10 Jul 2007

Philosophy Podcast storms the download charts

Nigel Warburton

Nigel Warburton

What do Chris Evans, Danny Baker, Clive James and The Prime Minister have in common?

All have podcasts in the Top 20 downloads on Itunes but none is as popular as senior OU Philosophy Lecturer, Dr Nigel Warburton, reading from his book Philosophy: The Classics.

Dr Warburton’s readings are currently 14th in the Top 20 and have more downloads than The Best Bits of Chris Evans; Danny Baker’s All Day Breakfast Show and even, Prime Minister’s Questions!

Philosophy: The Classics is an introduction to 27 key works in the history of Philosophy beginning with Plato and Aristotle and including the work of Machiavelli, Hobbes and Locke.

The free downloads began in May and will continue until all 27 parts are available.

Nigel Warburton says: "I’ve been recording these at home on simple equipment and have been amazed at how many people are downloading them –thousands a day. There seems to be a real hunger for philosophy out there and I’ m delighted to be feeding it.

"For people with long journeys to work this is the perfect medium. I’ve had appreciative emails from as far away as Brisbane. No radio station could give me this sort of coverage".

Nigel has written Philosophy course materials for the Open University at first, second and third level. He also chairs the University's highly successful Start Writing programme of short online courses on different aspects of writing. He is currently writing units on plagiarism and the ethics of copyright for a new Open University online course on Ethics.

Nigel also contributes to another free podcast called Philosophy Bites, where he and author David Edmonds interview top philosophers on a wide range of topics.

Nigel says: "For some reason Philosophy Bites is particularly popular in the USA where we’ve been in the iTunes top 100 for several weeks now".

The Open University offers many courses and qualifications on Philosophy ranging from the AXR271 Doing Philosophy residential school short course to Philosophy degrees and an MA in Philosophy.

One reviewer wrote of the podcasts: "They capture the basics in a comprehensible way. It’s thought-provoking stuff".

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