some of the topics covered with related philosophical concepts that a Philosophy student might encounter as part of their degree.
David Nutt Drug Ranking: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11660210
Rat Park: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park
Liberty and Utilitarianism: https://www.jstor.org/stable/24354944?seq=1
Pragmatism in Ethics: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pragmatism/#Ethi
Addiction and Responsibility: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3505095?refreqid=excelsior%3A03356468b91f598e6d3516b86857426a&seq=1
Aristotle's Ethics: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-ethics/
#Episode 35. The Theory of Everything: Metaphysics, Morality, and Meditation ft. Geoffrey Moore
How do we understand ethics in a secular world? In this episode, Isabel and Jonah talk to Geoffrey Moore, about his new book: ‘The Infinite Staircase’. We attempt to weave a thread from metaphysics to consciousness, and culture, right through to ethics. We explore how each of these ‘stairs’ is dependent upon the one that precedes it, how reliable the concepts of good and bad are and how they can be grounded in a secular worldview.
#Episode 34. Physicalism (Snippet)
This is an excerpt from our physicalism episode with Donnchadh O’Conaill, a researcher at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
#Episode 34. Physicalism & The Spooky Side of Metaphysics ft. Donnchadh O’Conaill
This week Keir and Jasmine take a dive into physicalism with Donnchadh O’Conaill, a researcher at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. We explore the issues that zombies (bodies with no brains) and ghosts (brains with no bodies) pose for physicalism. We find out if physicalists should be checking under their beds at night or walking confidently into the dark...
For more information and links to relevant papers, please visit the Thoughts website: https://www.thoughtsuofg.com/episodes/episode-34-physicalism-and-the-spooky-side-of-metaphysics/
#Episode 33. Luck & Legal Epistemology ft. Dario Mortini
In the episode, Keir and Jasmine have and in-depth discussion with Dario Mortini, a fourth year PhD student and lecturer at the University of Glasgow about legal epistemology, the nature of the law and real-life legal cases. We discuss fairness and luck, testimony and evidence, and how the law and epistemology influence one another.
#Episode 32. Dreaming of a white (lies) Christmas... ft. Glen Pettigrove
In this episode, Isabel and Jasmine talk to Dr Pettigrove about his own experience grappling with the ethics of lying and the effects it might have had on his children. We discuss what Kant would say and whether this is a plausible account for honesty or a 'grinch' perspective.
Episode #31. Duties Towards Children ft. Areti Theofilopoulou
Trigger Warning: mentions of child abuse
Do we have duties towards Children? If so, what are they? Who should be doing something about them? How should we be doing something about them? All these questions and more in today's episode of Thoughts, where Jonah and Alexandros delve into the philosophy of the duties that we have towards Children with Areti Theofilopoulou, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong.
Episode #30. Wittgenstein & Value ft. Nick Purches-Knabb
During his lifetime, Ludwig Wittgenstein published only one book-length work of philosophy. Yet it remains one of the most influential philosophical works of the past 200 years. Jonah Woodward and Alexandros Constantinou sit down with PhD student Nick Purches-Knabb, to discuss the changing interpretations of Wittgenstein’s work and how it completely undermines our understanding of language, ethics, and philosophy.
Did you ask yourself any of these questions while listening?
Who is Frege? - https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/frege/
Who is Russell? - https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/russell/
Who is Flew? - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Flew
What are Truth Tables? - https://sites.millersville.edu/bikenaga/math-proof/truth-tables/truth-tables.html
What does “acting in bad faith” mean? - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_faith_(existentialism)
What is Cultural Relativism? - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_relativism / https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-relativism/
Episode #29. The Meaning of Art ft. Jerrold Levinson
The definition of art has been the subject of longstanding debate in aesthetics. In this episode, Katie and Hamish meet Jerrold Levinson, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. They explore the different definitions on the market, and Levinson offers his own intentional-historical definition - that art is “something that has been intended by someone for regard or treatment in some overall way that some earlier or pre-existing artwork or artworks are or were correctly treated”.
Levinson, Jerrold (1979). Defining art historically. _British Journal of Aesthetics_ 19 (3):21-33.
Episode #28. Superiorism ft. Bjoern Freter
Hamish Stewart and Alexandros Constantinou talk to Bjoern Freter, an independent Scholar from Knoxville Tennessee to understand how superiorism underpins our modern world.
To find out more about Bjoern's work, visit: https://bjornfreter.academia.edu/
Episode #27 Reflections on Nature ft. Martin Bunzl
What really is ‘Nature’? Why should we care about preserving it? Jonah Woodward and Alexandros Constaninou are joined by Martin Bunzl, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University and author of the new book ‘Thinking While Walking: Reflections on the Pacific Crest Trail’. They discuss how the human conception of the natural world has changed over time, the difficulties we face in attempting to tackle climate change and environmental destruction, as well as possible solutions to these problems.
The Why Guy with Francis Brewer
Can Philosophy help you become a better person? Yes! But, also, no...In this episode our hosts, Arianna Clark and Jonah Woodward talk to Francis Brewer about his path to Veganism, the power and limitations of philosophy, aliens, robots, the neural networks of plants, and how he used to think his mum was crazy.
The Philosophical Therapist with Dr Luis de Miranda
Has Philosophy ever actually helped anyone? Yes, yes it has. This week our hosts, Arianna Clark and Alex Constantinou, talk to philosopher, novelist and therapist Dr Luis de Miranda - where he explains just how philosophy can help us, and how it helped him.
From dissecting reality to RuPaul’s Drag Race, we just about scratch the surface of the theoretical underpinnings of Luis’ work – and, like us, we are sure you’ll want to find out more.
So, if you want to find out more about Luis:
The Recovering Existentialist with Ben Van Loon
If you’ve ever wondered what people actually do with philosophy, this is the episode for you. From miserable existentialism to ethics in the office - this week our host, Arianna Clark, talks to the resourceful writer and philosopher and communications expert, Ben Van Loon, about his life in Chicago and how he’s navigated it, using his philosophical training to carve a space in the world for him.
You can see Ben’s writing at
And more at:
Music by Doo Dah Music, courtesy of Shutterstock
Escaping the Ivory Tower - Trailer
Thoughts is excited to present Escaping the Ivory Tower, a brand new series in which our co-host Arianna Clark speaks to guests from all over the world about the impact that philosophy has made on their lives.
Episode #26. Misanthropy ft. Ian Kidd
In this episode, Katie and Ross chat to Dr. Ian Kidd about Misanthropy – the view that it is appropriate to morally condemn humanity.
Episode #25. Mental Lives ft. Dorothea Debus
What are the abilities of self-regulation and self-control over our mental lives? What does it mean to say that we are at one with ourselves? Dr. Dorothea Debus, Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Konstanz joins Alexandros Constantinou and Keir Aitken to discuss these questions and many more in this episode of Thoughts.
Episode #24. Dissertations ft. Emma Gordon
How do you choose a dissertation topic? What are some common dissertation mishaps? In this episode, co-hosts Alex and Jasmine talk to Dr Emma Gordon, a research fellow in applied ethics and epistemology at the University of Glasgow who was voted Best Dissertation Supervisor at the University of Glasgow in 2020. They explore questions surrounding philosophy dissertations and discuss how to get around common hurdles that students face writing their dissertations.
If you found this episode useful, look out for our YouTube series coming soon where we speak to Philosophy students about their dissertation experiences. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with all of our new episodes!
Episode #23. Alternatives to Democracy ft. Lewis Ross
What’s so good about democracy? Is it really better than the alternatives? In this episode, co-hosts Katie and Keir talk to Dr Lewis Ross, a fellow in Philosophy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics. They explore the limits of democracy and some alternatives that have been proposed: Lottocracy, Epistocracy and Lewis’ favoured approach, Plato’s philosopher kings.
Episode #22. Underdetermination ft. JB Manchak
In this episode, Keir and Jasmine explore Underdetermination and what it’s all about. Speaking to JB Manchak, from the University of California, Irvine, We discuss the limits of scientific research, conspiracy theories and time travel. We also discuss Buddhism and the idea of the non-self.
Episode #21. Political Philosophy as Practical Philosophy ft. Simon Hope
In this episode Alex and Ross are joined by Dr. Simon Hope of Stirling University to discuss the role and scope of political philosophy; what do we do when we do political philosophy and whose viewpoint gets to count?
Episode #20. Voting Systems ft. Adam Rieger
In this episode co-hosts Alice and Katie delve into the complex nature of voting systems with senior lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, Dr Adam Rieger. The episode focuses on first past the post, preference voting, and the alternative voting method – with Adam helping us to untangle some of the key criticisms of each.
Episode #19. Miracles ft. Timothy McGrew
Hamish and Alexandros delve deep into the world of Miracles with Timothy McGrew. They discuss Hume’s argument against Miracles. Join us in this discussion about human testimony, the limits of inquiry and bizarre animals.
Episode #18. Jurisprudence Part 2 ft. Emilios Christodoulidis
This is our second episode devoted to the philosophy of law. We discuss the function of law in our society and where our legal system is misaligned with our political and economic systems. We hear about when Coca Cola took on the Bolivian government, and won. Finally, Emilios gives us a brief history of our rights and we take a moment to think about what our rights may look like in the 22nd century.
Episode #17. Jurisprudence Part 1 ft. Emilios Christodoulidis
This episode is one of two which looks at the philosophy of law. We discuss 'what is the law?', we look at the connection between law and justice, and between law and morality (legal Positivism vs. Natural law). We visit the peculiarities of legal reasoning, the connection to rights and values, and with an emphasis on the philosophy of language also on how the law both abhors and deploys ambiguity.
Episode #16. Autonomy and End of Life Care ft. Ben Colburn
In this New Year’s special episode, Professor Ben Colburn joins Ross and Alexandros in an in-depth discussion of the meaning of autonomy in Moral and Political Philosophy. What does it mean to be autonomous and ultimately why is it a good thing? Join us in in contemplating these and many more questions in this special episode of Thoughts.
Episode #15. Gender and Social Categories ft. Katharine Jenkins
What does it mean for a category to be socially constructed? Are we wronged when we are cast into a social category that doesn’t characterise us? How does Gender relate to all this? Dr. Katharine Jenkins, lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, joins Ross and Alexandros to discuss these questions and many more in this episode of Thoughts.
Episode #14. Victim Testimony ft. Mona Simion
!Content Warning: Sexual Assault!
Why do we believe what we are told? When should we believe what we are told? And why is it so often the case that we suspend our belief exactly when others need it the most? Dr Mona Simion – Deputy Director of COGITO (and so much more) – is going to dissect these questions for us and explain to Ruaridh and Arianna why she thinks that, when it comes to cases of sexual allegation, we should (most of the time) believe the victim.
Thoughts speaks to GUAAS
In this episode co-hosts Katie and Hamish are joined by Charlotte Kleine and Belen De Bacco from the Glasgow University Art Appreciation Society (GUAAS). They find out about some of GUAAS’s upcoming events and discuss Walter Benjamin’s essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility”, and the body in modern and postmodern space.
Episode #13. Settler Colonialism ft. Karl Martin Adam
Are borders always bad? Believe it or not, some philosophers think they are. Today we speak to Karl Martin Adam - a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - who argues that settler colonialism is a case where borders seem like quite a good thing. Jasmine Hunt and Hamish Stewart join him in conversation.
Episode #12. Violence in Video Games ft. Rebecca Davnall
Why do we think of some violent acts in video games as wrong, and others not? In this episode, Katie Moody speaks to Dr. Rebecca Davnall, a lecturer in philosophy and game design studies at the University of Liverpool, about whether actions in video games can be morally wrong.
Episode #11. Future People ft. Joe Slater
Do we have obligations to future people? Would it be better to just nuke the world? In this episode Katie Moody and Ross Patrizio talk to Dr Joe Slater, a lecturer in moral philosophy at the University of St Andrews, about our moral obligations to people living in the future.
Episode #10. Buddhism and the Non-Self ft. Pavel Nitchovski
Buddhism, and its metaphysics, is not given much attention in Western philosophy. Fortunately, Pavel Nitchovski, a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was as annoyed as we were about this, and decided to teach the topic in the Summer of 2020. In this episode, Hamish Stewart and Keir Aitken quiz Pavel about Buddhism’s conception of the non-self.
Episode #9. Disability and Enhancement ft. Lysette Chaproniere
What is disability? How does it relate to enhancement? Do enhancements promote equality, or inequality? In this episode, Jasmine Hunt and Keir Aitken discuss the relationship between disability and enhancement - and the social and philosophical relevance of each - with Lysette Chaproniere.
Episode #8. Causation ft. Neil McDonnell
Most of us probably think we know how causation works. If we flick the switch of the kettle, we will cause the kettle to boil. If we set up a line of dominoes, and knock over the first domino, we will have caused that domino to fall, which will cause the next domino to fall, and the next, and the next, and so on. In this episode, Dr Neil McDonnell – The Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow of the University of Glasgow – discusses why talking about causation isn’t so simple, with Ruaridh Gilmartin and Arianna Clark.
Episode #7. Climate Change and Extinction Rebellion ft. Quan Nguyen
Climate change is becoming an increasingly pressing issue in politics and in everyday life. On today’s episode Hamish Stewart talks to Quan Nguyen, a PhD candidate at the University of St. Andrews. In this episode Quan describes a public philosophy article he wrote following the school strikes for climate as well as his experience in Extinction Rebellion Scotland.
Thoughts speaks to SWAG
In this episode we discuss women’s place in the world and why its important to celebrate successful women. We talk about what SWAG is and its role in the Glasgow University community. We talk about inspirational philosophers, why it's important to celebrate women and what grinds Anna’s gears most.
Episode #6. Morality in Dreams ft. Robert Cowan
Are we ever morally assessable for the things we do in our dreams? If we are, should we feel guilt, or pride, for our dreaming actions? Dr. Robert Cowan, lecturer in Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, joins Ross Patrizio and Alexandros Constantinou to discuss these questions and many more in this episode of Thoughts.
Episode #5. Authority and Autonomy ft. James Humphries
Why do we have a government? Why don’t we just ‘Lord of the Flies’ it? Do we really have to obey political authority? James Humphries, lecturer in Political Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, talks us through these questions and many more in this episode of Thoughts. Keir Aitken and Jasmine Hunt join him in discussion.
Episode #4. The Philosophy of Derrida ft. David Baker
Derrida is a notoriously difficult philosopher to understand. Some love him, others loathe him, and everyone struggles to comprehend him. Today, we embark on a journey of discovery with Derridean thought and the wider Post-structuralist movement. Joining us again is David Baker, distinguished professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hamish Stewart and Max Forster speak with him.
Thoughts speaks to Brainscape
On this episode Katie chats to Amelia about the GU Psychology podcast, Brainscape. Amelia gives some ‘speedy summaries’ of ‘Love is in the Air’ and ‘Storytime’ - two episodes on the podcast – and they discuss all things from how to stand out on Tinder, to representation in children’s books.
Episode #3. Postmodernism ft. David Baker
Have you ever wondered what Postmodernism is? A hugely influential movement during the second half of the 20th C, it has gone on to influence contemporary philosophy in countless ways. Today, David Baker, Professor of Comparative Literature at UNC, talks us through what Postmodernist philosophy looked like, and the difficulties inherent in defining anything Postmodern. Hamish Stewart and Max Forster join David in discussion.
Episode #2. Pain ft. Jennifer Corns
What is pain? Is it physical, mental, or both? What are the real-world implications of research in the philosophy of pain? Dr. Jennifer Corns, lecturer in Philosophy of Mind at the University of Glasgow, joins Ross Patrizio and Alexandros Constantinou to discuss these questions and many more in this episode of Thoughts.
Thoughts speaks to the GU History Podcast: Spanish Civil War
On this episode Jasmine and Arianna chat to Nathan, John, and Robbie about their History podcast “GUHS Podcast”. After discussing John’s latent carpentry ambitions, Arianna and Jasmine learn a lot of history in 5 minutes as the boys discuss their upcoming plans for future episodes, including one spawned by Robbie’s reading of George Orwell’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’.
Episode #1. Time travel ft. Steph Rennick
Hello, and welcome to the first ever episode of Glasgow University's Philosophy Podcast, Thoughts! Today we’ll be discussing Time travel: an oft discussed, but rarely properly examined, topic. Joining us is Dr. Stephanie Rennick, Glasgow University researcher, and hosting today is Hamish Stewart.
To view the full episode description, visit thoughtsuofg.com
Hello everyone, and welcome to Thoughts - a student-run podcast by the University of Glasgow Philosophy Department.
Our first full-length episode on time travel will be released at the end of August so follow us so you don’t miss it! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing our team on all our social media!
The Thoughts podcast explores different philosophical topics with the help of an expert. Whether you are new to philosophy or already love the subject, we look forward to embarking on this philosophical journey together!!