Discover the Best Philosophy Podcasts in the World
?The unexamined life is not worth living.? ? Socrates
Philosophy podcasts are an invaluable way to increase your health, wealth, and wisdom. The study of knowledge and existence can only broaden your horizons and improve your quality of life. That?s why our team at The Mission has compiled this list of our favorite philosophy podcasts!
These 35 shows are sure to stretch your mind and encourage you to view your surroundings in a new light. Enjoy!
The Mission Daily
The Mission Daily is a podcast dedicated to accelerated learning and helping you become healthier, wealthier, and wiser.
The world is changing faster than ever. Researchers estimate that technology and automation will replace half of existing jobs over the next decade. Crazy dictators are trying to start wars, there?s poverty, suffering? Humanity isn?t a multi-planetary species yet?
It seems like there have never been more challenges facing humanity.
So how can we evolve, escape, and overcome?!?
Learn. As fast as we can.
That?s what this podcast is here to help you do.
Subscribe to The Mission Daily today, and we guarantee you?ll see positive improvements in your life!
The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss is a self-proclaimed ?human guinea-pig.? Through captivating storytelling, he shares his and others? mind-boggling experiences in life, work, business, creation, and innovation. With 300 episodes available, Tim has created a massive amount of valuable content, just waiting to satisfy your ?earballs.?
Start here: ?Lessons from Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, and Ben Franklin?
Two master learners talking about other master learners. Prepare to feel like a slacker? 😉 In this episode, Tim interviews Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of The Aspen Institute and author of many biographies ? his most recent being about Leonardo da Vinci. Walter shares little-known information about Leonardo?s personal life and explains his secrets to mastery. They also discuss some of history?s other famous innovators and the tools they used to learn so much so quickly.
The main takeaway from the episode: Don?t limit yourself through specialization. Embrace curiosity, seek the answers to many questions, and learn from everything that the world has to offer. Creativity happens at the intersection between different disciplines.
Philosophy: The Classics
Host Nigel Warburton is a trusted source in the philosophy community. In this podcast that dates back to 2007, he reads from his book, Philosophy: The Classics. The book serves as an introduction to the history of philosophy, including 27 key works by various philosophers, making this a great place to start your quest for knowledge.
Start here: Since each episode comes from Warburton?s book, we recommend that you start from the beginning.
The Philosophy Guy
The Philosophy Guy, Brenden Weber, recently rebooted this podcast to incorporate books, movies, and TV shows and the philosophical ideas they represent. Weber believes that philosophy is everywhere, and he provides a wealth of actionable insights to help you on your philosophical journey.
Start here: The trailer for the rebooted show aired just a few days ago. Be sure to check it out!
From political correctness to the logic of regret, Philosophy Talk covers it all. With over 200 episodes to enjoy, you?ll never be starved for engaging philosophical content.
Start here: ?The Value of Care ? Feminism and Ethics?
?What if care were thought of as the bedrock of morality? What would it look like for us to build our institutions around the goal of promoting care??
Find out in this episode, featuring author Joan Tronto.
The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast
With no shortage of five-star ratings on iTunes, this philosophy podcast is unarguably one of the best. In each episode, the hosts study and discuss a short philosophical text. Whether or not you read the text beforehand, the conversation is easy to follow and as entertaining as it is informative.
Start here: ??The Closing of the American Mind?: Allan Bloom on Education (Part One)?
In this episode, the hosts read Allan Bloom?s 1987 best-selling polemic that asks, ?What is the role of the university in our democracy??
Pop Culture Philosophers
The pop culture philosophers are all about about geek and nerd culture. Each episode of this podcast shines a positive and insightful light on pop culture and its place in society. Whether individually or as a whole, we?re all impacted by popular media, and this show will help you understand how and why.
Start here: ?Westerns?
Tune in as the hosts and their guests, Justin Goldsmith and Mike Matthews, chat about their favorite Western films and TV shows and their impact on society.
In Our Time
This podcast is about as long-running as they come, going all the way back to mid-2010. Unlike you might expect, BBC?s In Our Time is not recent-news-related. Rather, it discusses the self-proclaimed ?history of ideas.? If you?re looking to learn during your morning commute or on a rainy Sunday afternoon, tune in, and let go.
Start here: ?The Egyptian Book of the Dead?
We?re not talking about the version in The Mummy with Brendan Fraser. No, we?re talking the real deal here, folks. Learn what it is and how it was thought to help guide the Dead.
From the iTunes description:
?Intelligence Squared is the world?s leading forum for debate and intelligent discussion. Live and online we take you to the heart of the issues that matter, in the company of some of the world?s sharpest minds and most exciting orators.?
Start here: ?Anshel Pfeffer in conversation with Catherine Philp on Netanyahu and the Future of Israel?
In this episode, author Anshel Pfeffer speaks with diplomatic correspondent Catherine Philp about the current state of Israel and the future of the Middle East.
Anatomy of Next
For the BIG thinkers out there who are into technology and building a definitely better future for humanity? Anatomy of Next is a must-listen. It?s brought to you by Founders Fund. They are the world-renowned venture capital firm behind investments like SpaceX, Airbnb, and Stemcentrx. With episode topics ranging from Fermi?s Paradox to breakthrough technologies and the people creating them, this show is not to be missed.
Start here: ?Fermi?s Paradox?
If it?s probable that intelligent alien life exists, where?s the evidence? In this episode, the Anatomy of Next team explores the worlds beyond our own.
WHY? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life
Each month, host Jack Russell Weinstein, professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Dakota, discusses common themes that arise in our everyday lives. From friendship to living authentically and everything in between, this highly-praised podcast?s down-to-earth nature will have you hooked from the first episode.
Start here: ?Living Authentically in an Inauthentic Age?
Weinstein and his guest, Gordon Marino, discuss how we can live authentically in a world bombarded by inauthenticity.
Douglas Lain hosts this podcast, which used to be called Diet Soap. In this rebooted version, Lain covers publications from Zero Books, including radical philosophy, aesthetics, and experimental fiction, among other works.
Start here: ?Sam Harris, Race Science, and Nerd Logic?
Michael Brooks joins Lain to discuss a debate between Sam Harris and Ezra Klein about ?racism, identity politics, intellectual honesty, and the controversy over Harris?s podcast with Charles Murray? (episode 123 of Waking Up with Sam Harris).
?We surprise some of the world?s brightest minds with ideas they?re not at all prepared to discuss.? Host Jason Gots is of the belief that some of the best conversations happen when we?re forced to think outside our comfort zones. That?s why, every week, he talks to a smart person that you?ve probably heard of about any and every subject you can imagine. It?s not always pretty, but it sure is fun.
Start here: ?David Sedaris (humorist) ? Sir David of the Spotless Roadways?
Life may be full of terrible things, but constantly talking about them could take a toll on your social life? unless your name is David Sedaris, of course. Sedaris is a humorist who enjoys turning horribly true stories into laugh-out-loud comedy. Tune in to hear about his latest book? and listen to him respond to Gots?s unusual conversation starters.
Terence McKenna with Art Bell
This is a little-known series of four interviews hosted by Art Bell with the late philosopher and ?technonaut? Terence McKenna, recorded between 1997 and 1999.
Start here: ?Terence McKenna with Art Bell: Timewave Zero?
Art Bell: ?You have a theory about time. Time is one of my favorite all-time topics, so before we launch into what you think about time, tell me what you think time is. In other words, is time our invention, or is time a real thing?? I realize we?re measuring it, but in the cosmic scheme of things, is there really time??
Terence McKenna: ?Yeah, you give me a perfect entry to launch into this thing. See, in the West, we have inherited from Newton what is called the idea of pure duration, which is simply that time is sort of a place where things are placed so that they don?t all happen at once; in other words, it?s used as quality-less. It?s an abstraction. In fact, I think when we carry out a complete analysis of time, I think what we?re going to discover is that, like matter, time is composed of elemental, discrete types. All matter, organic and inorganic matter, is composed of 104, 108 elements? there?s some argument. Time, on the other hand, is thought to be this featureless, qualityless medium, but as we experience it, as living, feeling creatures, time has qualities. There are times when everything seems to go right and times when everything seems to go wrong??
Akimbo: A Podcast from Seth Godin
The ancient word ?akimbo? is ?a symbol for strength, a posture of possibility, the idea that when we stand tall, arms bent, looking right at it, we can make a difference.? This in mind, it won?t come as a surprise that Seth Godin?s philosophy podcast is about our culture and how we can bend it to see positive change. From status roles to freelancing, Akimbo shows you what the world has to offer? and what you can do about it.
Start here: ?It?s not about the chocolate?
Chocolate is great, but it?s not what life is all about.
We prefer to come at the topic of spirituality with a beginner?s mind and use it as a way for expanding our own understanding. This podcast isn?t really about religion; it?s more about what, if any, mechanics are underlying this existence of ours.
Start here: ?Mary Catherine Bateson ? Composing a Life?
In this episode of On Being, which explores the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists, and teachers, the 70-year-old Mary Bateson describes the age of ?active wisdom.? She sees longer life spans creating a new developmental stage for our species.
New Books in Philosophy
This podcast has been interviewing philosophers about their latest books since 2011. If you?re looking for your next read, be sure to check out New Books in Philosophy.
Start here: ?Edouard Machery, ?Philosophy Within Proper Bounds? (Oxford UP, 2017)?
In his latest book, author Edouard Machery argues that philosophers should regulate themselves to ?modally modest questions?. Through a modified psychological form of conceptual analysis, we can then ?seek to understand what sets of automatic inferences individuals or groups tend to draw, rather than seeking conceptually necessary truths.? Learn more in this episode.
The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast
It?s rare that an intellectual gains as much traction as Jordan B. Peterson has in recent months. A lot of the controversy surrounding Peterson isn?t deserved; people just don?t know how to react when someone can calmly voice their educated opinion.
Regardless of your predisposed view of Peterson, his podcast is worth tuning into and will make you think.
Start here: ?Modern Times ? Camille Paglia?
Camille Paglia and Jordan B. Peterson discussing postmodernism is a treat that you don?t want to miss. We?ll admit that we sometimes zone out when listening to a long podcast episode (who doesn?t?), but this interview had us intrigued every step of the way.
The Big Idea
This BBC World Service podcast tackles the big ideas that are transforming our world today. Tune in to hear from leading thinkers about everything from monkeys to mosquito nets.
Start here: ?Economics and Mosquito Nets?
This brief episode discusses immunizations, women politicians, and the economics surrounding malaria.
WTF with Marc Maron
Life can get pretty tough, but laughter cures a multitude of ills. In this podcast, comedian Marc Maron sits down with his guests to discuss the hardest question of life: WTF?
Start here: ?Greta Gerwig?
Marc sits down with Greta Gerwig, writer and director of Lady Bird, to discuss life, work, and her story.
The Wright Show
The Wright Show is fairly straightforward: ?Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they?re thinking.? With a diverse range of guests who love an extended philosophical conversation, this show is an instant favorite.
Start here: ?Robert Wright & Jim Holt?
Wright and author Jim Holt discuss Holt?s new book, When Einstein Walked with Gdel.
The Art of Manliness
A podcast that helps men become better men. (Don?t worry fellow ladies ? there?s plenty for you to enjoy here, too.)
Start here: ?Flow and The Rise of Superman with Steven Kotler?
You?ve likely heard of flow before. It?s the concept of extreme focus where time seems to slow down that lets normal human beings achieve superhuman abilities. It?s the Michael Jordan in Game 7 stuff, for instance. A science journalist named Steven Kotler wrote a book called The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, and in this episode of The Art of Manliness from three years back, the conversation explores how others have achieved flow not just for superhuman feats, but also to save their own lives. It describes how you, too, can achieve an optimal state of flow.
The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps
Since 2010, Peter Adamson, Professor of Philosophy at the LMU in Munich and at King?s College London, has been discussing the history of philosophy in this beloved podcast. Dive into the lives and ideas of major philosophers.
Start here: ?Mind Over Mixture ? Anaxagoras?
Tune in for a discussion of Anaxagoras, the mind, and the cosmos.
This is the first story-driven, narrative podcast about contemporary philosophy. It?s packed with extraordinary tales of human experiences that become deep philosophical ideas as the episodes wear on. From war, to politics, to religion, to science, to history, each story is covered with the help of an academic philosopher. It?s a philosophical This American Life.
Start here: ?A Night of Philosophy?
Join Hi-Phi Nation as they spend the night at the Brooklyn Public Library for the 2018 Night of Philosophy.
Waking Up with Sam Harris
There?s nothing like a neuroscientist?s study of the mind to delve into the philosophical underpinnings of this systemic universe we all inhabit. Sam Harris is a neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author. He uses this mind-opening podcast to analyze society, discuss current events, and examine the human mind.
Start here: ?The Nature of Consciousness?
In this key episode, Sam Harris speaks with Thomas Metzinger about ?building conscious AI, the self as an hallucination, how we identify with our thoughts, attention as the root of the feeling of self,? and many other topics.
Elucidations: A University of Chicago Podcast
From the University of Chicago comes a philosophy podcast that will be ten years old next year. Host Matt Teichman interviews prominent philosophers about their areas of expertise and their latest works, covering topics such as causation, metaphor, and moral psychology.
Start here: ?R. A. Briggs discusses epistemic decision theory?
Learn how to strategically alter your beliefs, based on new evidence.
The Human Experience
We thought it would be fitting to include in our list something that runs over the top of all of these topics, which is, of course, human experience. And wouldn?t you know it, a podcast exists of the same name.
From their description:
?This show gives our listeners ways to improve their lives. Our intention is to fuse the left and right hemispheres of your brain and give you the situational awareness of a combat-ready interstellar ninja.?
Start here: ?Zach Leary on the everyday Grind, Futurism, Consciousness, Mysticism & so much more?
We like episode 99, which covers the daily grind, spirituality, futurism, mysticism, and the like. Socio-cultural experiences and topics abound.
Moral Maze takes one of the week?s news stories and turns it into a fascinating live debate. ?Combative, provocative and engaging?, this is one philosophy podcast that you do not want to miss.
Start here: ?The Morality of International Diplomacy?
Is morality dead in international relations? Listen in for the big picture.
Truly one of the most interesting podcast concepts we?ve yet to come across. Philosophize This! works through Buddha, the Hellenistic Age, Descartes, and Leibniz. They?re names we haven?t heard since our undergraduate Philosophy course. With the hindsight of life experience and our own decades of writing, this stuff really starts to hit home.
Start here: ?Episode #001 Presocratic Philosophy ? Ionian?
Philosophize This! is a great podcast that anyone can enjoy, but they do push you. That?s why we recommend you start from the very beginning, where they break down Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle from an every-day-life basis.
The Philosopher?s Zone
The Philosopher?s Zone addresses both the big philosophical questions and common arguments. Always thoughtful and balanced, this podcast explores what philosophical analysis can contribute to our understanding of some of the more fundamental and perplexing issues facing our world today. You?ll wish there were more of these fascinating episodes!
Start here: ?The oblivion of India?
Despite the fact that Indian philosophy has thousands of years of history behind it, Western philosophers largely ignore it. Has this led to assumptions about Indian philosophy? Have these assumptions influenced the Western philosophical canon? Find out in this episode.
Each episode of Philosophy Bites is thoughtfully and respectfully presented by David Edmonds (Uehiro Centre, Oxford University) and Nigel Warburton (freelance philosopher/writer) as they interview top philosophers on an extensive range of topics. If you enjoy short, easy-to-digest segments, this podcast is for you.
Start here: ?Keith Frankish on the Hard Problem and the Illusion of Qualia?
Guest Keith Frankish discusses the brain, consciousness, and subjective experience in this fascinating episode.
The Public Philosopher
Michael Sandel, a Harvard political philosopher, unpacks the thinking behind current controversies facing our world. He offers a broad and thoughtful discussion, often respectfully questioning our most basic assumptions. A must-listen for those interested in politics and civics.
Start here: ?Citizens of Nowhere??
Michael Sandel visits St. Paul?s Cathedral to field some difficult questions regarding today?s global politics. Is patriotism a sentiment we should encourage or a prejudice we should overcome? In diverse societies, are politics for the common good possible?
That?s Deep Bro
Hosted by comedian Christina Pazsitzky, That?s Deep Bro provides a unique combination of philosophy and comedy. Serious questions are discussed with some supremely silly ? but very relatable ? people, who could inadvertently help you figure out life?s biggest questions and maybe even find fulfillment. Helpful conversations with an extra dose of humor? What could be better?
Start here: ?East vs West, Feeling Guilty about Hating Your Parents and More!?
Very serious topics are discussed in this episode, including feeling guilty about not loving being with your mom on Mother?s Day, how to maintain a relationship with a Bipolar father, and great marriage? with kids. All this and more. Go deep, bros!
In Our Time: Philosophy
From Altruism to Wittgenstein, this podcast includes intriguing conversations about philosophical ideas and beliefs, new and old. Episodes cover a broad range of subjects, interesting philosophers, and questionable theories. There is also much contemplation regarding applications to today?s world.
Start here: ?Montesquieu?
Ready to learn about the political philosophy that influenced the American Constitution? Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas of Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brde et de Montesquieu (1689?1755), whose works on liberty, monarchism, despotism, republicanism, and the separation of powers were devoured by intellectuals across Europe and New England in the eighteenth century.
Thaddeus Russell doesn?t talk to the average podcast guest ? he talks to people ?that make him think.? In his two-hour-long interviews, he dissects the minds of yak farmers, prostitutes, comedians, porn stars, infamous writers, social critics, political activists? and pretty much anyone else society has outcasted or labeled ?abnormal.?
Do we agree with everything he says or everything that is discussed? Nope? but isn?t that kind of the point?
Start here: ?Episode 32: Moshe Kasher?
Sit down with Thad as he interviews stand-up comedian and actor Moshe Kasher. Moshe discusses his very unique childhood, his path to comedy, and his new book: Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16.
Any we missed?
Let us know in the comments below!