Philosophy Talk: Select Episodes-logo

Philosophy Talk: Select Episodes

Talk Show Replays

"The program that questions everything -- except your intelligence." Philosophy on the radio? You've got to be kidding? Well, sometimes we do (kid, that is). Mostly we look at today's important ideas with an eye to thinking them through. Philosophy Talk is a weekly, one-hour radio series. The hosts' down-to-earth and no-nonsense approach brings the richness of philosophic thought to everyday subjects. Topics are lofty (Truth, Beauty, Justice), arresting (Terrorism, Intelligent Design, Suicide), and engaging (Baseball, Love, Happiness). This is not a lecture or a college course; it's philosophy in action! Philosophy Talk is a fun opportunity to explore issues of importance to your audience in a thoughtful, friendly fashion, where thinking is encouraged.

"The program that questions everything -- except your intelligence." Philosophy on the radio? You've got to be kidding? Well, sometimes we do (kid, that is). Mostly we look at today's important ideas with an eye to thinking them through. Philosophy Talk is a weekly, one-hour radio series. The hosts' down-to-earth and no-nonsense approach brings the richness of philosophic thought to everyday subjects. Topics are lofty (Truth, Beauty, Justice), arresting (Terrorism, Intelligent Design, Suicide), and engaging (Baseball, Love, Happiness). This is not a lecture or a college course; it's philosophy in action! Philosophy Talk is a fun opportunity to explore issues of importance to your audience in a thoughtful, friendly fashion, where thinking is encouraged.

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Description:

"The program that questions everything -- except your intelligence." Philosophy on the radio? You've got to be kidding? Well, sometimes we do (kid, that is). Mostly we look at today's important ideas with an eye to thinking them through. Philosophy Talk is a weekly, one-hour radio series. The hosts' down-to-earth and no-nonsense approach brings the richness of philosophic thought to everyday subjects. Topics are lofty (Truth, Beauty, Justice), arresting (Terrorism, Intelligent Design, Suicide), and engaging (Baseball, Love, Happiness). This is not a lecture or a college course; it's philosophy in action! Philosophy Talk is a fun opportunity to explore issues of importance to your audience in a thoughtful, friendly fashion, where thinking is encouraged.

Language:

English


Episodes

Does Science Over-reach?

7/16/2018
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 evidence for scientism—the view that science is the best and only way to acquire genuine knowledge? Does faith in science require that we disregard...

Duration:00:50:29

Faith and Humility

4/23/2018
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 their religious convictions, attitudes, and actions? Should we encourage religious humility, or would it taint the very concept of faith? Can...

Duration:00:50:03

Are We Alone?

4/20/2018
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 means that the universe is most likely saturated with life forms. And if that’s the case, why haven’t we found any evidence of other...

Duration:00:50:47

Trolling, Bullying, and Flame Wars: Humility and Online Discourse

4/12/2018
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 on an anonymous forum with little oversight and accountability? Does current online behavior portend the end of humility in the public domain? How...

Duration:00:50:43

How To Humbly Disagree

3/4/2018
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 of disagreement lower our confidence in our views? Should we change how we judge our own beliefs when we realize that other people disagree? Or do...

Duration:00:50:58

Can Speech Kill?

12/6/2017
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/can-speech-kill. Free speech is one of the core tenets of our democracy. We’re inclined to think that more speech is always better. Although the Supreme Court has outlined some minor restrictions to our right to free speech, the most courts are willing to admit is that speech can lead to violence—it cannot itself do violence. But is it possible for speech to do both? If hate speech is used against a marginalized group, couldn’t the speech act...

Duration:00:00:59

Midlife and Meaning

12/2/2017
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/midlife-and-meaning. At some point or another, the midlife crisis comes for us all. But what is it really about? Is it a sense of our mortality, the fear of not achieving what we hoped to, or the sinking feeling that we’ve been spending our whole adult lives chasing our tails? And what is the solution: a new car, a new life goal, or the choice to give up goals altogether? Ken and Josh entertain the possibilities with Kieran Setiya from MIT, author...

Duration:00:00:59

When Democracies Torture

11/24/2017
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/when-democracies-torture. Torture is prohibited under international law and is widely considered a human rights violation. But despite the fact that 157 countries ratified the UN Convention Against Torture, it is still practiced in many states to this day. Moreover, while we might associate torture with dictatorships, liberal democracies pioneered the modern techniques that leave no physical trace. So why do democracies torture? Can calling torture by...

Duration:00:00:59

November 19: Diseases of the Mind - Philosophy of Psychiatry

11/17/2017
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/diseases-mind-philosophy-psychiatry. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is the primary reference catalog for mental health illnesses. But whereas a medical textbook will show you the picture of a broken bone or a tumor, leaf through the DSM and you will find just one thing: lists of symptoms. Who creates these lists, and based on what criteria? Do such lists really capture the nature of a mental illness? What does it mean to be a disease of the mind...

Duration:00:00:59

Democracy in Crisis

11/5/2017
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/democracy-crisis. Democratic systems of government are supposed to reflect the interests of ordinary citizens, and not some shadowy political elite. But more and more, we see the influence of big money and special interest groups in so-called democratic politics, while income inequality and voter suppression grow. With millions convinced that politicians don’t speak for them, is there a "crisis of representation" in the US? Are these problems a...

Duration:00:01:00

Could the Laws of Physics Ever Change?

8/7/2017
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/could-laws-physics-change. From airplanes flying overhead to the cellular activity inside us, all events that take place in the world obey the laws of physics. Physicists seem to be getting closer and closer to understanding the physical laws that govern our universe. But what if our physical laws changed? Could that even be possible? How might changing of physical laws affect us? Or is just that what we take to be laws changes over time? Should...

Duration:00:50:52

Cognitive Bias

7/9/2017
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/cognitive-bias. Aristotle thought that rationality was the faculty that distinguished humans from other animals. However, psychological research shows that our judgments are plagued by systematic, irrational, unconscious errors known as ‘cognitive biases.’ In light of this research, can we really be confident in the superiority of human rationality? How much should we trust our own judgments when we are aware of our susceptibility to bias and...

Duration:00:51:44

Knowing What We Know (And What We Don't)

3/7/2017
More at https://philosophytalk.org/shows/knowing-what-we-know. It seems like we know many facts about ourselves and the world around us, even if there vastly many others we know that we don’t know. But how do we know if what we believe to be true is really knowledge? Can our beliefs be both justified and true, yet still not count as genuine knowledge? If so, then how much confidence should we really have in our beliefs? Is there a way to strike a balance between paralyzing skepticism, on the...

Duration:00:51:24

The Space-Time Continuum

2/21/2017
More at https://philosophytalk.org/shows/space-time-continuum. Strange things are said about time: that it's illusory, that it has no direction. But what about space, or the space-time continuum? What exactly is space-time? Are space and time fundamental features of the world? How do Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity change our understanding of space-time? Is there a distinction to be made between space and time, or must the two concepts be united into a single interwoven...

Duration:00:51:10

The Mystery of the Multiverse

9/29/2016
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/mystery-multiverse. At the foundation of modern theoretical physics lie the equations that define our universe, telling us of its beginnings, evolution, and future. Make even minor adjustments to the fundamental laws of the universe, and life as we know it would not exist. How do we explain this extraordinary fact that our universe is so uniquely fine-tuned for life? Could our universe may be just one of infinitely many in a vast multiverse? Does it...

Duration:00:52:09

Matter and Energy: The Dark Side

9/27/2016
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/dark-matter. All the matter we have ever observed accounts for less than 5% of the universe. The rest? Dark energy and dark matter: mysterious entities that we only know about from their interactions with other matter. We infer their existence to satisfy our laws—but are we justified in making conclusions about what we cannot directly measure? How far can we trust our scientific laws? Where do we cross the line from theoretical science to metaphysics,...

Duration:00:50:39

The Big Bang: Before and After

7/26/2016
More at http://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? And...

Duration:00:52:39

Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

3/21/2016
More at http://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 us?...

Duration:00:51:40

The Ancient Cosmos: When the Earth Stood Still

3/4/2016
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/ancient-cosmos. Even in ancient Greek society, philosopher-scientists engaged in heated debate about the origin, composition, and structure of our universe. Tracking our understanding of cosmology from then until now shows monumental shifts in thinking. So what did the Ancients think was the fundamental nature of the cosmos, and what kind of evidence did they use to support their theories? How did Copernicus provoke such a radical shift in cosmology?...

Duration:00:51:16

Living On Through Others

10/27/2015
More at http://philosophytalk.org/shows/living-through-others Imagine that the world will end in thirty days. Would your life have meaning anymore? Would anyone’s? It seems that there would no longer be any point to making technological or medical advances, developing new forms of art, or even taking good care of ourselves. Imagining the doomsday scenario shows that there is something particularly disturbing about the prospect that not only we, but also everyone else, will die. Why is this?...

Duration:00:50:38