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Only a week until the podcast starts up again. The next 10 episodes or so are already recorded, but this still feels like a good time to solicit some feedback. What have been your favorite/least favorite episodes? Is there anything you would change? Episode length, style of delivery, ratio of interviews to scripted episodes?

Robert Puckett on 18 August 2012

I love your podcast. My first

I love your podcast. My first request is that you "Press on!" through such a challenging task. It's really informative for those of us who don't have the time to read or sort through all the information. I enjoy the historical context. I was a classics major and have recently graduated with a MDiv. Now I'm working as a pastor. I find the podcast "orienting".

I actually prefer the scripted episodes, but that is not to say I don't enjoy your guests. I like the length and terrible puns. I enjoy following the history and hearing about the connections when there are connections to be made between philosophical schools, movements, and individuals.

Yannick Kilberger on 18 August 2012

I agree with Mr. Puckett in

I agree with Mr. Puckett in that I also prefer scripted episodes.

I have skipped Plato & Aristotle so I will not comment on these.

So far the best episodes to me have been Epicurus' principles and Plotinus' life and works. The main reason may have been that they were not familiar to me and in each case the introduction was very well done, funny yet informative. I confess I listened to both several times. The bit on Porphyry made me wonder how daily life would have been at the different schools.

Also well into Russell's history and you seem rather oblivious to the Orphic Conspiracy.

As to what I would change, it would be the opening bit of music. It reminds me of an old coffee advertisement and I can't help picturing grinning Peruvians wearing ponchos every time I hear it.

Cathyby on 18 August 2012

I am just at the end of a

I am just at the end of a philosophy degree. I love the podcasts. My favourite so far was Heraclitus, because I was intrigued by his ideas. I understood him to be the opposite of Parmenides, which is not the case at all. I also liked the look at the less taught Platonic dialogues.

I also prefer the scripted episodes though they are valuable for more depth. I like the length, and the giraffe obsession and the puns. The only thing I would have liked is, in the philosophers that take multiple episodes, some idea of where we are each week. Though I admire Aristotle's thought, and he needed the number of episodes he got, knowing we were at 8 out of 17 (say) would be nice :)

Overall, this is a fantastic philosophy resource and a great idea I'm looking forward to your Aquinas (and forebears), but realise it'll take some time before you get there! I hope you do.

Aron T on 19 August 2012

I just discovered your

I just discovered your podcast a few months ago and have gotten about half way through (I'm still in Aristotle). Reading philosophy has been a hobby I began over forty five year ago when I was in high school. I have to say, Professor Adamson, that your presentation is the clearest and most interesting of the many books I've read over the years. It has inspired me to reread the classics I read many years ago and to finally take on reading Aristotle instead of reading about him.

Your combination of providing historical background, elucidation of complex ideas and adding a pinch of dry humor are a perfect balance. The under twenty minute time frame is perfect for listening. The added resources on your blog are great. The guest interviews are a great diversion on occassion so don't give them up!

In short I am a big fan and wouldn't have you change anything - just hope you can persevere for another ten years and get me through Kant and Hegel!

Robtorrington on 19 August 2012

'Of historic importance' is

'Of historic importance' is the only way I can think of describing these podcasts; they have the potential to transform the way people consume, interact with, are introduced to and learn about the ancient world and philosophy. The interviews show that this is not 'The Peter Adamson Show' - it's an academic doxography for the 21st Century. The links appended to each podcast further illustrate that each podcast is part your own creative innovation, part collaboration and part consolodation of years of research by other scholars in various fields. Also, I think it's independently wonderful that you can showcase some of the leading scholars that live today talking about things they really like talking about. Who doesn't get a tingle listening to Russell interviews nowadays? In terms of their ratio, I saw your interviews as being a bit more in depth, normally following a few episodes where you educate the listener until ready to understand the higher level debate. So if that's right, there'll necessarily be fewer of them.

Episode length is fine - I can see teachers playing these at the start of a 1 hour lesson leaving approximately 40 minutes of discussion. Heck, even tutorials...

All other areas (music, etc.) are realms of personal taste and a little irrelevant for comment (although that won't stop me from saying that I really like the matching of a short introductory piece to a specific era. Gives the episodes a sense of progression).

George Walker on 19 August 2012

I have only listened to a

I have only listened to a few, but the rest are on my I-pod.
As someone who has not formally studied philosophy, I find them very informative.
I look forward to hearing the rest.

Dave Macher on 19 August 2012

In response to the request

In response to the request for feedback, I will reiterate what I wrote in a prior comment. Your episodes are excellent and do not require any changes. The length of the podcasts, scripts, and delivery are all outstanding. Over a series of episodes, the sly humor injected into each podcast becomes more apparent. Given the subject matter, the humor is a welcome relief.

As for favorites, I enjoyed the podcasts on Plato a great deal. I am looking forward to hearing the balance of the episodes on Plotinus. My undergraduate degree was in philosophy, so I am familiar with the titans of western philosophy. Plotinus, however, was nothing more than a name before your podcasts. Your last episode before the summer break, "A Decorated Corpse--Plotinus on Matter and Evil" was one of the finest broadcasts to date. Your explication of Plotinus on evil immediately illuminated my understanding on Augustine and the Roman Catholic tradition.

For the future, I would urge you to focus on figures like Plotinus, thinkers who are not well known but whose work should be introduced to a wider audience than specialists like yourself. I am particularly looking forward to the Arabic thinkers.

When you reach the Eighteenth Century--whenever that might be--I hope you devote a substantial number of podcasts to David Hume, who is my personal favorite.

Thanks again for the great service you provide with your podcasts. The scholarship that goes into each episode is obvious to me. The series is plainly a labor of love. I hope the podcasts reach a wide audience and introduce thousands of new people to the pleasure of philosophy.

EugeniaDG on 20 August 2012

Let me add my opinion to the

Let me add my opinion to the others: your episodes - particularly the scripted ones - are (as a character in a 1970s film would say, "in two words") im-pressive!

The argumental style, the voice modulations (as I mentioned in another comment), the witty jokes sprinkled in the texture of every paragraph, the cyclic contrast between there/then and here/now which keeps us anchored within the historical perspective, and the cause/effect to-and-fro conferring insight into the origins of ideas and their development are what makes me - indeed, us - listen to the episodes again and again, and expect new ones: recounted in your voice, unravelled at your pace.

I really look forward to downloading the next episodes.

Erik Holkers on 24 August 2012

Hi Peter I got as far as

Hi Peter

I got as far as Pyrrho now. Still enjoying it intensely.
But, are you speeding up again ? You slowed down a couple of podcasts ago. That helps us (non native English speakers without a philosophy background) a lot.


In reply to by Erik Holkers

Peter Adamson on 24 August 2012

Oh, I hope not. Pyrrho was a

Oh, I hope not. Pyrrho was a while ago of course. I hope I have settled into a good pace as the podcast has gone along but I'll keep being mindful of this, I have indeed thought about non-native speakers (indeed it's occurred to me that people might use it to practice their English, though I guess that my English is of dubious merit as a model to imitate). But for all listeners it's not good if I go too fast.



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