Philosophers Interviewed


Some interesting interviews for a Sunday. . . .

Note: We woke this morning (7-26-2019) to the news that Bryan Magee, academic and popularizer of philosophy, has passed away. He was 89. Below, we bring you a post from our archive that highlights Magee’s many televised interviews with influential philosophers. You can watch them online.

Bryan Magee comes from a tradition that produced some of the twentieth century’s most impressive media personalities: that of the scholarship-educated, Oxbridge-refined, intellectually omnivorous, occasionally office-holding, radio- and television-savvy man of letters. Students and professors of philosophy probably know him from his large print oeuvre, which includes volumes on Popper and Schopenhauer as well as several guides to western philosophy and the autobiographical Confessions of a Philosopher. He also wrote another memoir called The Television Interviewer, and philosophically inclined laymen may fondly remember him as just that. When Magee played to both these strengths at once, he came up with two philosophical television shows in the span of a decade: Men of Ideas, which began in 1978, and The Great Philosophers, which ran in 1987. Both series brought BBC viewers in-depth, uncut conversations with many of the day’s most famous philosophers.

You can watch select interviews of Men of Ideas and The Great Philosophers on YouTube, including:

Herbert Marcuse on the Frankfurt School
Bernard Williams on the Spell of Linguistic Philosophy
Bernard Williams on Descartes
Miles Burnyeat on Plato
Martha Nussbaum on Aristotle
Anthony Kenny on Medieval Philosophy
Iris Murdoch on Philosophy and Literature
Geoffrey Warnock on Kant
J.P. Stern on Nietzsche
Hubert Dreyfus on Husserl and Heidegger
Anthony Quinton on Spinoza and Leibniz
Peter Singer on Hegel and Marx
Michael Ayers on Locke and Berkeley
John Passmore on Hume
Sidney Morgenbesser on the Pragmatists
A.J. Ayer on logical Positivism
A.J. Ayer on Frege and Russell
Anthony Quinton on Wittgenstein
Hilary Putnam on the Philosophy of Science
Frederick Copelston on Schopenhauer


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