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Alan D Bent 19 February 2022

I am hoping that you will spend some time on Spinoza soon.

Peter Adamson 19 February 2022

In reply to by Alan D Bent

Spinoza will certainly get multiple episodes including an interview, but you'll have to be patient: my plan is to cover the Reformation era around Europe, and then Spinoza will be part of a series of episodes on 17-18th century France and the Netherlands. So, maybe in 2024?

Roy G Albin 16 March 2022

My recollection is that 1 of the Islamic philosophers  Believes that God-created the universe  And it and everything it can continues to exist simply because God continues to will it.  Should GodCease to willSomething or someone's existenceIt would cease to exist instantly.

 I thought it was  Al razi But I  Re listened to that episode and I see that he was the one who believed in the 5 Eternal substances...


No is a great answer but do you happen to recall Who might have Held that unique theory I would love to be reminded.

That's a tricky question because the position you're describing was held by so many figures; basically anyone who allows for a "voluntarist" God who creates by arbitrary will rather than necessity. It would fit al-Kindi for instance and I wonder if you are thinking of this passage in the podcast on him:

"Al-Kindī, by contrast, wrote a little treatise defending Aristotle’s conception of the heavens as being made from a unique, indestructible material. This at first seems inexplicable, until we get to a little caveat towards the end of that treatise. Indeed, al-Kindī says, the heavenly spheres are indestructible. So they will exist forever… so long as God wants them to. Here he’s changed the rules, by implying that even a body whose nature is not subject to destruction will vanish if God stops making it exist. This is perhaps why al-Kindī thinks the universe’s eternity is a matter for metaphysical theology, and not physics. It is not the nature of the universe that determines how long it exists, but the will of God."

So that's my guess as to what you're thinking but it would apply to other thinkers too like al-Ghazali for example; it's far from "unique."

That was a mistake! I put up 395 ahead of time, the sound file is ready but it is not supposed to publish until May 8. It will reappear then, thanks for letting me know.

Simeon 20 March 2022

Just interested when episodes on Frantz Fanon will appear, and if you will be covering Angela Davis and Kimberlé Crenshaw. 

Peter Adamson 20 March 2022

In reply to by Simeon

We'll get to Fanon this summer! Three episodes will be devoted to him, which will run on either side of the summer break: these will be episodes 105-7, with the last of these an interview with Lewis Gordon (we already did it, and it's great!).

And yes we have an episode on Angela Davis planned (#125 or so) and one on Critical Race Theory that will include Crenshaw (#130 or so).

These numbers are obviously subject to change as we add/subtract topics and shift things around but they should be approximately right.

Jon 11 May 2022

Thanks for this ambitious podcast series.  I just noticed that the Reformation series is skipped in the "All Episodes" tab.  You may want to add it!

Hi - thanks but I think it is there. If you scrolled all the way down to the bottom you'd miss it because the Indian and Africana series follow it.

Andrew Maclaren 11 June 2022

Hi Peter, just a random thing that popped in my head.

You should find ways to take advantage of the fact that this is a audio medium. You have to some level, like the music video in the islamic world, and that random law and order clip I can't remember which episode it is from, but it has been extraneous to the philosophy so far. To be fair, I don't really know how you could for some of the philosophy you are currently doing but one example in my head would be when explaining the Phenomenological tradition (if you ever get there). I think leverging the medium can help get across (especially Phenomenology) the philosophy in a way that the philosophy isn't usually presented, since most philosophy people encounter is via books.

Just a random thought.

Yes, that is an excellent point. Actually a wonderful example of what you're thinking about is this episode of the brilliant podcast Hi-Phi Nation. I love the series as a whole and this is one of my favorite episodes.

Andrew Maclaren 11 June 2022

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Maybe you could do something with Frantz Fanon? I don't know too much about him, just that he is related to existentialism, which is somewhat related to phenomenology (I know, very airtight right?) and psychoanalysis, which may be more amenable to my suggestion although not as much as phenomenology (don't really know psychoanalysis either).

Will have a listen to that episode. Thanks!

Andrew Maclaren 18 June 2022

Hey Peter,

I was wondering how far you are going to take your expansive view on philosophy, especially as you get to modern times? So far, most of what you done hasn't attracted controversy as far as I know, outside of maybe the eastern traditions in the islamic world with the whole Persian thing with the Iranian revolution maybe. But I was thinking, if you are going to tackle Marx eventually, what to say for an episode on Lenin or Mao? For Mao, he would be important for Alain Badiou, and there were philosophers in the soviet union ( How willing would you be to tackle these, despite the definite controversy they would attract? Or what about Nazi philosophers? I am mainly thinking of Carl Schmitt, but there are probably other examples. I am sure there is something to find in Gaddafi as well.

I am putting this more so as a interest in how far the boundries for "without any gaps" is going to go, but also there is (potentially perverse, depending on your perspective) curiosity of you actually covering these people, despite the controvery. I feel the need to say this before I get weird eyes from people.

Oh yes I would obviously need to cover Marx; I think you can't even do the rest of political philosophy without having covered him. And certainly would do Schmitt too - actually here in Germany he is a pretty standard figure to cover in courses on the history of political philosophy, interestingly enough.

I have occasionally entertained the idea of a mini-series at some point on Russian philosophy and Lenin could certainly go there.

Anyway I agree covering figures who were also responsible for many deaths, like Mao and Lenin, is tricky but they need to be understood both as emerging from the history of philosophy and as influencing it, so I wouldn't shy away.

Dave of Sarasota 25 June 2022


Enormously educational and entertaining series - have enjoyed every episode and have almost caught up to the current releases. I have also been using the ebook versions for the full text search and hyperlinked index features. Here, there seems to be a “gap” - the Kindle version of volume 2 is not available, will it be released at some point?

Peter Adamson 25 June 2022

In reply to by Dave of Sarasota

Yes this has been pointed out before to me - I flagged the issue for OUP on Twitter but maybe stronger measures are required! I will look into it, thanks. PS I think maybe it is available in some regions (UK?) on Kindle but not others (USA?). I don't use Kindle myself so this is a bit of a mystery to me.

Fr. John Rickert 28 June 2022


Greetings --  Have been enjoying the podcast immensely and learning a lot.  I especially enjoy the puns and wordplay!  I just delved into this website today -- have been aware of it but not really looked into it.  Is there a Search capability?  That would be very helpful.  

Thanks for all the outstanding work.

Best wishes.

I have a search function but I think it is restricted to me as a user (i.e. comes with editorial control over the website). But I don't use it much myself... between the menus and the linked list of "themes" (see the bottom of the page) it should be pretty navigable. What would you be searching for, like, keywords in comments maybe?

Alexander Johnson 16 July 2022

I noticed the focus early on for ethics was built around ethics as the study of the best way to live one's life.  But now, the general case is taken to be what is acceptable in society.  When and why did this transition take place?  

Peter Adamson 16 July 2022

In reply to by Alexander Johnson

That's a long story but I guess the short version would be the rise of utilitarianism, which is the ethical theory that has come to dominate public policy thinking. So, 18th or 19th century, I'd say.

xaratustrah 16 July 2022

Hi Peter, just wondering, is Franz Xaver missing from the timeline?

Peter Adamson 17 July 2022

In reply to by xaratustrah

Oh yes, I guess I will discuss him when I talk about the Jesuits. I add names to the timeline as I go along, probably there are a number of people missing from the Iberian Counter-reformation.

Warren Wagner 14 September 2022

I've immensely enjoyed your podcast and just received Classical Philosophy.  Thank you sincerely for your work and attention to detail.  Your clever presentation makes me wish I could actually meet your sister.  I'm sure she'd have tales to tell. 

Kai Gerbi 28 November 2022

Hi Peter,

Thank you so much for this podcast! I have enjoyed it immensely so far! I joined relatively recently and am not yet up-to-date but I have just reached the end of your coverage of the Italian Renaissance (Episode 370). Where I’m up to you’ve been discussing Galileo and I’m wondering if there will be any coverage of the developments in music and aesthetics soon. Particularly I think Gioseffo Zarlino’s first book of Le institutioni (recently translated by Lucille Corwin) might be of interest as he explicitly uses ideas of form and matter in his conception of music. Zarlino was involved in the church and worked at st marks in Venice. He also studied philosophy and logic under Ligname as well as Greek and son Hebrew. He is a fascinating figure in the history of music and a wonderful blend of music theory and philosophy. His work was based upon antique readings as well as the humanist writings of H Glareanus. Also he was an influential teacher and Vincenzo Galilei was a student of his, who also made important contributions. Anyway, I’m getting a little carried away but I just wanted to put a good word in for some excellent musical philosophers and philosophers who wrote of music (Descartes comes to mind). Alright, thank you so much for the wonderful work you are doing!



Thanks for the suggestion! I am actually coming back to the Italian Renaissance as part of the Counter-Reformation but I am not sure whether this would fit in there, I will think about it. In general we have done some stuff on music in the past, like episode 133 in the Islamic World series; actually in the Africana series there are some episodes coming up where we talk about Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, etc.

Alexander Johnson 6 December 2022

In reply to by Peter Adamson

If you can't fit them in for Reformation, you could still get them in under the series on the 1600's, as the most famous works to be influenced by said writings were operas from the 1600's, so would we well appropriate to have them lead off a wider musical aesthetic episode during that series.

Peter Adamson 6 December 2022

In reply to by Alexander Johnson

Oh that's a nice idea - I think I like that better actually, because I had been thinking about a special episode towards the end of the Reformation series about visual art, so I could save music for the later series. Thanks!

Andrew Maclaren 28 November 2022

Hey Peter. I have recently found out myself about a group called the Brixton Black Women's Group, and they seem really fascinating, being that some of the founding members were previously active in the British Black Panthers. After reading a pdf of one of their works, I really want to learn some more about them. Do you plan to cover them? I'm guessing that if you are, it would be just a mention in the Black Feminism episode though.

Andrew Maclaren 29 November 2022

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Ooh this is exciting! Hope you cover them!

Kevin Street 16 December 2022

Hi there! I recently discovered your podcast on Spotify and I love it! I'm only up to Episode #38 so far, but it's been really fascinating and I'm so glad to see you're still doing it. Thank you for all the philosophy!

Peter Adamson 16 December 2022

In reply to by Kevin Street

Great, glad you are enjoying it! You have a long way to go before you catch up with me...

Lowell 18 December 2022


Good evening - long time listener to your series here, and have enjoyed it immensely. I tend to drop in on specific episodes, and often revisit those that delve specifically into areas of interest of mine. There is of course so much to consume. I certainly applaud the time, and detail that you take to this process. 

My question concerns the meeting point of Jurisprudence and theology with that of philosophy proper, specifically within the Arabic and Islamic traditions. I should mention that I am a student in history more so than philosophy - but the two topics have many fascinating points of overlap. In any case, I have long been fascinated by the divergent ways in which the major figures of Christian theological history have been treated philosophically - be it Augustine, Boethius, Aquinas, Scotus and so forth - as opposed to those within the Islamic sphere. For instance, within the Islamic intellectual sphere Abu Hanifa, Malik ibn Anas, Al-Shari’s, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal assume a position of greater reverence over most anyone, the prophet aside. Yet scant mention is made of any of these figures within most overviews of Islamic philosophy. Later predominant theologians, such as Al-Ghazali, Fakhr Al-Din Al-Razi and others to warrant more consideration. I suppose I am this curious as to whether these four Imams, and originators of jurisprudence in Islam, indeed have any connection to philosophy, or whether their efforts were somewhat aside. I have tried, without success, to determine for instance, was Malik ibn Ana’s familiar with Aristotle - or centuries later did Al-Farabi or Ibn Sina draw any knowledge forth from Al-Shari’i. I have also attempted to discern whether later Latin theologians, specifically those operating within such matters as law - such as Aquinas - were familiar with any of these early Muslim jurists. Would be very curious as to any thoughts you may have.


One additional thought - I have wondered why the jurisprudence transition within Islam is so much greater than that of Christianity. As well as why theology seems to be less of a focus by Muslim’s during the medieval period than Christians. At some point I came across the perspective that Islam was itself such a comprehensive, complete faith - one that through the Qur’an already attempted to address most every concern of life - and those that were missed, the Hadith would take up the task. Whereas, even from the outset, Christianity had a more perhaps patchy, approach to things. Thus, within Islam theologians who carry the proverbial water of explaining entire concepts within the faith were less necessary - but what was needed were interpreters of law. Whereas in Christianity, a less thorough screed opened the door for Augustine, Aquinas and many others to have greater say and influence on the direction of the religion. I have come around to that perhaps too-simplistic interpretation but again would love for someone of your knowledge to weigh in on its veracity.


thank you

Yes, couldn't agree more about the philosophical interest of Islamic law. You might have noticed I had an episode on it (number 147) and also I edited a book with de Gruyter called Philosophy and Jurisprudence in the Islamic World. However my impression is that there is not much influence on jurists from what we more narrowly call "philosophy," at least until after Avicenna when his terminology and especially his logical ideas start to infect pretty much all areas of Islamic intellectual activity. So earlier jurists like al-Shafi'i would not, as far as I know, have been thinking about Aristotelianism or anything like that.

As for the point in the last paragraph, I am not so clear on what the purported phenomenon is that we are trying to explain. There was a heck of a lot of theology in the classical period of Islam - we call it kalām, and it was a far more dominant feature of the intellectual scene than philosophy (falsafa) which was quite a marginal phenomenon, culturally speaking. So if the question is "why was there more theological reflection in medieval Christianity than medieval Islam?" I would deny the premise of the question. Actually Muslim theologians have a spur to reflection and argument that medieval European Christians mostly didn't, which is that they were in close contact with Jewish and Christian communities so there was a lot of need for arguments to be used in interreligious debate; and of course there were plenty of debates within Islam between mutakallimūn as well. On the other hand you're right that jurisprudence is very dominant in Islam. Not sure it is more dominant than in Christianity - think of the massive tradition of canon law, legal theory going back to Justinian, etc. (We had an episode on this too in the Medieval series.) But since Islam, like Judaism, is a law-based religion it was always going to have a lot of room for legal reflection and writing.

Karl Young 6 January 2023

Hey Peter,

Not to saddle you anything more than all the great stuff you already provide but I was wondering if there might ever be the possibility of posting a super index for the books on the website. When you refer to a thinker you’ve discussed in the past in one of the episodes, it’s easy to find the volume and section for the big names. But sometimes you mention an idea associated with a less well known  thinker and don’t have time to mention their dates. I know it’s easy to look them up re. the podcast index. But (as a geezer) I sometimes find it easier (and faster) to grab one of the books and skim there for a little more on that idea. No worries if that seems unreasonable; just wanted to float the idea…

Hm, interesting idea. I think it would be more useful for topics than figures (I mean, you know which volume to find Thomas Aquinas in, or whoever). Would be a lot of work to compile it all though...

Jan Reinecke 25 February 2023

Thank you for a most impressive web-site! 

I live in South Africa and had no idea that that Africa boasts such an impressive gallery of philosophers. Not to mention Indian & Byzantine philosophers!  

Is it the sheer volume of your work that has kept you from going beyond the Reformation or are there other reasons why your website does not seem to include post-Reformation philosophers?

Peter Adamson 25 February 2023

In reply to by Jan Reinecke

Don't worry, I'm getting there! The most recent episodes have been on the Renaissance/Reformation but after that I'll move on to the 17th century. Glad you are excited by the range of the project!

Brad R 4 March 2023

I would like to hear in particular about Bacon's distinction between active Hebraic inquiry and passive Aristotelian receptivity, a distinction I heard he has made. If my information is incorrect, I would be happy to be corrected. At a minimum, I would like to know where in Bacon this distinction can be found, if indeed he makes it. I would be happy to learn about that in a reply to this comment, if you know the answer. Thank you for your work on this podcast. 

Andrew 20 March 2023

Hey Peter, I was wondering - are you going to cover Thomas Sankara? He was another African revolutionary and Pan-African. I looked and I don't think there has been any mention of him anywhere on the website. Is there nothing interesting to cover with him? I would be surprised if that was true.

The other thing is that the comments link at the bottom of the home page of the blog leads to 404 page.

Peter Adamson 21 March 2023

In reply to by Andrew

Thanks for the question! I'll run the idea about Sankara past Chike, who may already have that on his radar (I tend to find that he usually does). And we'll fix the broken link, thanks.

Jordan Magill 14 April 2023

Any note to y’all would be remiss if I didn’t start with many thanks.  You have produced something truly remarkable (and terribly punny).  The podcasts remain, for me, an intellectual highlight.


You did however “miss” (or at least reduced to background status) one of the most important African American political thinkers (and my personal hero).  Sure, you mention Rustin, but his uniqueness and impact in the Civil Rights movement is almost impossible to overlook.  Here is a pacifist who went to jail rather than serve in even a support position in WWII (his letter to the draft board is, as all Rustin’s writing cogent, piercing, and well reasoned).  As AP Randolph’s right hand, he was also a man at the center of political power.  Not only did this include planning the cancelled March on Washington, through which he and Randolph won concessions from the FDR, but also the principle organizer of the more famous one in 1963.  He was also the man who pushed Randolph to push Robeson out of the movement for fear of the damage he might do.


Here is a thinker who stood astride the whole of 20th century African American politics, pushed to the background because of his sexuality (though in his later years his strong zionism also doubtless played a role).  If there is a figure who should be included to fill in tragic gaps, I can’t imagine a more important figure to include.  Rustin is long overdue.  Perhaps a later filler episode?  


Again, all my thanks.

Peter Adamson 16 April 2023

In reply to by Jordan Magill

Actually we wrestled with that - I remember Chike wondering whether to give him his own episode or cover him in the ones you mentioned, and he opted for the latter simply because we were trying to keep the total number of episodes down. But you are right, he was  an important figure and maybe we should do more on him in the book version.

Andrew 15 April 2023

Hey Peter,

Are you going to cover the Combahee River Collective? They were a Black feminist lesbian socialist organisation in Boston USA. Just learned about them recently and seeing that they were the ones who coined the term "identity politics" they seem like they would be an important group to cover in the history of Africana podcast. I'm guessing they are going to be covered in the Black Feminists episode right?

That's funny you ask because the last thing I read for the podcast was literally a book about the Collective. Yes, they will feature prominently in the Black Feminism episode!

Andrew 16 April 2023

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Nice! You know, it is a small shame. There probably are so many interesting black feminists, both individuals and groups that both a. I don't know about and b. would deserve so many episodes on their own but they only get one episode. I feel like someone could do an entire podcast on Africana thought that could be as long as this entire podcast as a whole, both the western and non western tracks (well, now that I think about it, africana philosophy, especially 20th century africana philosophy, isn't really separate from western philosophy is it? Guess it depends on how you interpret what "western" means, putting aside how problematic that category is).

Anyway, since I have you here, have you ran past the idea of going over Sankara with Chike? I am really curious if you will cover him.

Well actually we will have the general episode on Black Feminism and further episodes looking at specific figures like Lorde and Davis. So there will be quite a lot of coverage of this.

We haven't decided on Sankara yet but thanks for the reminder! 

Andrew 18 April 2023

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Speaking of reminders since we are on the topic of black feminism, will the Brixton Black Woman's Group be covered?

Also forgot about the individual episodes, so my bad. Still though, there probably is a podcast worth of episodes just as long as the 20th century series episodes that could be dedicated to black feminism alone. 

Peter Adamson 18 April 2023

In reply to by Andrew

Yes, thanks to the previous conversation I made a note to touch on the Brixton group. But you're right, there is so much to cover it is hard to know where to stop! Obviously not a unique problem in this series or the project as a whole...

Andrew 25 April 2023

Hey Peter,

I know this is still quite far away, but considering how never ending potentially this project this podcast is, what will happen when you feel or just can't continue it anymore? Maybe someone else will take over? Or will the podcast just stop?

Now that is a good question. One I have occasionally pondered, but it's really hard to say; I think it would depend on what the situation is when I stop. Like, if I manage to reach a satisfying ending point while health and energy allow - I turned 50 last year and I guess I have at least 15 more years worth of series planned, so this is not something we can take for granted - then probably that would be a wrap and I would focus on trying to ensure that it remains accessible into the foreseeable future. I would hate to inflict it as a project on anyone else! But the transition from the History of Rome podcast to the History of Byzantium, with a different host and also excellent, shows that in theory this can be done.

Andrew 26 April 2023

In reply to by Peter Adamson

What would constitute a satisfying ending point though? Like, I know there has already been a lot of philosophy done, but it feels like the further we go along, the more fractal philosophical movements become. The 20th century alone I could probably many different currents and rabbit holes of thought that may just be as long as this podcast has been. Guess that depends on how sensitive we are as to how we measure what a gap is though. It is a bit like the coastline paradox if you have ever heard of that. 

Like to take a few examples, there is phenomenology, existentialism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, poststructuralism, the many directions marxism was taken in by many thinkers both "east" and "west" insofar as those are meaningful terms, the many strands of feminism both as its own tradition insofar as it makes sense to say there is a single tradition which there isn't really and feminist influenced versions of basically every other movement, posthumanism, post-marxism, process philosophy, movements that the history of philosophy has largely forgotten about like british idealism etc. Then there is the tiny pockets of thought as well, like the madrid school, and not so small pockets like the Frankfurt school which lead to critical theory which is its own beast. This is not to mention anything of analytic philosophy, which has its own detailed history I am sure. And ones that exist outside of this continental/analytic divide like pragmaticism. Then there would be the huge impact of maoism to cover as well. Speaking of which, there is also all the millions of currents and pockets that exist outside of this eurocentric list I have made, like America, both north and south, not to forget Japan and China trying to grapple with modernity and their own history, like the kyoto school. And to put the cherry on top, this little thing called fascism (for how much we can say there was any philosophical substance worth anything at all in its contents), which definitely would be a messy thing to grapple with.

I did say a few examples, but there would be so many more stuff to list, like the philosophers in the soviet union for example like Evald Vassilievich Ilyenkov and the many people we wouldn't usually call a philosopher who did do interesting philosophy (I am thinking here for example of the many physicists of the 20th century like Albert Einstein). The 20th century is absolutely dizzying. Just the 20th century alone is part of what I meant by a theoretically endless project. What would count as a satisfying end point, given all that and the question of when it bleeds over from the history of philosophy into just contemporary philosophy?

Peter Adamson 26 April 2023

In reply to by Andrew

Hm, that is a pretty convincing case for just stopping at 1900, isn't it?

Andrew 26 April 2023

In reply to by Peter Adamson

What have I done haha. I believe the 19th century itself is also quite chunky (but obviously not to the same extent) but I probably should stop myself before the stop date is pushed further back. I can see why that would be convincing but also feel like I have shot myself in the foot here since there is so much interesting stuff in the 20th century.

Andrew 27 April 2023

In reply to by Peter Adamson

So, stopping right before the 20th century might be unsatisfying for multiple reasons. First of all, it is just using an arbitrary date to cut off whatever the narrative will be when we have (if we do) get there, especially since a lot of 19th century thought does lead to 20th century (history doesn't care for our arbitrary way of measuring it), Marxism is the perfect example. Second, it would definitely feel like you would just be stopping right at a cliff hanger. I mean, a lot of 20th century philosophy is all about reexamining the "western" tradition, root and branch, and critiquing it from many different directions (a lot of talk among some philosophers of trying to overthrow metaphysics, either through existential phenomenology like with Heidegger, deconstruction with Derrida, linguistic and logical analysis from the analytic tradition etc.) and I definitely feel like using what we have learned through what we have covered it would be extremely interesting to hear your opinion about their views. Related to the second but finally, you said yourself you were interested in getting to the 20th century in your AMA because you didn't understand them yourself but was interested in finding out more (I think you were specifically talking about "postmodern" philosophers, a term I avoided in the previous list since it isn't actually that good of a term really, but they are part of the 20th century so my point holds).

Yes, that's convincing too! Actually any stopping point would be dissatisfying for similar reasons: if this project has shown anything it is the continuity of philosophy and its development. I think that, since these decisions are so far in the future for me, the sensible thing would be not to commit to anything one way or another for now; I would love to do "everything" but don't underestimate the difficulty, or even unfeasibility of that.

Guess so. But still important to think about in the meantime I think. I do very much hope you get to at least some of it anyway, it would just be fascinating I think to hear your opinion of what these 20th century philosophers are trying to do with the tradition after going through the entirety of it and considering just how immersed you have been with "western" metaphysics  (I know you technically specialised in Islamic world philosophy but you are also a professor in ancient, late antiquity, and medieval philosophy as well right? And you probably do have, if not a professor level knowledge, then some knowledge of modern philosophy (Descartes onward I mean, not contemporary philosophy) as everyone had to study that just by doing a philosophy degree I believe. Other gaps you might have would be cleared up as the podcast goes along I think. That gives a huge range for the tradition they are grappling with, no? The 18th-19th centuries would also be very exciting for similar reasons, given that the 18-19th centuries was also a big time for philosophers to grapple with the tradition as a whole, thinking of Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche etc.)

Yes, exactly - I had the fortune to go to Notre Dame for my PhD which actually required doing a big exam on the whole history of philosophy and for that, plus some courses both at undergrad and grad level, I did learn a fair amount about early modern; I also took courses on both "continental" and history of analytic philosophy. Just being at KCL from 2000-2012 I also picked up a lot about contemporary analytic philosophy and had colleagues doing early modern too. (There was a lot less "continental" going on in London though, so I haven't really looked at Hegel and onward since, like, 2000 - I'm pretty rusty on these authors.) Anyway, I'd say that where with antiquity and the middle ages I had lots of knowledge with some gaps, once we got to the Renaissance it was more like I had lots of gaps with some knowledge. By advancing so slowly I think or at least hope that I have time and capacity to get my head around it all, so I am learning as I go, along with the audience!  

Brian 3 May 2023

Hi Peter, love the podcast but love the books even more! I haven't seen anything recently about the first Africana book; I'm assuming that's the only one even close to being published, but any news would be great!

Peter Adamson 3 May 2023

In reply to by Brian

Yes that's right, I hope we'll be sending it to the publisher soon; and then the next one would be the Reformation volume but obviously that will take a while since we still have most of Britain and the whole Counter-Reformation to cover in the actual podcast. Glad you like the series! 

Andrew 6 May 2023

The link for the music you used for the Byzantine series is broken

Oh thanks, that can happen easily of course - I will see if I can fix it.

Andrew 7 May 2023

In reply to by Peter Adamson

No problem. And speaking of music, which of tracks in the album Spendors of Topkapi is the one you used for the Islamic eastern traditions? I remember looking a while ago but couldn't find which one.

Karl Young 9 May 2023

Hey Peter,


I just discovered a podcast called Robinson’s podcast and noticed that you were on in April re. a discussion of Plotinus and Porphyry (a current topic of interest for me, e.g. went back through the appropriate chapters in Philosophy in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds before trying to plow through The Enneads). I was just curious as to why you didn’t do a blog post mentioning that (or I missed it), i.e. should I save that hour and half for plowing ? :-)

Oh you may be right, I think I added it under my podcast appearances (under "links" below) but may have forgotten to put it up on the blog. If you're interested in Neoplatonism I hope it would be useful, sure - it's quite a wide ranging discussion of the topic.

Thanks, that indeed was a good one; among other things I enjoyed the reminder of the Neoplatonist’s takes on the infinite/finite time universe debates. But the disputes on who’s fundamental principle is more ineffable can get a little dizzying !

And in this time of the reign of analytic philosophy it was nice to hear that the arguments of Porphyry et al re. animal rights (well, I guess in Porphyry’s case more about the effect on humans re. the disposition of humans toward animals) resulted in some actual soul searching (so to speak…).

Andrew 18 May 2023

When hovering over the timelines button at the top of the website, it lists Renaissance twice

Peter Adamson 18 May 2023

In reply to by Andrew

True! Thanks for catching that. Better twice than not at all but we'll fix it.