Thinkative Philosophy Podcast



A podcast for philosophers, seekers and the generally curious. Dr. Matt Parker and filmmaker Tim Newton embark on a series of wine-fuelled discussions about the nature of reality, quantum physics, infinity and the rest; aided and abetted by frighteningly knowledgable sound engineer, Jason Read.


  • Smoke and Mirrors (Ep 19)

    05/11/2017 Duration: 01h34s

    Is this the real life... is this just fantasy... Elon Musk thinks we're living in a computer simulation. And there's a reason. It's called the Simulation Argument. But some say that computer scientists have now proven that that's impossible. Who's right? And what does the blue pill do again? And why is this whole idea that life is an illusion so enduring? We appear to unscrew the cap on a spicey Argentinian Malbec and have a proper think.

  • What are the chances? (Ep 18)

    05/11/2017 Duration: 01h02min

    We've all experienced weird, inexplicable coincidences in our lives, like bumping into a friend in an unexpected place just as you were thinking about them. It can seem like the odds are impossible, but just how unlikely was it? Belgian philosopher of science Sylvia Wenmackers, brings along a bottle of Maaslander Apple Wine to talk about probability, lotteries, coincidence, and how the near impossible happens every day. Recorded live at the London School of Economics when everyone else was out!

  • Buffalo Pie (Ep 17)

    28/04/2017 Duration: 59min

    Matt gets out his blackboard and we uncork an Argentinian Malbec. Are there really such things as unsolvable problems or we just too lazy to find the answer? Can we fill a glass but leave it empty? We can but try. Why can't we square the circle, and will Tim ever shut up? Time for some answers and maybe a slice of Buffalo Pie.

  • Together in Electric Dreams (Ep 16).mp3

    09/04/2017 Duration: 01h02min

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away - there just might have been something out there. Professor Bryan Roberts of the LSE fires up the Wurlitzer Electric Piano to speculate on the existence of Alien life with the help of the Drake equation and a good French Bordeaux. If there are any aliens out there, will they ever join us for a jam session?

  • In Vino Veritas (Ep 15).mp3

    10/03/2017 Duration: 56min

    Or the Art of Bullsh*t. Truth. What is it? Words and ideas accurately modelling an objective world? Or coherence of beliefs? Is your Truth different from mine? Or is it just whatever is convenient to believe? Jump into Thinkative's Canoe of Truth as we paddle manfully against the alt-fact tide.

  • Operation Mindfix (Ep 14)

    06/02/2017 Duration: 01h02min

    Hail Eris! Tim and Matt welcome theatre director Daisy Campbell to the mic to talk Discordianism, reality tunnels and Robert Anton Wilson over an alcohol-free cabernet sauvignon. What's the world coming to? Believe nothing or believe everything, it's your call. At a time when the establishment is openly distorting reality to their own ends, it's time to fight back with Operation Mindfix. Discordian Popes ho! Originally streamed live 26 Jan 2017.

  • It's the vote that counts. Democracy. (Ep 13)

    15/01/2017 Duration: 01h06min

    Democracy - what the hell is it playing at? Are we right to put our faith in it as a political system, or is it all just a Wet Sham? Dr. Matt, Tim and Jason open a bottle of claret with Tom Taylor - political activist, union rep and lifelong Spurs fan to explore the origins of democracy and its effect on the world. And is Tim's ukelele out of tune? Originally streaamed live on 12 Jan 2017.

  • It's the thought that counts - Altruism. Christmas Special 2016

    23/12/2016 Duration: 01h15min

    Matt, Tim, Jason and the new puppy Cy welcome Professor Jason Alexander of the LSE to pull a cracker or two over Christmas drinks and delve into the true meaning of altruism. Can we really be good for goodness sake? And what was Scrooge afraid of? Join us for a merry meander originally streamed live on December 12th.

  • Does Popper know best? (Lovetrap Special).mp3

    05/10/2016 Duration: 36min

    Perhaps our most booze-fueled episode yet (perhaps ever), as we revisit the place where Thinkative began - a communal campfire in Epping Forest - to discuss science, what it is and why we should pay attention. But more importantly, is the shape we can see in the darkness a woolly mammoth or a troll bending over? Join the debate.

  • Space, Time and Motion (Ep 2)

    11/07/2016 Duration: 46min

    Best enjoyed with a Cabenet Shiraz. For any completists out there, this is a reposting of an early ep that somehow went missing in the vast reaches of the internet. Originally posted February 2016.

  • Death (Episode 10)

    08/07/2016 Duration: 55min

    It's not that we're afraid of death, we just don't want to be there when it happens. But what's the best way to think about it? We're joined by author and LSE lecturer in ethics, Alex Voorhoeve, and a tasty bottle of Greek Cabernet Sauvignon, to talk Epicurus, hedonism, cheese and chickens. But not necessarily in that order.

  • OMG! (Ep 9)

    16/06/2016 Duration: 55min

    In the words of the great philosopher George Michael - you gotta have faith. Or do you? Thoughts theological, ontological and cosmological all washed down with a crisp Chilean Sauvignon Blanc as we mull over the existence of the man upstairs. Or woman. Or what? Matt gets down to the nitty gritty.

  • What is Philosophy and Why Bother? (Ep 1)

    27/05/2016 Duration: 52min

    Our very first introductory episode (reposted). A 2014 Malbec and a glassful of questions.

  • Bryan's Prosecco (Ep 8)

    26/05/2016 Duration: 55min

    We welcome special guest Bryan W. Roberts, Philosopher of Physics at the London School of Economics, for a lightly sparkling chat about the nature of Time and our perception of it, taking in Einstein, Tralfamadorians, thermodynamics and Groundhog Day. What's drunk cannot be undrunk. Apparently.

  • Que Sera Sera (Ep 7)

    12/05/2016 Duration: 59min

    Are we really as free as we think we are? We discuss the implications of a predetermined universe by way of Geno Washington, cranial tingles and the spoons, all decanted from a bottle of very tasty 'La Vieille Ferme'. How bourgeois can you get. What are we on about? You decide... Or do you?

  • Why is there Something rather than Nothing? (Ep 6)

    14/04/2016 Duration: 48min

    Bit of a late night vibe as we ponder a Big Question over an oaky Ozzy shiraz. So sit back, pour yourself a big glass, and enjoy. God knows there's Nothing to worry about. Or is there?

  • Solace of Quanta (Schrodinger's Cactus) Ep 5

    01/04/2016 Duration: 43min

    Quantum mechanics. What's it all about and how does it affect philosophy? The Many Worlds theory gets an airing over a tasty Spanish Tempranillo and in this particular universe, Matt gets his laser out to demonstrate the two slit experiment.

  • Are some infinities bigger than others? Ep 4

    17/03/2016 Duration: 43min

    We speculate on whether Eric Bristow's dart skills might unlock the secrets of the universe and Dr. Matt patiently breaks down the concept of infinity into bite size chunks for the sake of Tim's sanity, by way of Georg Cantor's theory of one to one correspondence.

  • Who do you think you are? Ep 3

    25/02/2016 Duration: 52min

    In which we discuss the merits of Trigger's Broom, the dangers of the Star Trek transporter and the philosophical implications of transferring Tim's mind into Ru Paul's body, over a bottle of Chateau St. Germain.