The BBC, in partnership with The Open University, invite you to join the Global Philosophy Facebook Club to explore, share and discuss the philosophical questions underlying some of the biggest issues of the moment. You can also watch episodes from the BBC Radio 4 online series “The Global Philosopher”, presented by Prof Michael Sandel. The programmes use pioneering technology allowing people from all over the world to join one another in a digital space to discuss and look for answers to some of the topical philosophical questions that lie behind political stories of the moment. There is also the opportunity to register to take part in upcoming programmes.
Skip to content
My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
Copyright: The BBC
The Global Philosopher
The BBC in partnership with The Open University invites you to join the Global Philosophy Club.
The Global Philosopher Broadcasts
Professor Michael Sandel explores the philosophical questions underlying some of the biggest issues of the moment with 60 participants from over 30 countries by streaming and recording the discussion using a state-of-the-art digital studio at Harvard Business School. You can watch previous broadcasts on the following topics:
- Do those on top deserve their success?
- Should the rich world pay for climate change?
- Should borders matter?
You can also sign up to take part in the next debate scheduled for 26th January from wherever you are in the world.
The Global Philosophy Facebook Club
Join the Facebook Club to explore, share and discuss the philosophical questions underlying some of the biggest issues of the moment.
'Castle, Forest, Island, Sea' is a choose-your-own-adventure story that explores key questions in philosophy. Where will your chosen path lead you?Take part now ❯Choose your own philosophy adventure
Ever wondered what it would be like to study philosophy? This free course, Introducing philosophy, will introduce you to the teaching methods employed and the types of activities and assignments you would be asked to undertake should you wish to study philosophy and the human situation.Learn more ❯Introducing philosophy
What is a person? This free course, Philosophy: The nature of persons, examines this philosophical question concerning the nature of personhood. You will examine whether a 'person' is the same as a 'human being', and look at whether it is our free will that in the end defines us as a 'person'.Learn more ❯Philosophy: The nature of persons
This is one of several specialist routes available in our BA (Honours) Arts and Humanities (R14). The degree starts by developing your understanding of the world we live in through a variety of perspectives, periods and subjects – including art history, classical studies, creative writing, English language, English literature, history, modern languages, music, philosophy and religious studies. You will then take two specialist philosophy modules, discovering more about the ideas of philosophers past and present and learning to tackle the big questions of philosophy yourself. You will explore a range of debates in ethics and political philosophy, as well as questions about the nature of the self, the existence of God, and the limits of human knowledge.Read more ❯BA (Honours) Arts and Humanities (Philosophy)
Where do social order (and disorder) come from? How can we make ourselves richer, and does society always gain? What does justice mean, how do we define our rights? Politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) – and the ideas and values that inform them – are central to how modern societies are organised and governed. This degree explores fundamental questions of power and ideology, beliefs and values, and how income and wealth are produced and distributed. As well as gaining insight into debates that dominate the daily news, you’ll learn a range of skills and techniques to help you analyse and contribute to the discussion. You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of the way arguments (and public policies) are constructed in theory and tested in practice. These analytical and critical skills are highly valued by employers in a broad range of occupations, across the private and public sectors.Learn more ❯BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics
Studying the MA in Philosophy will hone your ability to think clearly and logically, and develop your writing, research and analytical skills. You will study texts from different periods and philosophical perspectives, including works by Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt; and you will investigate contemporary debates on environmental aesthetics, consciousness, global justice, emotion, and morality in politics. Finally, you will undertake a substantial piece of independent research, writing a dissertation on a topic of your choice.Read more ❯MA in Philosophy
This broadly-focused module introduces you to university-level study in the arts across a range of subject areas - art history, classical studies, English, history, philosophy, music and religious studies. It is structured around four themes, in order to guide you through some of the basic concerns of arts subjects: Reputations; Tradition and Dissent; Cultural Encounters; and Place and Leisure. Your studies will range from poetry to string quartets, and from sculpture to short stories ? across a wide variety of cultures and historical periods. This key introductory OU level 1 module is also a useful means of acquiring the key skills required for further study of arts and humanities subjects.Learn more ❯The arts past and present
Does God exist? Why should I act morally? Can I trust science? Should I obey laws I disagree with? Discover how philosophers have offered radically diverging answers to these and other questions.Read more ❯Exploring Philosophy
This broad-ranging module investigates five different topics in philosophy: truth in fiction, the justice of war, reason and action, life and death, knowledge and reason. Each topic is approached through a set of key questions that are significant, accessible and engaging. Why do people seek out art that makes them cry? Can a war be fought justly? Can organisations be held responsible for what they do? What might it mean to say that life is sacred? Is science rational? The study materials will enable you to examine these questions in some depth while leaving space for independent study and reflection.Read more ❯Key questions in philosophy
Professor Derek Matravers - Professor of Philosophy at The Open University
Derek Matravers is Professor of Philosophy who specialises in the philosophy of art, although he has recently started a project in justice and the philosophy of war. Derek is particularly interested in the fate of cultural heritage in war zones, and what we can do to protect it. HE have been at the Open University since 1994, and have written on many of the courses.
Derek enjoys working with the BBC, and has been an academic consultant on many series. He is particularly pleased to be working on the ‘Global Philosopher’, as it ties into his interests in thinking about how philosophy can make the world a better place.