The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Night Waves - featuring in-depth...
Two interviews with eminent philosophers recorded at November's Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival.
Philip Dodd talks to the veteran philosopher Mary Midgley in her adopted town of Newcastle-Gateshead. At 91 years old, Mary Midgley remains one of the most combative and forthright minds in Britain today. Incredibly, she did not publish her first book until she was in her late 50s, yet has gone on to become one of the country's most prominent moral philosophers. She belongs to the high-achieving group of female philosophers like Iris Murdoch and Mary Warnock who were educated at Oxford during the war, when most men were away with the war effort.
Despite being a late developer Midgley has a wide-ranging impact. Most famously, she has been a strong critic of science's claim to answer all the most important questions about existence. In a well-known bad-tempered incident she took issue with Richard Dawkins. In this extended and wide-ranging interview she looks back at her long career with Night Waves presenter Philip Dodd and talks about science, religion, the Gaia theory, maturity and the dangers of specialism.
Also in the programme, Tom Shakespeare talks to Havi Carel. Diagnosed with a serious illness a few years ago at the age of thirty five she now explores how philosophy can help us understand illness, well being and happiness - and the surprising positive side of ill health.
Producer: Fiona McLean.
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