The Arthur Brooks Show
9: Moral Consensus
The last episode of the season looks at moral consensus, the necessity of a moral core around which our debates must revolve. Arthur talks to John Powell, who leads the UC Berkeley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, and to John Tomasi, professor of political science at Brown University, and founder of the Political Theory Project. To get in touch with the show, email email@example.com
8: Think Small
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number and scope of crises we constantly see flashing across our phones and television screens. In fact, our brains – and our hearts – aren’t built to process conflicts on such a massive scale. In this episode, Arthur looks at ‘thinking small,’ the notion that by focusing on what is individual, local, and within our sphere of influence, we can paradoxically bring about more change, disagree more productively, and become happier people. Hear...
7: Idea Diversity on Campus
This episode explores the experiences of conservative professors on campus, and why ‘viewpoint diversity’ matters in academia. We hear from Josh Dunn, Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado and John Shields, Associate Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, who co-authored a book on conservative academics. Zack Beauchamp from vox.com joins Arthur in a discussion about de-platforming and freedom of speech on campus, and Professor Robert George talks about...
6: Contempt : an extended conversation with John Gottman
How can we keep contempt out of our disagreements? And why should we? Arthur talks to John Gottman, who’s spent most of his career as a social psychologist studying contempt within relationships. He is the co-founder of the Gottman Institute in Seattle, where he does work with married couples, and shares his insights on the corrosive nature of contempt, and how we can get out of the habit of expressing it, both in our personal relationships, and more broadly, as a nation.
There's a lot of disagreement on social media, but not a lot of meaningful debate. In this episode, we figure out how to change that by first understanding the nature of disagreement in the online space. Anonymity, silos, outrage - these flourish in our filter bubbles, but why is that? And we talk about how to go from text-based disagreement - which de-humanizes people, to the most powerful way to do meaningful debate - face to face.
4: Tell Me a Story
The smartest person in the room doesn’t always win the debate — the best storyteller does. This episode explores the power of storytelling and how we can use stories to more effectively persuade, inspire, and unify others. We hear from sociologist Kathy Edin, neuroeconomist Paul Zak and Grant Gordon of the International Rescue Committee.
3: Sharing Your Stage
The story of an unexpected moment of "bridging"—two opponents share a stage. What happened when Hawk Newsome, leader of a small group of activists from Black Lives Matter of Greater New York showed up at a pro-Trump gathering. Arthur talks to Newsome about how that played out, and with John Powell, Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, about the challenges of sharing your stage (literally or metaphorically) with your ideological opponent.
2: Family & Friends
How do we navigate substantive disagreements - political or otherwise - with those closest to us? And how do we hold a discourse without sweeping differences under the rug or burning bridges? This episode unpacks ways of dealing with those differences of opinion in personal relationships: a primer for dealing with conflict at the next family gathering, and an inspiring story of two friends whose relationship survived their politics.