Philosophy in Public

Last Wednesday, I went down to the studios at ABC Southbank, to be interviewed by Libbi Gorr for ABC Radio Melbourne’s Sunday program. As I made my way through the building, and settled into the little studio, I thought I heard a familiar voice, faintly in the distance. Libbi explained that this was Kevin Rudd (the former Prime Minister), who was being interviewed in the next room. Unlike the former PM, I wasn’t doing the rounds of media because I had a book to promote. But I was doing promotion in my own small way. The University of Melbourne’s Media Office does a good job at getting the word out about public lectures, and the description for the lecture I’m giving on Tuesday night apparently appealed to Libbi Gorr and her producer, and they thought it would be fun to interview me for the Sunday program, so on Tuesday midday, I get an email from the Media Office asking if I’d be up for an interview in the studio with Libbi, talking about Truth and Stereotypes.

So, that’s why I found myself in the studio having a fun 20 minute conversation with Libbi about stereotypes, thoughts, language and communication, and the possibility of objectivity and agreement (or disagreement) when we’re all situated in different places and have different perspectives. It didn’t go in the directions I expected. But I wasn’t trying to stick to any particular talking points. The aim was to have a fruitful conversation, and to engage the audience with some interesting questions, and to spark interest in the topics I’ll be covering in my public lecture. The interview was edited down to 17 minutes, and the result is here. If it gets people interested in thinking in a different way about things, and curious about what we do when we approach issues of language and meaning as philosophers, I’ll count that as a win.

So now, I’ve got to finish my preparation for Tuesday’s lecture.


I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and the Director of the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other.


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