Episode 29: Peter Kail discusses the legacy of David Hume

Subscribe to Elucidations:         Peter Kail is University Lecturer in the History of Modern Philosophy at St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford. For our belated celebration of David Hume’s 300th birthday, Prof. Kail joins us to discuss Hume’s life and philosophical legacy. You can listen to our interview with Prof. Kail by clicking here....

Possible Worlds Semantics

Thus far, three of our episodes (12, 25 and 28 have contained some discussion of possible worlds semantics. Most memorably, we learned in our last episode that John Searle is rather critical of the enterprise. But what is possible worlds semantics? Let’s take a look. This possible worlds business originally stems from the work of 17th-century philosopher and polymath, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Leibniz got the ball rolling on possible worlds by putting forth the idea that a statement is necessarily true just in case it is true in all possible worlds, and possibly true just in case it is true in some possible world....

Episode 28: John Searle discusses human reality and basic reality

Subscribe to Elucidations:         We are pleased to present John Searle, Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, who joins us for a stimulating and wide ranging conversation (click here). First he gives his assessment of how the field of philosophy has changed since his time as a graduate student at Oxford in the 1950’s, charting the decline of ‘ordinary language’ philosophy and the reemergence of Metaphysics and substantive ethics....

A Word or Two About Indexicality

Thus far, a number of our interviews have alluded to what philosophers of language call indexical expressions. (In particular, episodes 12, 25, and 27.) Although the theory of what these words and phrases mean represents one of the major developments in philosophy over the past fifty or so years, it can seem counterintuitive at first. Since the questions these words raise are unusually subtle and difficult, we thought it might be worthwhile to go over some of the basics....

Episode 27: Emma Borg discusses semantic minimalism

Subscribe to Elucidations:         Emma Borg is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading, and was the White Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago Spring Quarter 2011. Click here to listen to our conversation with her. In linguistics and the philosophy of language, semantics is the study of literal meaning, and pragmatics is the study of implied meaning....

Episode 26: Robert Richards discusses evolutionary ethics

Subscribe to Elucidations:         Robert Richards is the Morris Fishbein Distinguished Service Professor in the History of Science, and Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Philosophy, History, Psychology, and in the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science; and he is director of the Fishbein Center for History of Science. Click here to listen to our conversation with him....

Contact Us

If you have questions or comments, please email us at: elucidations at listhost dot uchicago dot edu....

Upcoming Episodes

COMING SOON on Elucidations: Stephanie Kapusta discusses misgendering Robin Dembroff discusses going beyond the gender binary Graham Priest discusses Buddhist metaphysics...

Past Episodes

Previously, on Elucidations: Episode 117: Brian L. Frye says why you should plagiarize this podcast hosted by Matt Teichman and Steven Chen Episode 116: Tommy Curry discusses black male studies hosted by Matt Teichman introduction by Caroline Wall Episode 115: Katherine Ritchie discusses social groups hosted by Matt Teichman introduction by Yuezhen Li Episode 114: Sally Haslanger discusses ideology hosted by Emily Dupree and Matt Teichman Episode 113: Tom Pashby discusses quantum mechanics hosted by Matt Teichman Episode 112: Myisha Cherry discusses the skill of conversation hosted by Matt Teichman Episode 111: Greg Kobele discusses mathematical linguistics hosted by Matt Teichman Episode 110: Chike Jeffers discusses the social and political philosophy of W....

Episode 25: Robert Stalnaker discusses conversational context

Subscribe to Elucidations:         Robert Stalnaker is Professor of Philosophy at MIT. Click here to listen to our conversation with him. Philosophers of language have always been interested in how the context of a conversation can affect what the participants in the conversation are saying. (For some examples of how the context of a conversation can affect the meaning of what the conversational participants are saying, see our episode on contextualism....

Episode 24: Christopher Peacocke discusses the perception of music

Subscribe to Elucidations:         Christopher Peacocke is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. Click here to listen to our conversation with him. In this episode, Christopher Peacocke discusses what it is to hear an emotion in a piece of music. Even instrumental music seems to be emotionally charged–minor chords, for example, usually have a melancholy ring to them....

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Welcome to the Elucidations Blog

Welcome! Here you can join in the discussion about recent episodes of the podcast, get updates on forthcoming episodes, and catch up on back episodes....