Soothing podcasts recommendations
April 2, 2008 12:38 AM   Subscribe

Asking for philosophically-oriented podcasts and lectures recommendations.

I enjoy listening to quiet, contemplative and philosophical podcasts and lectures at night before going to bed or on slow Sunday afternoons, but it's been a long while since I stumbled on something new and interesting.

Some of the things I enjoyed in the last couple of years:

- Alan Watts lectures
- Ron Stephen's Awaretek podcast
- Oliver Stone audio commentaries and Charlie Rose interviews
- TTC philosophy and history lectures

My favourite in the above was actually some of the Oliver Stone audio commentaries, as the sound of his voice is sometimes hypnotic and trance-inducing.

So I am looking for podcasts, lectures or even videos of lectures with interesting content, but ideally spoken with someone with a soothing, hypnotic voice. I have a hard time following lectures which are read from a pre-written text and I prefer spontaneous, improvised speech, even if it means double-takes or confused syntax.

Most of the academic or slick NPR or CBC podcasts don't really work for me, but feel free to recommend what works for you.

I hope to stumble on some wise old man recording podcasts in his basement.
posted by jchgf to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Radio National (Australia) - part of the ABC, the imaginatively named Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as distinct from all those other ABCs - has "The Philosophy Zone". If you like Alan Watts, you may also like Robert Jackson's "A Quiet Mind". He also has a quiet soothing voice.
posted by outlier at 1:07 AM on April 2, 2008

Joe Frank, Word Jazz.
posted by unmake at 1:45 AM on April 2, 2008

I second the Philosophy Zone. Try also Guerrilla Radio Show, Philosophy Podcast, Philosophy: the Classics, Radio Free Philosophy, and throw in This American Life for good measure.
posted by keith0718 at 1:47 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Philosophy Bites
posted by Nattie at 3:48 AM on April 2, 2008

I second The Philosophy Zone from ABC Australia.

If you want interesting interviews of a philosophical / spiritual / where the world is heading type nature then New Dimensions is very good. The guests are usually book authors so I guess many of the shows are subtle ads for their latest book but, even so, I find most of it to be pretty good stuff. You can always listen to the latest few shows free one their website.
posted by tetranz at 4:04 AM on April 2, 2008

Joe Frank, Joe Frank and Joe Frank.

Good call, unmake.
posted by YoungAmerican at 8:02 AM on April 2, 2008

UC Berkeley has lots of podcast/webcast courses online now, including some philosophy courses (e.g. Philosophy 6 Man, God, and Society in Western Literature, or Philosophy 7 Existentialism in Literature and Film). Be sure to search on more than one semester (toggle at the top right).

Digging around the academic podcasts in iTunes would be worth your while, as would some time spent on LibriVox. Quality on all of this is hit and/or miss, of course.
posted by wheat at 10:51 AM on April 2, 2008

Philosophy Talk is a good podcast from members of the Stanford Philosophy dept; I don't know whether it will meet the soothingness requirement.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:47 AM on April 2, 2008

Nigel Warburton, of Philosophy Bites, also has a podcast version of his book Philosophy: The Classics. You can also find it on iTunes by searching for Nigel Warburton or philosophy classics.
posted by Kattullus at 12:08 PM on April 2, 2008

"In our time" on BBC radio 4 is currently my favourite commuting podcast. The archive lets you search by theme, one of which is philosophy. If you actually want to listen to them on an mp3 player, it's easier to download a torrent and pick out the ones you want to listen to (the BBC page uses some sort of RealAudio nonsense).
posted by primer_dimer at 2:57 AM on April 3, 2008

Ah, "Philosophy 7 Existentialism in Literature and Film" - bringing me back to the good old days where our professors talked about getting drunk and his dog to show us dualism (mind separate from body) is false. Probably you'd need the course reading/viewing list to get much out of this - hard to hear him talk about Brothers Karamazov without reading it. Great list of movies to!

Miss you Prof. Dreyfus.
posted by unclezeb at 10:54 AM on November 26, 2008

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