Stepping into the River of Philosophy

Photo of a winding river in Scotland

There is stability in change, unity in opposition. That’s my sole, indirect comment on the elections under way in the U.S. right now.

Well, one other: Don’t believe everything you think. I read that one on a bumper sticker as I went out for a walk this morning, and it seemed like an appropriate bit of sophistry for the complex times in which we live – times which demand a philosophical perspective.

A philosophical perspective was just what I was hoping to cultivate as I walked, and I had loaded up my iPod with a great new free resource for achieving my goal: The History of Philosophy Podcast hosted by Peter Adamson of Kings College London.

It’s early days yet – as of this post, Adamson is only five episodes in to covering the entire history of philosophy – but even if he makes it only part of the way through, it looks like this will be a tremendous learning resource. So far, I’ve listened to his take on the Greek philosopher Heraclitus and found it very engaging. I’ll definitely be adding this to my list of content sources for my iPod learning mix.

(Heraclitus, in case you are a little rusty on your pre-Socratic philosophers, was the one famous for saying you can never step in the same river twice.  The opening sentence of this post represents a key slice of his overarching philosophy.)

If you happen to feel like the words “engaging” and “philosophy” don’t belong in the same room together, much less the same sentence, I’d urge you to lay that bias aside and give Adamson a listen. Philosophy is, after all, the love and pursuit of wisdom. Or, put a bit differently, philosophy is a mission to learn.


P.S. – Many thanks to Stephen Downes for highlighting the History or Philosophy Podcast in his OLDaily. There’s no telling how long it would have taken me to discover it otherwise.

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