A pupil of Plato and one-time tutor of Alexander the Great, Aristotle’s writings lie at the foundation of modern philosophy – even though all that remains of his works is just a fraction of his lecture notes. In this interview from 1987, the British broadcaster and populariser of philosophy Bryan Magee speaks with the US philosopher Martha Nussbaum, then an emerging Aristotle scholar at Brown University, about some of Aristotle’s most famous ideas and his enduring influence, including how many of his views have been misinterpreted or misunderstood. In particular, the wide-ranging discussion touches on why Aristotle believed that we could never reach beyond the scope of our own experience, his dissent to Plato’s theory of forms, the groundwork he laid for contemporary science, and why he believed there was more to morality and ethics than simple outcomes of pain or happiness.
History of ideas
Tantra is, and was, a subversive philosophy of feminine power
Ancient Greek sculptures were colourful. Why does the white marble ideal persist?
Dizzying discs and obscene wordplay – revisiting Marcel Duchamp’s 1926 film debut
Politics and government
Is mass media still ‘manufacturing consent’ in the internet age?
Knowing if you’re awake seems simple. Why has it vexed philosophers for centuries?
Stories and literature
Solaris and beyond – Stanisław Lem’s antidotes to the bores of American sci-fi
Philosophy of language
For Ludwig Wittgenstein, language is a game, but not a frivolous one
Grotesque imagery meets religious conservatism in Hieronymus Bosch’s art
Why a sculptor pivoted from gallery installations to big-box stores design