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More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/morality-algorithms.Recent years have seen the rise of machine learning algorithms surrounding us in our homes and back pockets. They're increasingly used in everything from recommending movies to guiding sentencing in criminal courts, thanks to their being perceived as unbiased and fair. But can algorit…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/2021-dionysus-awards.After a year in which "entertainment" took on a whole new meaning, what were the movies that challenged our assumptions and made us think about things in new ways? Josh and guest co-host Jeremy Sabol talk to philosophers and listeners as they present our eighth annual Dionysus Awards…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/does-science-over-reach.We've all heard the phrase, "You can't argue with science." Appealing to scientific fact as a way to settle a question makes sense given the amazing advancements science has brought us in understanding how the world works. But should we take the accomplishments of science as evide…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/repugnant-markets.We might ban buying or selling horse meat in the US not for the protection of horses, but because we find it morally repugnant. Yet this moral repugnance is clearly not universal, and on some level may even be arbitrary, given France's attitude toward horse meat. What role, if any, shou…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/what-masculinity.Strong, in control, and stoic—these are traits of the ideal masculine man. Men who fail to conform to this ideal are often penalized, particularly if they are men of color, queer men, working-class men, or men with disabilities. So how do we create different visions of masculinity that m…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/misogyny.With the recent #MeToo viral campaign, along with the wave of prominent male figures toppled for being serial sexual harassers or worse, the topic of misogyny has come into sharp focus. But what exactly is misogyny? And how does it differ from sexism? What set of beliefs or attitudes makes someo…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/value-care.We sometimes think of the domains of ethics and morality as divorced from feeling and emotion. You keep your promises because it maximizes good. But what if care were thought of as the bedrock of morality? While we know that more care work is performed by women, would a care-based approach to ethics b…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/what-has-replaced-freud.Although the concept that we can have thoughts and desires hidden from consciousness can be traced back to antiquity, it was Freud who truly popularized it in the twentieth century. Now Freud’s theory of the unconscious mind has mostly been abandoned for being unscientific and lac…
 
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/john-rawls.John Rawls was one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. In his book "A Theory of Justice" he articulated a concept of justice as fairness, which won many fans among liberals, and provoked important responses from thoughtful libertarians such as Robert Nozick. Ken…
 
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/what-love.It may seem doubtful that philosophers have much to tell us about love (beyond their love of wisdom). Surely it is the poets who have the market cornered when it comes to deep reflection on the nature of love. John and Ken question the notion that love cannot be captured by the light of reason by tu…
 
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/web-du-bois.Sociologist, historian, philosopher, editor, writer, and activist, W.E.B. DuBois was one of the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century. The first African-American Ph.D. from Harvard University, DuBois died in Ghana after having renounced his American citizenship. In between he co-…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/rhetoric-big-tech.Big Tech is known for its "disruption" of established industries and changing fundamental aspects of our lives from shopping and delivery to communication and transit. While many welcome these changes, there are also worries about privacy, fairness, and deregulation. So how do tech comp…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/trolling-bullying-and-flame-wars.Open up any online comments section and you’ll find them: internet trolls, from the mildly inflammatory to the viciously bullying. It seems that the ease of posting online leads many to abandon any semblance of intellectual humility. So can we have intellectual humility o…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/democracy-numbers.The United States prides itself on being “the world’s greatest democracy,” which adheres to the principle, “one person, one vote.” Despite this, its elections are often highly contentious—presidents can be elected after losing the popular vote, there is widespread gerrymandering and vot…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/comforting-conversations-pt2.In troubling, uncertain times, the arts and humanities are more important than ever. Engaging with works of literature can provide both much needed insight into our current struggles and a sense of perspective in a crisis. In what ways do novels or plays help us come to terms with hu…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/comforting-conversations-pt1.In troubling, uncertain times, the arts and humanities are more important than ever. Engaging with works of literature can provide both much needed insight into our current struggles and a sense of perspective in a crisis. In what ways do novels or plays help us come to terms with hu…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/faith-and-humility.Some would argue that faith requires that one blindly—rather than rationally— believe. Faith in one ‘true’ religion often entails rejection of all others. Given this, can there ever be humility when it comes to religious faith? How unwavering should the faithful be when it comes to the…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/minds-and-matter.Everything that seems to have a mind also has a body made of flesh and blood. But if we look at the diversity of animals found in the world, we find a huge variety of species that perceive and interact with the world in very different ways. Is there something all these species have in co…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/are-we-alone.News that life might exist or have existed on Mars or somewhere else in our universe excites many. But should we really be happy to hear that news? What are the philosophical implications of the possibility of extraterrestrial life? If life can blossom in our own cosmic backyard, then that m…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/arts-all.When we think of “real” art, we often think of expensive, highbrow pieces that are displayed in museums and galleries, and critiqued by the elite. In fact, people commonly lament that they don’t know enough about art to truly understand or appreciate the works that they encounter. So should art …
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/spinoza.Baruch Spinoza was a 17th century Dutch philosopher who laid the foundations for the Enlightenment. He made the controversial claim that there is only one substance in the universe, which led him to the pantheistic belief in an abstract, impersonal God. What effect did Spinoza have on Enlightenme…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/are-we-all-blame.It’s easy to identify the pressing issues facing our world today, but it’s much more difficult to assign responsibility for them. Often the blame is placed on collectives — on entire governments, nations, and societies. But does the responsibility truly all fall to them? How can we ident…
 
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/camus-and-absurd.Albert Camus is most famous for his existential works of fiction including The Stranger as well as his philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus. He led the French resistance press during Nazi Occupation and became one of the youngest Nobel laureates in literature. His contemporary, Hannah Are…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/monstrous-technologies.Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein raises powerful questions about the responsibilities of scientists to consider the impact of their inventions on the world. Are these questions as relevant now as they were 200 years ago? What insights, if any, should today’s technologists and disrupters…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/whats-game.Games have been an integral part of human society since the earliest civilizations. They are played around the world by people at every rank and station, at every stage of life, from childhood to old age. Why do we love games so much? Are they just a pleasant way of whiling away some empty hou…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/why-we-hate.The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of hate groups operating in the U.S. has risen to a record high. There has also been a corresponding increase in hate crime violence. So where does all this hate come from? Do we hate others because we feel a deeper sense of alienation o…
 
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/hannah-arendt.Hannah Arendt was one of the most original and influential philosophers of the 20th century. Her work considered historical and contemporary political events, such as the rise and fall of Nazism, and drew conclusions about the relation between the individual and society. John and Ken tackle Aren…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/science-and-skepticism.In recent decades, we’ve witnessed intense cultural wars waged on scientifically established phenomena, such as climate change and the benefit of vaccines. Of course, we might agree that some degree of skepticism about the world around us is good—it would be impractical and even da…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/how-humbly-disagree.People like to argue, especially Philosophy Talk listeners! But no matter how hard we try to resolve disputes through rational discourse, sometimes we may still disagree about important issues. One response to this predicament is simply to agree to disagree. But should the mere fact o…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/heidegger.Best known for his work "Being and Time," Martin Heidegger has been hailed by many as the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century. He has also been criticized for being both nearly unreadable and a Nazi. Yet there is no disputing his seminal place in the history of Western thought. So wha…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/citizenship-and-justice.Securing citizenship to a developed country could guarantee people enormous privileges and opportunities. Some condemn those who try illegally to reap the benefits that come with such citizenship. But are our ways of determining who gets to enter borders arbitrary and unfair? Shou…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/culture-industry.What's your favorite movie? Did you watch that season finale last night? No spoilers! Popular cultures pervades modern life. But what if pop culture was actually more pernicious than we ordinarily think? Could it be systematically deceiving us—eroding our ability to think for ourselves and fight…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/merits-meritocracy.For centuries, the promise of the “American Dream” has been that as long as someone buckles down and works hard, she can achieve her goals. In other words, we’ve perpetuated the meritocratic notion that the more effort one puts in and the more ability one possesses, the more success on…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/time-summer-reading.When John and Ken began shopping around their idea for a philosophy-on-the-radio show nearly 20 years ago, many believed it would never work, let alone stay on the air. Nearly two decades later, the program that questions everything (except your intelligence) has hit 500 episodes -- j…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/can-streets-discriminate.City streets play an important role in our everyday lives. We commute to work, walk our dogs, meet our friends, and stage protests on city streets. In theory, streets are open for anyone to physically access. But do streets, by their design, actually discriminate against certain people? …
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/james-baldwin.Sometimes, we struggle to tell the truth -- especially when it's the truth about ourselves. Why did James Baldwin, a prominent Civil Rights-era intellectual and novelist, believe that telling the truth about ourselves is not only difficult but can also be dangerous? How can truth deeply unsettle ou…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/ethical-jerk.Ethics philosophers are more ethical than the average person — right? Well, maybe not. Studies show that philosophy professors are just as biased as the rest of us, and no more generous in their charitable giving. So does that mean they’re not any more ethical too? What’s the point of doing moral ph…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/frantz-fanon.Frantz Fanon is a thinker who has inspired radical liberation movements in places ranging from Palestine to South Africa to the United States. Most famous for his work "The Wretched of the Earth," Fanon is often understood as a proponent of revolutionary violence. But is this a fair characte…
 
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/walter-benjamin.Walter Benjamin was a German Jewish critical theorist, essayist, and philosopher who died tragically during the Second World War. His thoughts about modernity, history, art, disenchantment, and re-enchantment are still discussed today. So who was Benjamin, and what is his intellectual leg…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/pet-ethics.Many of us, even the staunchest animal activists, usually take it for granted that keeping a pet is morally acceptable. But regardless of how well we treat our animal “companions,” by keeping pets we are declaring ownership and paternal authority over other living creatures, and confining them to our …
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/sartre.Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the first global public intellectuals, famous for his popular existentialist philosophy, his works of fiction, and his rivalry with Albert Camus. His existentialism was also adopted by Simone de Beauvoir, who used it as a foundation for modern theoretical feminism. So what exac…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/white-privilege-and-racial-injustice.“White privilege” has become a buzzword in discussions about racial inequality and racial justice. The call to “check your privilege” appeals to those privileged to acknowledge the various ways they receive special treatment that others don’t. But when white people explicitly…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/covid-conundrums.In just months the world changed radically, and we have all had to adjust our lifestyles to stop the spread of Covid-19. Those working on the frontlines are taking on great personal risk while the rest of us are required to socially distance. But even if you follow all the guidelines, you may st…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/machiavelli.Niccolò Machiavelli is best known for arguing that people in power should use deception, force, and manipulation if those tactics are necessary to achieve their ends. In an age of unscrupulous politics and ruthless business practice, shouldn't we be encouraging a move away from Machiavellian thinking…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/why-money-matters.Money, they say, does not buy happiness; but having none can make life extraordinarily hard. Whether we have a little or a lot, we are all familiar with how much money matters in our daily lives. But what exactly is money? Is it a commodity that evolved spontaneously from systems of barter? Or …
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/poetry-way-knowing.What is poetry? Mere word play? A pretty, or at any rate striking, way of expressing thought and emotion? Or does great poetry involve an approach to the world that provides insight and information not available in other ways? Ken and John explore how poetry can illuminate what we know with aw…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/philosophy-and-superhero.Philosophy is replete with thought experiments featuring characters like Descartes’ “Evil Genius” and Davidson’s “Swampman.” Some of the scenarios philosophers conjure up seem like they could’ve been plucked from a superhero comic. Or is it the other way around? Why do philosophy and sup…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/fractured-identities.Despite tremendous strides made towards civil and political rights in the United States, discrimination and exclusion based on race, class, gender, and sexuality are still pervasive. As a result, individuals seen as "the other" often experience a painful inner fracturing W.E.B. Du Bois calle…
 
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/philosophy-retirement.Many of us look forward to retirement, that time in life when we stop working for a living. But what exactly is retirement and why do we retire? Does retirement always mean an end to work, or can it sometimes just mean a shift to a different kind of work? Ought we retire for purely selfish …
 
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