Without Any Gaps

I stumbled across the podcast, History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps and thought that the readers of this blog might find it illuminating. As anyone who has taken an undergrad survey course in philosophy might have surmised, this podcast is meant as a corrective for the usual course of (Western) philosophy that goes something like Plato, Aristotle, assorted other classical Greeks and Romans up to Augustine, then a brief medieval stopover with Aquinas and then onto the Enlightenment.

How careful is host Peter Adamson about gaps? Well, to give you an idea, there are now over 200 episodes and they are still on the medieval period. Indeed, there are over twenty episodes on medieval philosophy and they haven’t even gotten to Aquinas yet! If you work and/or have kids, then you don’t really have time to hunt for medieval thinkers to understand, so for the non-academic (or the otherwise-occupied academic) this is a great way to at least get an introduction to some of these thinkers.

What exactly falls into these gaps? Here’s an example: Now I know some Christian traditions argue that the medieval period gets a bad rap, but even so, I rarely see Christian thinkers even acknowledge that thinking on topics like election was not, as seems to be popularly thought, essentially untouched between Augustine and Luther. This was apparently a serious topic of discussion in the time of Charlemagne.

I’m sure that someone who knows these all these philosophers might quibble with how Adamson portrays one or another of them, but I imagine that for many who are curious about these topics and outside the halls of academia, it will be exciting just to get an introduction.