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This week I am talking to Olli Lagerspetz about his recent book A Philosophy of Dirt (Reaktion, 2018). This book is a fascinating exploration of what we mean by dirt, how we can use Philosophy to examine it, and whether dirt is an objective or subjective phenomenon. We talked about how dirt is conceived in science, art, politics, anthropology and how we might think of dirt in the context of the environment. As usual in a philosophy conversation, we ended up talking about Plato.

Olli Lagerspetz (b. 1963) is  a Senior Lecturer and Adjunct Professor at the Philosophy department at Åbo Akademi University, and Adjunct Professor of the History of Ideas at Oulu University. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Philosophical Investigations. Lagerspetz studied  at Åbo and, with Peter Winch, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1992-1998 he was Lecturer of philosophy at the University of Wales, Swansea. Lagerspetz has written extensively on the philosophy of the humanities and the social sciences and on the history of social anthropology. His   most recent books include A Philosophy of Dirt (2018), Trust, Ethics and Human Reason (2015) and Intellectual Networks,Philosophy and Social Anthropology (2014) with Kirsti Suolinna and Edward Westermarck. In his research, Lagerspetz has often liked to focus on issues that breach the fact/value divide.  He is interested in looking for alternatives to reductionist accounts of the world we live in. His  main intellectual influences (besides his parents and family members) are Ludwig Wittgenstein and Egon Friedell, plus people who have taught him or worked with him: Lars Hertzberg, Peter Winch, Richard Beardsmore, Ullica Segerstrale, Kirsti Suolinna, Göran Torrkulla, and Hans Rosing.

Olli is married with two children and two cats. In his free time, he plays music (tuba and piano). His book was recently reviewed in The Guardian. You can find out about the book here.

You can listen to more free back content from the Thales' Well podcast on TuneIn RadioPlayer FmStitcher and Podbean. You can also download their apps to your smart phone and listen via there. You can also subscribe for free on iTunes. Please leave a nice review. You can follow me on Twitter: @drphilocity

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