This is it! End of the series. For the Patreon subscribers, there’s an index to the main posts of the podcast and I’ll be sending out a pdf version in March.

It’s been a busy year, busier that I intended. I started a PhD, I lost a much loved pet, and adopted a new one. I travelled across country three times (podcasting throughout, as you may have noticed) and taught classes in a variety of subjects.

As a radio broadcaster, I presented about 40 shows and podcasted with the Talk the Talk show (around 40 episodes too). I presented a…


Here’s a mixture of extended answer or essay questions dealing with topics covered this year:

  1. There’s no such thing as true altruism. Discuss.
  2. Equality of the classes is unachievable until there’s equality of the sexes. Discuss.
  3. Must utility ‘be grounded on the permanent interests of man as a progressive being’?
  4. What are the properties of God?
  5. Could we be living in a simulation created by an advanced civilization? See video for an example.

Here’s a mixture of extended answer or essay questions dealing with topics covered this year:

  1. The criteria for art is consensus. Discuss.
  2. What are the limits of faith? Discuss
  3. Can you ever be ethically obliged to do the wrong thing? Discuss
  4. There is no right solution to the trolley car problem. Discuss.
  5. Is this cartoon a fair depiction of “what is good counsel”? Discuss.

Here’s a series that has appeared online and can be followed along as a very useful tutorial session — it’s a series of lectures delivered by Peter Millican to first-year philosophy students at the University of Oxford. The lectures comprise the 8-week General Philosophy course and were delivered in late 2009. Here’s further resources including the pdfs of the slides used.


Here’s a mixture of extended answer or essay questions dealing with topics covered this year:

  1. There is no true unified conception of god, therefore we should dismiss religion. Discuss.
  2. What are the limits of skepticism?
  3. Why do we care about the opinions of others when we have different identities, an ever-developing personality and different stages of life?
  4. Advertising is to science as charcoal-rubbing is to art. Discuss.
  5. Is this cartoon a fair depiction of “what is good”? Discuss.

Here’s a mixture of extended answer or essay questions dealing with topics covered this year:

  1. Freedom of speech is in opposition to freedom of religion — discuss.
  2. There is no such thing as a moral centre when it comes to making ethical judgements — discuss.
  3. Is there such a thing as a truly free choice?
  4. Conventions will always trump contracts. Discuss.
  5. Is this cartoon a fair depiction of the sciences?
https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/purity.png XKCD


It being Boxing Day, one of the traditions of the season is the Doctor Who broadcast, and this year there was a strong allusion to the philosophy of Bertrand Russell. It’s nothing particularly new; John Leeson was the actor who provided the voice for both the Nucleus and K-9. Leeson based K-9’s voice on that of philosopher, mathematician and historian, Bertrand Russell.

To recognise the very humanistic contributions of the series, here’s a documentary on “50 Years of Humanism” in Doctor Who, and a recent article reviewing (spoiler alert!) on the new Doctor.


Merry merry returns of the season! Today’s episode is the revision of content from the past week — you can support the 365DaysOfPhilosophy podcast by visiting www.patreon.com/kyliesturgess and review previous episodes at www.365daysofphilosophy.com.

If you can help the show continue, head to: https://www.patreon.com/kyliesturgess

Music from Jukedeck — create your own at http://jukedeck.com.


The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas, edited by Ariane Sherine, is not a recent collection, such as a fairly dated but amusing essay on James Randi as a Santa Claus figure, but it’s still got some valuable contributions on the topic of celebrating the season from non-faith perspectives. There’s 42 essays included, to honour the memory of Douglas Adams, in categories like stories, how-to, philosophy and science.

Many of the contributors touch upon their loss of faith and how they then view Christmas, there’s views on the celebrations of the season and even a few short stories and movie reviews…


To give this book its full title, Christmas — Philosophy for Everyone: Better than a Lump of Coal investigates the history of philosophy while delving into the different approaches to the festive season, such as the perspectives of Aristotle, Hume, Kant and Nietzsche. There’s a number of contributing essays in this collection edited by Scott Lowe, with religion, icons (both secular and otherwise), morality and commercialism.

Naturally the topic of religion arises often in this kind of book, but there’s a very strong sense of how Christmas has moved well beyond religious observance for many, leading to different ethical…

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