Podcasts, I think, are the perfect medium for busy students who may struggle to balance studies, entertainment and ultimately their attentions. “Philosophize This!,” a free podcast dedicated to sharing the ideas that shaped the world, is the perfect informative yet amusing podcast. It can be listened to for free on several websites, which is great for students on a budget. It can be accessed from the main website philosophizethis.org and is also available on Spotify and iTunes. It is perfect for listening to on its own or as non-distracting background listening while doing homework or studying. It could even potentially be supplementary to your classwork. This podcast is best for explaining complex social, political and philosophical issues in a way that nearly anyone could understand. If you are struggling to understand a concept in one of your lectures, there is a high possibility that this podcast may have an episode that could help you out. The episodes can be watched alone, but the host has done listeners a favor of uploading his topics in the chronological order that they shaped our world. And while much of the philosophy is interconnected, each topic can be listened to as a stand-alone episode. What’s better is that it isn’t all Socrates and ancient Roman theories. Much of the philosophy is applicable to the modern age.
Another reason this podcast is so great is because of its accessibility and its pacing. You do not have to have prior knowledge to understand the concepts at hand. Stephen West is an excellent orator and a great teacher. He is clear and concise, but also careful to explain things to his audience to the fullest degree. Not only will you be given a philosophy lesson, but oftentimes you will also learn about history and the greater social context. Stephen West is also fair and objective. Students worried about being mislead or being given biased information need not worry; the goal of “Philosophize This!” is to educate, not to pander.
The philosophy — pun intended — of this podcast, as stated by Stephen West, is: “The world could be a better place with more education and acceptance…I am an agnostic on every issue of substance I can think of. It’s the only honest way of living I’ve come across so far.” I find this podcast incredibly important and relevant, and I appreciate it for more than just its educational value. Philosophy is an interesting and important subject, but one that many people are hesitant to delve into for many reasons. People tend to view philosophy as unhelpful or useless. Many modern people think that philosophy is outdated and that there is no place for it in our current world. Another idea that many people have is that there are no jobs for philosophers and so it is a waste of time. However, philosophy can help many people. It teaches us how to think abstractly. There are so many concepts that we witness and experience in everyday life, but it is incredibly difficult to put these things into words. Philosophy can help you to understand the idiosyncrasies of the human experience, and, just as importantly, philosophy can teach you how to describe and communicate. Philosophy helps us to question the world that we live in and to evaluate things critically and deeply. Our thinking becomes so much more nuanced and open at the same time. Philosophy is fascinating because it is a study that simultaneously complicates and clarifies all of the people, constructs and events in our past, present and future existences.
Philosophy, I believe, enriches our experience with reality, and this podcast is a great place to start.