Online videos of philosophical lectures

|Updated on May.03rd 2008|

Bored by movies, and don’t feel like reading a book? You can watch philosophical and other interesting videos on web.

Alternatively you may want to check the newest developments of my first iPhone game – Henophobia

Young Philosophers Podcast And Few Older Ones

At Young Philosophers:

  1. A Priori Skepticism – James Beebe
  2. The Fine Tuning Argument for the Existence of God – James Beebe
  3. Is Morality Real, or Do We Make It Up? – Joshua Thurow


  1. Debbie in the comments pointed to this course on Death by Shelly Kagan
  2. And a link to a Gresham College Lectures and Events, which Tjh recommended in the comments long time ago, but I never got to pick out the philosophically interesting ones. There are many lectures there on all kind of topics.
Few Lectures Added on 24 March 2008
  1. Flame0430 on YouTube has uploaded a bunch of very interesting videos. They include interview with John Searle on Wittgenstein, interview with Ayer on Frege and Russell, and interviews with Quine and Searle about their work. It seems that there will be more interviews coming. (via Methods of Projection)
  2. On an episode from UC Berkley’s “Conversations with History”, Harry Kreisler interviews Hubert Dreyfus about Heidegger, M.Ponty, AI, and such things. Very interesting stuff. (via Continental Philosophy)
  3. If you didn’t have enough of Searle, there is also his talk on Authors@Google series, where he talks about his book “Freedom and Neurobiology: Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political Power.”, and explains in what way he thinks free will might be related to Quantum Mechanics. (BTW, I just noticed that there is one by Pinker from the same series, haven’t watched that one. It says that he talks about his book “The stuff of thought”)
  4. Kit Fine on approach to philosophy on YouTube: here and here (via Plurality of Words)

Pufendorf Lectures
  • 2004 – David Armstrong: The Scope and Limits of Human Knowledge, In Defence of the Cognitivist Theory of Perception, Four Disputes about Properties, Predication and Necessity
  • 2005 – Philip Pettit: The Rule of the Populace, The Rule of the People, The Rule of the Public, Integrating the Dimensions
  • 2006 – John R. Searle: Consciousness, What is language?, The logical structure of self, Rationality and society
  • 2007 – Patricia Churchland: What is Neurophilosophy; A perspective on Self, Agency and Free Will; Brain-based Values

University of Michigan ‘Saturday Morning Physics’ lectures

Some of those are philosophically interesting:

  1. The Philosophy of Time -Thomas Hofweber
  2. The Arrow of Time in Physics -Tim McKay
  3. , and maybe also:

  4. The Future of Particle Physics – Dan Amidei

Or check the whole collection for more.

TED Talks – How the Mind Works

TED talks site hosts bunch of videos related to philosophy of mind, featuring Dennet, Pinker, Ramachandran, Kurzweil and others. (ht: Readings in Analytic Philosophy)

Other 07 Nov. update videos
  1. Debate concerning the neural correlates of consciousness between Susan Greenfield and Cristof Koch (ht: Brain Hammer)
  2. Stephen Stich: Moral Theory Meets Cognitive Science: How the Cognitive Science Can Transform Traditional Debates (ht: Experimental Philosophy)
  3. Interview with Oliver Sacks
  4. And another one with David Chalmers (ht: Neurophilosophy&Sociocognition for both)
  5. Second Online Philosophy Conference had two keynote addresses by Jeff McMahan and Ernest Sosa, which are available for watching on the 2nd OLPC site

Being No One

You can check the lecture “Being No One: Consciousness, The Phenomenal Self, and the First-Person Perspective” by Thomas Metzinger (1hr) presented at UC Berkeley.
If you are interested in that video, check PSYCHE symposia on Thomas Metzinger’s book Being No One. (via Fragments of Consciousness)

Michael Tomasello

Great lectures by Tomasello from Jean-Nicod Lectures 2006:

  1. The Intentional Communication of Great Apes (1:07)
  2. The Co-operative Communication of Human Beings (1:57)
  3. The Ontogenetic Emergence of Shared Intentionality (1:53)
  4. The Ontogenetic emergence of Co-operative Communication (1:53)

You can check descriptions of the lectures and get the handouts here. If some of the links doesn’t work, check the list here

Cognitive Computing Conference

On google video you can see the lectures from IBM Research’s Almaden Institute Conference on Cognitive Computing:

  1. From Brain Dynamics to Consciousness , Gerald Edelman (1hr 30min)
  2. The Emergence of Intelligence in the Neocortical Microcircuit, Henry Markram (1hr 10min.)
  3. The Mechanism of Thought, Robert Hecht-Nielsen (1hr)
  4. Hierarchical Temporal Memory: Theory and Implementation ,Jeff Hawkins (1hr)
  5. How the brain works, what it computes… ,James Albus, Theodore Berger, Kwabena Boahen, Ralph Linsker, Jerry Swartz (2hr)
  6. The Uniqueness of the Human Brain, V. S. Ramachandran (54 min)
  7. Beyond Dualism, John Searle (1hr 20min)
  8. Cortical Dynamics of Working Memory, Joaquin Fuster (1hr 10min)
  9. A Quantitative Theory of Cortex, Leslie Valiant (1hr 10min)
  10. The 4 C’s of Neuroinformation Theory, Toby Berger (50min)
  11. Consciousness, Christof Koch (1hr 10min)
  12. The Future of Cognitive Computing, William Pulleyblank (1hr 10min)

Then there are also Robert Wright’s interviews with Daniel Dennett (1hr 19min), Steven Pinker (1 hr) and others.

Or alternatively check the list at


From the University of California TV (UCTV), you can see following lectures connected to philosophy of mind, cognitive science and neuroscience:

  1. Hilary Putnam’s lecture The Depths and Shallows of Experience (87 min.)
  2. Patricia Churchland talk on the Decisions, Responsibility and the Brain
    (55 min), and Philosophy in the Age of Neuroscience(57 min)
  3. Francis Crick – Consciousness Now!, Consciousness: New Ideas and Experiments, and an episode of UCSD Guestbook hosted by Nick Spitzer
  4. Richard O. Brown – Nothing in Mind: The Neuroscience of Nothing (52 min)

And several more on issue of evolution:

  1. Phillip Johnson – On Darwinism, (57 min), Darwinism On Trial (89 min), Darwinism: Science of Philosophy? (58 min), and with William Provine – Darwinism: Science or Philosophy (89 min)
  2. Michael Denton – On Darwinism (58 min)
  3. Dean Kenyon interview- Focus On Darwinism (59 min)
  4. Fazale Rana – Convergent Evolution (56 min)
  5. Richard Weikart – From Darwin to Hitler (58 min)
  6. Michael Behe – Irreducible Complexity: The Biochemical Challenge to Darwinism (59 min), From the Big Bang to Irreducible Complexity (58 min)
  7. Michael Ruse – Darwinism and Atheism: A Marriage Made in Heaven (113 min)
  8. Ronald Numbers – Experiencing Evolution: Darwinism and the Diminution of Religious Belief (88 min)
  9. Dr. Minnich – Paradigm of Design: The Bacterial Flagellum (83 min)
  10. John Hedley Brooke – Darwin, Design and the Unification of Nature (118 min)

On language, semantics and language use:

  1. Noam Chomsky – Language and the Mind Revisited – The Biolinguistic Turn (87 min), Language and the Rest of the World (76 min)
  2. David Kaplan – The Meaning of “Ouch” and “Oops” (85 min)
  3. George Lakoff – How Liberals and Conservatives Think (58 min)

List update from 22 Oct. 2006:

  1. John McDowell – Intention in Action (1 hour)
  2. Martin Sereno – The Origin of the Human Mind: Insights from Brain Imaging and Evolution (1 hour)
  3. Aniruddh Patel – Music and the Mind (50 min)
  4. Jeff Elman – Understanding Language (1 hour)
  5. Uta Firth – How cognitive theories Can Help Us Explain Autism (45 min)

Computing and Philosophy Conference

On  North American Computing and Philosophy 2005 Conference page you can view several presentations, including very interesting one on chimerical colors by Paul Churchland.
Their site includes also archives from the Computing and Philosophy conferences from 2001, 2002 and 2003


Ethics Updates hosts lot of philosophy lectures from different conferences on the topic of ethics, among which:

USC – Closer To Truth

Research Channel hosts a number of different shows. From philosophical perspective Closer To Truth series is particularly interesting. Included are episodes on topic of philosophy of mind featuring Searle, Chalmers, Hameroff, Koch:

  1. What is Consciousness ? (30 min)
  2. Do Brains Make Mind ?(30 min)
  3. Strange Physics of Mind (30 min)
  4. Can Science Seek the Soul? (30 min)
  5. Is Consciousness Definable? (30 min)
  6. How Does the Autistic Brain Work? (30 min)

Philosophy of Science

San Jose State University has a sequence of 15 streaming video lectures of their Philosophy of Science class. (presented by J.Stemwedel).

  1. Introduction: “What is Science? 56k/Dsl
  2. Logical Empiricism 56k/Dsl
  3. Induction and Confirmation 56k/Dsl
  4. Challenges in Theory Testing 56k/Dsl
  5. Popper and Falsification 56k/Dsl
  6. Kuhn: Paradigms and Normal Sciences 56k/Dsl
  7. Kuhn: Crisis and Revolution 56k/Dsl
  8. Kuhn: Crisis and Revolution 56k/Dsl
  9. Alternatives to Kuhn 56k/Dsl
  10. Sociology of Science 56k/Dsl
  11. Feminist Critique of Science 56k/Dsl
  12. Naturalism 56k/Dsl
  13. Realism and Anti-Realism 56k/Dsl
  14. Explanation 56k/Dsl
  15. Wrap up: What is Science? 56k/Dsl

MIT World

MIT World hosts streaming videos of public events at MIT. Here are some connected to philosophy, cogsci and neuroscience I could find:

  1. The Blank Slate:The Modern Denial of Human Nature – Steven Pinker
  2. Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language – Steven Pinker
  3. Pinker’s Farewell – Steven Pinker
  4. The Future of Digital Commons – Nancy Kranich, Ann Wolpert, Steven Pinker
  5. The Idea of Universality in Linguistics and Human Rights – Noam Chomsky, Elizabeth S. Spelke
  6. Vision of the Future (Part 1) – Susumu Tonehawa, Syndey Brenner, Richard Axel
  7. Vision of the Future (part 2) – Eric R. Kandel, James D. Watson
  8. Expand Your Mind:Getting a Grasp On Consciousness – Christof Koch, Patricia Churchland
  9. Neuroethics – Stephan Chorover, Mriganka Sur
  10. The Brain And Mind – Mriganka Sur
  11. Cognitive Control: Understanding the Brain’s Executive – Earl K. Miller
  12. The Neurology of Vision – Nancy Kanwisher
  13. Neurobiology of Memory: How do We Acquire, Consolidate and Recall Memory – Susumu Tonegawa
  14. Architecture of the Brain – Elly Nedivi
  15. The Changing Brain – Mark Bear
  16. Vision: Challenges and Prospects – Pawan Sinha

University of Cincinnati

Visit web page of University of Cincinnati philosophy faculty to watch three interviews.
One is with Prof. Christopher Gauker about his book Words without Meaning (MIT 2003), one other with Prof. John Bickle about his book, Philosophy and Neuroscience: A Ruthlessly Reductive Account (Kluwer 2003), and interview with Prof. Jenefer Robinson about her book, Deeper than Reason: Emotion and Its Role

Stanford Humanities Center Events

Among videos at audio/video archive of the Stanford Humanities Center:

  1. Analogy as the Core of Cognition, Douglas Hofstadter (02/06/2006)
  2. The Humanities and Human Nature, Steven Pinker (11/10/2004)
  3. The Ethics of Identity, Kwame Anthony Appiah (11/01/2004)

Check their archive for more.

Counterbalance Interactive Library

There are videos on lot of topics, among which there are these sets…

  1. Becoming Human: Brain, Mind and Emergence conference held at Stanford University in 2003.
  2. Neuroscience, Religious Experience and the Self conference held at Montreal in 2001
  3. Nancy Murphy’s presentation of a non-reductive physicalist account of human nature (you need to click through the parts of the lecture the right part of that webpage)

For more check all of content at Counterbalance library.

Rick Grush’s Video Podcasts

Here. Includes 15 lectures from Philosophy 10, Introduction to Logic; Locating Subjects of Experience in the Natural Order (67 minutes) and other. (via Brain Hammer)

The Origins and Nature of Computation

From the 21st International Workshop on the History and Philosophy of Science:

  1. Martin Davis: The Church-Turing Thesis: Consensus and Opposition (53 min)
  2. Saul Kripke: From Church’s Thesis to the First Order Algorithm Theorem (01h24min)
  3. John McCarthy: Formalizing Common Sense Knowledge in Mathematical Logic (01h12min)

List also here(via Brains)

Christof Koch’s CNS/Bi 120 Lectures

18 Video lectures of Christof Koch at Caltech (from 2003) on Neuronal Basis of Consciousness, are available here.
From the description at the site:
What are the correlates of consciousness in the brain? The course provides a framework for addressing these questions from a scientific point of view. The course will focus on the neuronal correlates of sensory consciousness.

The Royal Society

Frejya in the comments has pointed to the webstreams at The Royal Society. Among those you can check:

  1. Daniel Wolpert – The Puppet Master – How The Brain Controls The Body
  2. Alan Cowey – Magnetic brain stimulation: what can it tell us about brain function?
  3. Douwe Draaisma – Why life speeds up as you get older
  4. Steve Jones – Why creationism is wrong and evolution is right
  5. Sandu Popescu – What is quantum non-locality? (on very popular level)
  6. David Attenborough – Perception, deception and reality

Ernest Nagel Lectures in Philosophy and Science

Jeremy Shipley in the comments has pointed to two lectures at Carnegie Mellon Department of Philosophy, on the topic of highlighting the deep connection between philosophical reflection and scientific activity. One is by Bas van Fraassen [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3], and the other by Patrick Suppes [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3]

Single Video Lectures
  1. The Ph.D/MA Program in Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate Center hosted a two day celebration of the work of Saul Kripke, and hosts a video of the lecture by Kripke, named “The First Person”
  2. B. Alan Wallace seeking ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices and Western science to advance the study of the mind – Toward the First Revolution in the Mind Sciences
  3. Richard Feynman is not a philosopher, but still you might still want to see this… The pleasure of finding things out
  4. The Roots of the Matrix – documentary about the philosophy behind Matrix movies (1 hour) Dennett, Chalmers, Searle, Clark, Koch
  5. Webcast of the “debate between David Gelerntner and Ray Kurzweil on machine consciousness and a talk by Jack Copeland on Turing’s contribution to codebreaking and to the development of AI (at about the 1 hour 45 minute mark)” (via Brains)
  6. Putnam presenting the UCD Ulysses Medal Lecture titled “The Fact/Value Dichotomy and its critics” at UCD on 5th March 2007 (via oscillate it)

Continental Philosophy

Instead of putting list of videos here, I will just point to the Continental Philosophy blog, which under the videos tag has a big collection of videos connected to continental philosophy.

76 thoughts on “Online videos of philosophical lectures

  1. I am a little late with this, but please note that there are some philosophy videos with University of Cincinnati philosophy faculty here: We made these as a way of trying to promote our excellent but underappreciated philosophy department among prospective graduate students. There should be another one within the month, this time with Jenefer Robinson.

  2. Thank you so much for putting this together. It is an incredible resource for those of us who studied philosophy in college and still habor an interest in the subject.

  3. Oh by the way if you haven’t mentioned the British Academy also put some of their lectures up here– some of them are quite philosophical though most are in other fields- even so you might want to add them.

  4. also if you type “maps of meaning” in google video you will find a series of lectures by Jordan Peterson which I think are excellent and discuss myth, story, philosophy amongst other things. also if you type “carl jung” in google video there are three excellent videos entitled “wisdom of the dream” including excerpts of interviews. again, perhaps not strictly philosophy, i don’t know, but I found them really interesting… regards. j s.

  5. Hi Mahmoud.
    It would be highly improbable that there is no more philosophical videos on web. :)
    But lot of nice people are pointing to other resources in the comments, and if I learn of others, I will add them to the list.

  6. Hi Dog123…

    Which are the files you can’t open?

    As for the comment, sorry, but I deleted it. Sometimes I delete the comments which are short (like “thank you”) and not contribute to the topic. That not because I don’t love receiving comments, but because I want the Recent Comment section to show where “serious” discussion was going on recently. Hope you understand.

  7. These videos are the best thing on the internet,Ive had my family view as many of these as possible. Bravo, I hopethe new videos keep coming!!!

  8. I stumbled through your blog last week and came back again today due to its richness and interesting posts. Keep up the good work. Looking forward for to see more videos after dinner!

  9. Hi Rachid, they don’t work for me too. On this page I’m just putting links to those videos, and have no other relation to it, so I don’t have a clue what is the issue with the videos or when/if San Jose State University will return them.

  10. Thanks a lot for these interesting links. I’m actually experiencing a lot of trouble in downloading Chomsky’s lecture on language and the mind. Can you please email it to me.
    Thanks in advance.

  11. Hi Neddowson, not sure what you are saying… The Chomsky’ videos don’t open for you? They seem a “normal” youtube videos. If they don’t open, I can only guess that you don’t have Flash plug-in for your browser installed.

    If on other side, you don’t want to watch the video in your browser, but want it downloaded, you may want to check the first part of this post.

  12. hey guys , i am student and i want a lecture series on introduction of philosophy , i don’t have any prior knowledge of the subject so i want to start from the basics .please suggest me something

  13. Thanks a lot for these interesting links. I’m actually experiencing a lot of trouble in downloading Chomsky’s lecture on language and the mind. Can you please email it to me.
    Thanks in advance.
    see my blog

  14. HI ,im a student here in the philippines, im working on my project about philosophy..can anyone help me? its a little bit hard to explain.thanks.

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