Radio National – The Philosopher’s Zone and Music

The Philosopher’s Zone is one of my favourite podcasts – I like the breadth of topics (nothing is too small or too populist), and the short (almost bite sized) length that is condensed rather than lite, and almost always makes me want to learn more. Some of my favourite episodes have been ‘the Evil of the Darleks‘, ‘A Rear View of Alfred Hitchcock‘, ‘Damned if you do and damned if you don’t‘, and ‘The Romantic Movement and rock music’. There are 6 episodes listed under the category of Music (though 2 of them are only loosely concerned with music – Roger Scruton, and The Unhappy Family of Ludwig Wittgenstein) which I have linked below. Radio isn’t a medium I delve into very much and though I listen to (pop) music when I’m driving I haven’t the attention to devote to radio shows. I can’t imagine ever having gotten into radio shows in a time where they were broadcast just once, at a set time, and never repeated again – I like the freedom that podcasts allow – the freedom to browse and select what interests you, and that when you have the time you can bingelisten to as much as you like and not be drip fed just one show a week. The second part of the 2014 season will begin on the 5th October 2014.

Program Details
Presented every Sunday at 5:30pm AEST (3:30pm Perth Time)
on ABC’s Radio National (810AM frequency in Perth)
by Joe Gelonesi
podcast. website. itunes podcast.

Roger Scruton (25th May 2014). podcast.

What makes Roger Scruton tick? An avowed conservative of a kind mistrusted by both modern-day left and right, Scruton remains steadfast in his first principles.  Through an inviolable belief in the power of beauty and the possibility for transcendence, Scruton continues to pit his intellectual might against what he sees as the encroachments of modernity on human life, including the overreach of science and technology. Wishful thinker, or beacon in a sea of error?

The Sound of Music (5th March 2011). podcast.

What do we mean when we say that the hills are alive to the sound of music? Isn’t the point not that music has sound but that it is sound? And does this mean that the source of the sound – the singer, the violinist, the guitarist – doesn’t, from a musical point of view, really matter? This week, we explore some difficult questions in the philosophy of music.

Beethoven and the Modern (24th October 2009). podcast.

Music can make us happy or sad, it can present us with fascinating complex patterns, but can it make us think? Ludwig van Beethoven believed that it could and this week we look at his relationship to the philosophy of his day and his legacy to the modern world. Liberation and heroic defiance, spiritual alienation and transcendence, personal autonomy and a new conception of musical time – all these distinctive aspects of modern thought are intimately bound up with Beethoven, his personality, his personal history and, above all, his work.

The Romantic Movement and Rock Music (20th June 2009, repeated 4th January 2010). podcast.

Romantic ideas and philosophy live on in certain strains of modern rock music, according to this week’s guest, Craig Schuftan, author of Hey Nietzsche – Leave them kids alone. David Bowie, The Cure, The Smiths, Queen, and more contemporary bands like My Chemical Romance and Weezer share some seriously Romantic tendencies with people like Byron, Schopenhauer, Wagner and even Nietzsche – and it’s not just because they all viewed the world through the same gloomy prism.

The Unhappy Family of Ludwig Wittgenstein (9th May 2009, repeated 16th January 2010). podcast.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that long dead philosophers had families; a world beyond the cocoon of their thinking and writing; a life with all the joy and sadness and conflict that a family can provide. The 20th century Viennese philosopher’s family might today be described as deeply dysfunctional, as well as cultured and hugely wealthy. We’re joined by Alexander Waugh, author of, The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War.

Music and the Enlightenment (4th October 2008). podcast.

The age of a great movement of ideas, the Enlightenment, was also a great age of music: Bach and Handel, Mozart and Haydn. But how did Enlightenment thinkers reflect on music and how does their belief in progress relate to our views of art today?