Philosophy Podcasts

Conversations about philosophy, science, religion and spirituality

Conversations about philosophy, science, religion and spirituality


United States


Conversations about philosophy, science, religion and spirituality




Ten Keys to Reality (Robert Wright & Frank Wilczek)

What got Frank his Nobel Prize ... Frank's new book, Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality ... Solving the mystery of dark matter ... Can quantum physics make sense? ... Frank: Mind emerges from matter, not the other way around ... Can you love an automaton? ... Complementarity as scientific concept and everyday attitude ... How Frank's Catholic upbringing influenced his scientific thinking ... Is reality an algorithm? ... The limits of human intelligence ...


(What If) Ideas Are Alive (Nikita Petrov & John Horgan)

Nikita Petrov and John Horgan contemplate the nature of ideas and their relationship to individual people and cultures.


Questioning the Practice of Grading in Schools (Robert Gressis & Kevin Currie-Knight)

Rob and Kevin make small talk ... Kevin describes and laments the grade economy ... What's the relationship between grades and learning? ... Bryan Caplan's "The Case Against Education" and how it has traumatized Rob ... Unschooling ... If schools suck so much, how did Rob and Kevin learn? ...


Free Speech and Academic Freedom in 2020 (Daniel Kaufman & David Ottlinger)

A new home for Sophia ... The (latest) defenestration of Kathleen Stock ... How sincere are pro-trans rights public intellectuals? ... Justin Weinberg's essay on the Kathleen Stock incident ... David: "It's the squishy middles that are gonna kill us" ... Dan: deplatforming people on social media is effectively censorship ... The death of public discourse and the rise of Trump ... How consensus crumbles ... David: we should get rid of the harm principle ...


Quantum Mechanics and “Reality” (John Horgan & Adam Becker)

Do you need math to grok quantum mechanics? ... Adam's quibble with Nils Bohr ... Explaining David Bohm’s pilot-wave model ... Defending the many-worlds hypothesis ... Are quantum mechanics and consciousness entangled? ... Will science ever explain the world? ...


The Dharma of Bob 3: Cognitive Biases (Robert Wright & Josh Summers)

Continuing “the Dharma of Bob” ... The evolutionary logic of cognitive biases ... Attribution error, or why your enemies seem so damn evil ... Zero-sum biases in a non-zero-sum world ... Bob fixes social media ... How cognitive biases have shaped perceptions of the Capitol riot ... The psychology of tribalism and the BLM protests ...


Introducing Psychopolitica (John Horgan & Nikita Petrov)

In the first of a series of bi-weekly conversations, Nikita Petrov and John Horgan talk about John’s hockey career, the Covid pandemic, Nikita’s escape from the city and search for a new lifestyle, the 60s, Russian laws about “foreign agents,” amanita muscaria mushrooms, inner emigration, the social responsibility of an artist, and more.


Spooky Action at a Distance (John Horgan & George Musser)

Is spacetime obsolete? ... Quantum spookiness explained! ... Black holes and the big bang are spooky too. ... What preceded space and time? ... Is physics just poetry with math? ... George’s next book: how mind relates to matter ...


The Cultural Contradictions of Conservatism (Daniel Kaufman & Kevin Currie-Knight)

Kevin's book, Education in the Marketplace ... Dan and Kevin's concern for Coleman Hughes' intellectual freedom ... How young is too young for movement conservatism? ... What was the Intellectual Dark Web? ... The IDW's central contradiction ... How Dan got involved with the conservative movement ... ... ... and why he left it ... Dan's advice to Hughes: don't trust the movement ...


Quantum Mechanics and Other Mysteries (John Horgan & Amanda Gefter)

A conversation about nothing inspires a career in science writing. Physicist John Wheeler’s participatory cosmos. A new interpretation of quantum mechanics. Amanda’s second-person solution to the mind-body problem.


Is Philosophy of Religion Still Necessary? (Daniel Kaufman & Megan Fritts)

Megan: philosophy of religion shouldn't focus on "proofs for God" ... Determining rational grounds for supernaturalism ... Why Dan rejects epistemic foundationalism ... Megan's Christian agnosticism, Dan's Jewish atheism ... Wittgenstein's engagement with philosophy of religion ... What kind of authority would it be good for us to submit to? ... Dan has a revelation ... Has philosophy forgotten that it's a humanistic discipline? ...


The Decline of Great Philosophers (Daniel Kaufman & Robert Gressis)

Robert's essay, "The Philosophy Rapture" ... What counts as "relevant" philosophy? ... Philosophy's "dirty insider game" ... Why are great philosophers overrepresented at elite universities? ... Generational decline, intellectual and attitudinal ... Do intellectual celebrity cultures produce shrinking intellectual gene pools? ... Dan: Our present-day celebrity philosophers will destroy the discipline ...


The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook (John Horgan & Michael Brooks)

How Richard Dawkins helped Michael lose his faith. Michael’s infatuation with a 16th-century “quantum astrologer.” Are dreams of a final theory delusional? John’s new stream-of-consciousness memoir “Pay Attention.”


How to Make a Comic Book (Daniel Kaufman & Milton Lawson)

The new issue of Milton's comic book, Thompson Heller: Detective Interstellar ... Christopher Hitchens' influence on Milton's comic ... The anxieties of robot personhood ... The economic determinants of comic book production ... How a new comic writer finds an artist ... The comic book art division of labor ... Thompson Heller's future ...


Justifying Our Beliefs (Daniel Kaufman & Joshua Rasmussen)

Joshua’s views on basic beliefs ... How do we get from experience to justified belief? ... The connection between knowledge and awareness ... Is Dan actually a foundationalist? ... Where the chain of warrant ends ... Joshua’s engagement with the big questions in philosophy ... Running up against the boundaries of inquiry ...


Evolution and Purpose (Robert Wright & Massimo Pigliucci)

Could evolution have a higher purpose? ... The value of (some) untestable hypotheses ... What zombies can (and can’t) teach us about consciousness ... Evolutionary teleology vs. evolutionary teleonomy ... Why does evolution produce increasingly complex forms of life? ... Distinguishing between physical laws and natural processes ... Could the hypothesis that evolution is serving a larger purpose be tested? ...


The Dharma of Bob 2: Nonzero (Robert Wright & Josh Summers)

Continuing the exploration of "the Dharma of Bob" ... Bob: There is no good alternative to global community ... Defining non-zero-sumness ... How genetic "selfishness" led to altruism ... The psychology of tribalism ... Can we bridge the polarization divide? ... Sadly, self-transcendence isn't genetically inheritable ... Does Bob see cause for optimism? ...


Lesser Evils (Daniel Kaufman & Kevin Currie-Knight)

Why Kevin chose not to vote ... The two-party system vs. a multiparty parliamentary system ... Dan accuses Kevin of not confronting what the election was about ... Is Kevin acting like a spoiled brat? ... The logic of straight-ticket voting ... Kevin accuses Dan of having a pessimistic view of democracy ...


Debating Standpoint Theory (Daniel Kaufman & Crispin Sartwell)

The origins of "standpoint theory" ... Are Dan and Crispin white? ... Defining standpoint theory ... Dan: Standpoint theory presents an irrefutable hypothesis ... Crispin: "All knowledge is from some standpoint" ... Dan: There is no single black perspective on race ... Why don't people trust experts? ... Is this argument good for society right now? ...


The Dharma of Bob: The Logos (Robert Wright & Josh Summers)

Philo of Alexandria, seminal Logos theorist ... Bob: Teleology is perfectly compatible with a scientific worldview ... A logic shaping the unfolding of life ... How Jordan Peterson understands the Logos ... Does order flow from consciousness? ... Moral progress and human interdependence ... Teleology without theology ... The Logos and the "simulation hypothesis" ...