Skip to content

OU on the BBC: The Philosopher's Arms

Updated Wednesday 24th July 2013

Each week Matthew Sweet goes to the pub to discuss philosophical puzzles over a pint with a panel of experts. 

This page has been archived and no longer updated. Please be aware that the information provided on this page may be out of date, or otherwise inaccurate due to the passage of time. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy

Inside view of an English public house Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Anizza | An English pub

About the series

Matthew Sweet returns with 'The Philosopher's Arms' - a very special pub where moral dilemmas, philosophical ideas and the real world meet for a chat and a drink. Matthew discovers how our lives connect to some of the trickiest philosophical problems ever conceived. Free will, exploitation, sex, sexism, blame and shame are just some of the topics to be mulled over in this latest series.

About the episodes

Episode one: Free Riders

We look at the issue of 'free-riding', with Oxford philosopher Roger Crisp.

Episode two: Exploitation

What is 'exploitation' - with philosopher Alex Voorhoeve.

Episode three: Free Will

Do we have Free Will? The panel includes philosopher Wayne Martin.

Episode four: Moral blame

In this episode we look at historic wrongs. Can we blame people in the past who held views that we now regard as abhorrent, but which were then widely accepted? The programme features philosopher Miranda Fricker.

The Philosopher's Arms is broadcast every Tuesday on BBC Radio 4 at 3.30pm. For full details of upcoming broadcasts, and links to listen or watch again, visit


For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?