Philosophy Talk-logo

Philosophy Talk

Philosophy Podcasts >

Podcast by Philosophy Talk

Podcast by Philosophy Talk
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

Podcast by Philosophy Talk

Language:

English


Episodes

414: This Is Your Brain on Art

5/20/2019
More
More at philosophytalk.org/shows/your-brain-art. Humans actively seek to create and consume art, and the philosophical branch of aesthetics has long investigated its fundamental questions: What is beauty? What is art? What is good taste? Now researchers are applying the tools of neuroscience in an attempt to find answers to these questions. But can the scientific method truly be applied to the study of art? Can brain scans help address the questions of aesthetics, or is the matter simply too...

Duration:00:11:43

413: The Big Bang – Before and After

5/13/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/big-bang-before-and-after. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing theory about the “birth” of the universe. It posits a singularity, or super high density state from which the entire universe expanded and continues to expand. But what exactly is the Big Bang, and what’s the evidence that it took place? How do we account for the “Big Bang state”? Was there something before the Big Bang? What does the theory posit about the future of the universe?...

Duration:00:10:40

480: What Is Religious Belief?

5/6/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/what-religious-belief. Many people profess to believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing, benevolent God. Yet psychological data shows that people often think and reason about God in ways contrary to their professed religious beliefs. So, are these so-called religious beliefs genuinely held? Or are “believers” just playing an elaborate game of pretense? Is there a difference between ordinary factual belief and religious belief? And what role do...

Duration:00:11:03

479: Is Philanthropy Bad for Democracy?

4/29/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/philanthropy-bad-democracy. In a liberal democracy, individuals should have the freedom to give money to charities of their choice. But there’s a difference between charitable giving from ordinary individuals and philanthropic giving from extremely wealthy individuals. Whose interests are served when the wealthy give? Should the state continue to encourage big philanthropy with massive tax breaks for the rich? Or should it focus more on taxing...

Duration:00:11:56

478: Authority and Resistance

4/22/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/authority-and-resistance. Authority can refer to people or institutions that have the political power to make decisions, give orders, and enforce rules. It can also refer to a certain kind of expertise or knowledge that we might defer to. Sometimes we respect authority, and sometimes we resist it or even revolt against it. But where exactly does authority come from, and when, if ever, ought we defer to it? How do we challenge authority? What makes...

Duration:00:10:40

477: Hacking the Brain – Beyond the Five Senses

4/15/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/hacking-brain. Humans evolved to have a variety of senses—smell, sight, touch, etc.—that provide information about the world around us. Our brains use this sensory information to construct a particular picture of reality. But what if it were technologically possible to hack our brains and create new senses for humans, such as echolocation or magnetoception? How would our brains integrate this new kind of information? What would it be like to...

Duration:00:10:18

412: More Than Pun and Games

4/8/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/more-pun-and-games. Puns have been called both the highest and lowest form of humor. There is something about them that is at once painful and pleasurable, capable of causing either a cringe or a chuckle. But what exactly is it about word play that we find humorous? Is there something in particular about puns that makes them especially cringe-worthy? How does the humor of a pun compare to other types of jokes? We may know why the chicken crossed...

Duration:00:11:05

409: Radical Democracy

4/1/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/radical-democracy. Liberal democracy has its problems, including the fact that in trying to build consensus, it often ends up oppressing minorities or those who dissent. Radical democracy, on the other hand, tries to build consensus around difference, and challenge oppressive power relationships. But what are the risks of radical democracy? Is it really possible to have a democratic nation state without social conformity? How do we ensure both...

Duration:00:11:12

411: The Mystery of Music

3/25/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/mystery-music-0.

Duration:00:11:08

407: Philosophy of Sleep

3/18/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/philosophy-sleep. "Blessed are the sleepy ones," writes Nietzsche, "for they shall soon drop off." Sleep is an extraordinarily, albeit profoundly odd, phenomenon, yet we seem to accept prolonged nightly blackouts without question. Still, sleep has played a major role in philosophical thought, with the likes of Aristotle, Locke, and Leibniz putting forth theories about just what exactly sleep and dreams are. So what is the purpose of sleeping and...

Duration:00:10:08

476: Immigration and Multiculturalism

3/11/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/immigration-and-multiculturalism. Whether for economic reasons or to flee violence and persecution, immigration rates continue to climb globally. At the same time, opposition to immigration and intolerance of multiculturalism is also growing. Should cultural or ethnic identity ever be a factor in immigration policy? Do immigrants have an obligation to assimilate to the dominant culture? Or should we make cultural accommodations for immigrants who...

Duration:00:11:22

406: Altered States

3/4/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/altered-states. Aldous Huxley explains his conception of the brain as a "reducing valve" of consciousness in his provocative book, The Doors of Perception. His famous experiment with the psychedelic substance mescaline was an attempt to open this valve and expand his capacity for knowledge. However, many drugs and psychedelics today are seen as simply tools for pleasure or the source of bad habits. Do drugs possess the capability to expand our...

Duration:00:10:46

408: The Philanthropy Trap

2/25/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/philanthropy-trap. Many of us generally admire people who donate large sums of money to charity. Yet people donate for all sorts of reasons – some selfless, some not so much. Should we consider philanthropy as mere ego expression for the wealthy, or is it genuinely altruistic behavior? If philanthropists are so concerned with having an impact on society, how should we think about "measuring" this impact? Are there better ways than philanthropy to...

Duration:00:10:24

475: The 2019 Dionysus Awards

2/18/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/2019-dionysus-awards. What movies of the past year challenged our assumptions and made us think about things in new ways? Josh and Ken talk to philosophers, film critics, and listeners as they present their sixth (mostly) annual Dionysus Awards for the most thoughtful films of the past year, including: • Least Superficial Superhero Movie • Best Thought Experiment in the Possibility of Racial Justice • Most Profound Existentialist Cowboy Movie

Duration:00:07:24

474: What Do We Owe Future Generations?

2/11/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/what-do-we-owe-future-generations. We talk about owing future generations a better world. We might also think that we should do things for future generations even if our actions might not benefit present-day people. But is it possible to have obligations to people who are not yet born? Can people who do not exist be said to have rights that we should respect? And if they do, what do we do if our rights and theirs conflict? Josh and Ken are obliged...

Duration:00:11:58

410: Identity Politics

2/4/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/identity-politics-0. The notion of identity has become so hugely important in contemporary political discourse that no conversation on social issues would be complete without it. Identity politics typically focuses on how to empower individuals from marginalized groups so that they can achieve greater equality and representation. But why should anyone mobilize behind a banner of identity rather than ideology? Why is it important have a diversity...

Duration:00:12:04

473: Envy – Vice or Virtue?

1/28/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/envy-vice-or-virtue. Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness, and it's well known as one of the seven deadly sins. But is envy always a bad thing? Is it simply a petty emotion we should try to avoid, or could envy help us understand ourselves more? Is envy rooted in unhealthy comparison with others, or does it come from our own vision of excellence? Could envy even be used to improve ourselves? Josh and Ken...

Duration:00:10:59

405: Affirmative Action – Too Little or Too Much?

1/20/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/affirmative-action-too-little-or-too-much. Addressing our nation’s history of racial injustice can be a truly backbreaking endeavor. Race-based affirmative action is usually thought of as one such effort, and colleges and universities often use it in their admissions process. However, affirmative action does seem to lower standards for certain under-represented minorities like Blacks and Hispanics. Should we think of affirmative action as...

Duration:00:10:38

404: One Child Too Many

1/14/2019
More
More at www.philosophytalk.org/shows/one-child-too-many. The United Nations predicts human population growth will surpass 9 billion around 2050. We know the consequences of overpopulation have the potential to be catastrophic in terms of our continued existence on the planet, with negative environmental effects already visible. Limiting the number of children we have seems like one obvious way to tackle the problem. But is there a moral imperative to limit reproduction? Is having multiple...

Duration:00:11:05

403: Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

1/7/2019
More
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/why-something. The old metaphysical question – why anything exists at all – has perplexed and intrigued humankind for ages. It has long been a question reserved for philosophers, but now some physicists claim to have answered it. Yet these attempts have raised questions of their own: is this even a meaningful question in the first place? Can it be answered by science alone, or is philosophy necessary? And what will answering the question mean for...

Duration:00:10:54