The Billington Tapes

Ray would talk for hours with fluency and humour, often without notes, occasionally picking up a book to read out verbatim what a particular philosopher had written, and this series of lectures along with his books and the passion for philosophy he left his students are his legacy. These lectures were recorded on Tape Cassettes which Ray used to sell to his students and they have been converted to mp3 format in memory of Ray and, as he would have wished, as a means of enabling a knowledge of philosophy to enrich the lives of those who encounter the subject..


Introduction to Philosophy

Prof Billington asks What is philosophy?

53 mins

What is Religion

42 mins

Does Morality Matter

We use the word "Moral" as though we understand it. This lecture suggests that there is more to being moral than is usually supposed

59 mins

Western Philosophy

Plato and Aristotle

Western philosophy has been described as a series of footnotes to Plato. This lecture examines the grounds for this claim and includes a summary of what Plato's Aristotle taught.

Thomas  Hobbes

Thomas  Hobbes (1588 - 1679), was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. Hobbes described life as "nasty, brutish and short" and argued that because of our natural selfishness we need a single ruler of keep us in order. This lecture examines his claim

 60 mins

John Paul Sartre

John Paul Sartre (1905 – 1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology

58 mins


Martin Heidegger (1889 – 1976) was a German philosopher and a seminal thinker in the Continental tradition, particularly within the fields of existential phenomenology and philosophical hermeneutics. From his beginnings as a Catholic academic, he developed a groundbreaking and widely influential philosophy.

John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill (1806 –1873) was a British philosopher, political economist and civil servant. He was an influential contributor to social theory, political theory and political economy. He has been called "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century".[

Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804) was a German philosopher who is widely considered to be a central figure of modern philosophy. He argued that fundamental concepts structure human experience, and that reason is the source of morality. His thought continues to have a major influence in contemporary thought, especially the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics

Eastern Philosophy

Buddhism Part 1

Buddhism is a nontheistic religion that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha.

23 mins

Buddhism Part 2


Hinduism includes many religious beliefs and practices expressed in India. This lecture explores primarily the school known as Advaita Vendata or non-dualism, where enlightenment is understood as the realization of one's own divinity

67 mins


Jainism is famous for its absolute asceticism based on the concept of ahimsa, or non-violence. But if you refuse to kill a living species for food, how do you survive? This lecture explains why Jains view this as an important question.

57 mins


The Tao classic, The Tao Te Ching, begins "The name that can be named is not the eternal name". So what is the Tao?, and how does it relate to the Yin and Yang? This lecture explains.

64 mins

Professor Ray Billington in his Lyceum in the Angiddy Valley in May 2004 Copyright David Hoyle

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Updated 12 February 2020

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