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Peter Millican

In 2005 Dr Peter Millican was appointed as Gilbert Ryle Fellow in Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford (though for two years he was shared with Oriel College). In 2007 he was promoted to Reader in Early Modern Philosophy. From 2005 until 2010, he was Co-Editor of the journal Hume Studies. Hume's philosophy has indeed been the main focus of his research, though he continue to work also in Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Language and of Religion. His teaching at Oxford is also quite varied, including General Philosophy, Formal Logic, History of Philosophy, Epistemology and Metaphysics, Logic and Language, and Philosophy of Religion.

Series featuring Peter Millican

  • Introduction to David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature Book One
  • Hume's Central Principles
  • General Philosophy
  • Futuremakers
  • David Hume (2018)
  • General Philosophy (2018)
  • Ethics in AI
  • Alan Turing on Computability and Intelligence
# Episode Title Description People Date
101 Creative Commons 7.2 Different Concepts of Freedom Part 7.2. Looks at Hobbes' and Hume's views of free will and the three concepts of freedom, and considers the idea of moral responsibility as dependent on free will. Peter Millican 01 Dec 2010
102 Creative Commons 7.1 Free Will, Determinism and Choice Part 7.1. Explores the problem of free will and the ideas of moral responsibility, determinism and choice; the need for a concept of freedom to allow free choice, the problems associated with this and asking whether we really have freedom of choice. Peter Millican 01 Dec 2010
103 Creative Commons 6.4 Making Sense of Perception Part 6.4. A brief overview of contemporary accounts of perception; including phenomenalism (that objects are logical constructions from sense data) and direct realism (that we perceive objects and the external world directly). Peter Millican 30 Nov 2010
104 Creative Commons General Philosophy Lecture 6 PDF slides from Peter Millican's General Philosophy lecture 6. Peter Millican 30 Nov 2010
105 Creative Commons 6.3 Abstraction and Idealism Part 6.3. Criticisms of the resemblance theory of perception and an introduction to idealism - that perceptions of the external world are all within the mind as ideas. Peter Millican 30 Nov 2010
106 Creative Commons 6.2 Problems with Resemblance Part 6.2. Explores Berkeley's and Locke's arguments concerning the resemblance of qualities and objects; that the perceived qualities of objects exist only in the mind or whether secondary qualities are intrinsically part of the object. Peter Millican 30 Nov 2010
107 Creative Commons 6.1 Introduction to Primary and Secondary Qualities Part 6.1. Introduces the problem of perception (and the distinction between the world and what we perceive), along with the concepts of primary and secondary qualities. Peter Millican 30 Nov 2010
108 Creative Commons 5.4 Scepticism, Externalism and the Ethics of Belief Part 5.4. Looks at the role the concept of knowledge plays in life, the different levels of knowledge we require in certain contexts and the return of scepticism over knowledge. Peter Millican 29 Nov 2010
109 Creative Commons General Philosophy Lecture 5 PDF slides from Peter Millican's General Philosophy lecture 5. Peter Millican 29 Nov 2010
110 Creative Commons 5.3 Gettier and Other Complications Part 5.3. The difference between internalist and externalist accounts of knowledge; whether we need external factors to justify knowledge or whether internal accounts are sufficient, and the Gettier cases. Peter Millican 29 Nov 2010
111 Creative Commons 5.2 The Traditional Analysis of Knowledge Part 5.2. Explores the idea of conscious and unconscious knowledge (should a person know that they know something or does it not matter?) and the theory of justification of propositions and beliefs. Peter Millican 29 Nov 2010
112 Creative Commons 5.1 Introduction to Knowledge Part 5.1. Looks at the problem of knowledge; how can we know what we know, three types of knowledge and A J Ayer's two conditions for knowledge. Peter Millican 29 Nov 2010
113 Creative Commons 4.4 The Mind-Body Problem Part 4.4. Looks at some of the modern responses to Cartesian Dualism including Gilbert Ryle's and G. Strawson's responses to the idea. Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
114 Creative Commons General Philosophy Lecture 4 PDF slides from Peter Millican's General Philosophy lecture 4. Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
115 Creative Commons 4.3 Cartesian Dualism Part 4.3. Introduces Descartes' idea of dualism, that there is a separation between the mind and the body, as well as some of the philosophical issues surrounding this idea. Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
116 Creative Commons 4.2 Possible Answers to External World Scepticism Part 4.2. Investigates some of the possible solutions to Descartes' sceptical problem of the external world, looking at G.E Moore's response, among others, to the problem. Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
117 Creative Commons 4.1 Scepticism about the External World Part 4.1. Introduces the problem of how do we have knowledge of the world, how do we know what we perceive is in fact what is there? Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
118 Creative Commons 3.2 Responses to Hume's Famous Argument Part 3.2. Responses to and justifications of Hume's argument concerning the problem of induction. Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
119 Creative Commons General Philosophy Lecture 3 PDF slides from Peter Millican's General Philosophy lecture 3. Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
120 Creative Commons 3.1 Hume's Argument Concerning Induction Part 3.1. Briefly introduces the problem of induction: that is, the problem that it is difficult to justify claims to knowledge of the world through pure reason, i.e. without experience. Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
121 Creative Commons 2.7 Overview: Kant and Modern Science Part 2.7. Concludes a historical survey of philosophy with Immanuel Kant, who thought Hume was wrong in his idea of human nature and how we gain knowledge of the world. Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
122 Creative Commons General Philosophy Lecture 2 PDF slides from Peter Millican's General Philosophy lecture 2. Peter Millican 08 Apr 2010
123 Creative Commons 2.6 David Hume Part 2.6. Introduces 18th Century Scottish philosopher David Hume, 'The Great Infidel', including his life, works and a brief look at his philosophical thoughts. Peter Millican 16 Mar 2010
124 Creative Commons 2.5 Nicolas Malebranche and George Berkeley Part 2.5. Focuses on Malebranche, a lesser-known French Philosopher, and his ideas on idealism and the influence they had on English philosopher George Berkeley. Peter Millican 16 Mar 2010
125 Creative Commons 2.4 John Locke Part 2.4. Introduction to the philosophy of John Locke, 'England's first Empiricist', he also gives a very simplistic definition of Empiricism; we obtain knowledge through experience of the world, through sensory data (what we see, hear, etc). Peter Millican 16 Mar 2010
126 Creative Commons 2.3 Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton Part 2.3. An introduction to Robert Boyle's theory of corpuscularianism and Isaac Newton's ideas on mathematics and the universe. Peter Millican 16 Mar 2010
127 Creative Commons 2.2 Thomas Hobbes: The Monster of Malmesbury Part 2.2. A brief introduction to Thomas Hobbes, 'The Monster of Malmsbury', his views on a mechanistic universe, his strong ideas on determinism and his pessimistic view of human nature: 'The life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short'. Peter Millican 16 Mar 2010
128 Creative Commons 2.1 Recap of General Philosophy Lecture 1 Part 2.1. A brief recap on the first lecture describing how Aristotle's view of the universe, dominant throughout the middle ages in Europe, came to be gradually phased out by a modern, mechanistic view of the universe. Peter Millican 16 Mar 2010
129 Creative Commons 1.4 From Galileo to Descartes Part 1.4. Outlines Galileo's revolutionary theories of astronomy and mechanical science and introduces Descartes' (the father of modern philosophy) ideas of philosophical scepticism. Peter Millican 19 Feb 2010
130 Creative Commons General Philosophy Lecture 1 PDF slides from Peter Millican's General Philosophy lecture 1. Peter Millican 19 Feb 2010
131 Creative Commons 1.3 Science from Aristotle to Galileo Part 1.3. Describes briefly the Aristotelian view of the universe; the basis for natural science in Europe until the 15th century and its conflict Galileo's theories. Peter Millican 19 Feb 2010
132 Creative Commons 1.2 The Background of Early Modern Philosophy Part 1.2. Gives a very brief history of philosophy from the 'birth of philosophy' in Ancient Greece through the rise of Christianity in Europe in the Middle Ages through to the Renaissance, the Reformation and the birth of the Modern Period. Peter Millican 19 Feb 2010
133 Creative Commons 1.1 An Introduction to General Philosophy Part 1.1. Outlines the General Philosophy course, the various topics that will be discussed, and also, more importantly, the philosophical method that this course introduces to students. Peter Millican 19 Feb 2010