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You've Got It All Wrong

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A weekly show about philosophy, science and the history of ideas from the Allen Brothers and Mark Sanders (best known to listeners as “America’s Sweetheart”). If you can imagine what would happen if Plato and Carl Sagan were guests on The Daily Show, then you have a pretty good idea of what’s going on here. Each week the trio provides an overview of a philosophical topic, a history of the problem and insights into contemporary thinking. They also take a behind-the-scenes look at the philosophers who came up with these ideas: usually they are kind of nuts (the guy who pioneered Utilitarian ethics had his body mummified and put on display at his college). If you wish your Philosophy 101 course had been more informative, less boring and taught by a professor who drank during class, then this podcast is for you.




Ep 22: Paradoxes Part II - Buford, Beethoven and Brothers

All handsome people enjoy a good paradox, so we decided to open up our paradox box again and pick out a few new ones for this episode. A lot of paradoxes have to do with the way language works, and how it fails us when we try to describe certain aspects of our experience. Often a series of statements seems to make sense when we analyze them in a vacuum, only to find that they don’t square with our everyday experience of the world around us. This is true in the Unexpected Hanging Paradox,...

Duration: 00:54:38

Ep 21: Halloween Spooktacular—From Aardvark to Zombies!

Are zombies real? Could we all be zombies? On this special Halloween episode, we raise topics from the dead—specifically we’re reanimating our discussion of philosophical zombies from Episode 2. This time we take a closer look at qualia, a technical term for the experiences that are unique to us as individuals, such as “what it’s like for Mark to be scared by Gremlins.” Can qualia be explained in physical terms? Do they even exist? We dig up the work of philosophers such as Daniel Dennett,...

Duration: 00:43:43

Ep 20: Listener Mail - Sam Harris and the Ethics of Jabba's Droid Dungeon

In this episode we sort through some listener mail and attempt to answer your most pressing questions. A number of fans wanted to know why we didn’t mention Sam Harris’s book, “The Moral Landscape,” in our episode about moral realism. In order to answer that question, we had to watch his TED talk and then wing it. We also revisit some questions about the ethics of robot torture, and take a closer look at what’s happening in Jabba the Hutt’s droid dungeon. And last but not least, we wrestle...

Duration: 00:43:38

Ep. 19 - Ontological Argument for the Existence of God: The Everything Bagel

In this episode we jump around in time. From a conversation last year at a bagel shop, to Paco’s college years and all the way back to the middle ages. What do an everything bagel and the ontological argument for the existence of God have to do with each other? We discuss Saint Anselm’s extremely analytical argument for God and how his contemporary, Gaunilo of Marmoutiers, challenged it directly with an equally objective critique. We follow this argument all the way up modern day with the...

Duration: 00:53:35

Ep 18: Moral Realism - Vampire Socrates

Are moral statements objectively true? When we say “stealing for fun is wrong,” are we making a factual claim about the world, or are we just voicing an opinion? Many philosophers, known as moral realists, have attempted to show that “stealing for fun is wrong” is true in exactly the same way that “two plus two equals four” is true. In this episode we examine two different types of moral realism, and take a look at the arguments for and against. Along the way try to figure out why so many...

Duration: 00:45:24

Ep 17: Rationalism vs. Empiricism - Kevin Spacey Eyes

Do we learn everything we know from the world around us, or are there some things we learn independently of our sensory experiences? Rationalists argue that some of our knowledge, like concepts in algebra and trigonometry, is innate or intuitive. We know that two plus two equals four independently of our specific observations of the world around us. Empiricists argue that all knowledge comes from experience, and that even basic principles of mathematics would be unknowable to us if it...

Duration: 00:56:11

Ep. 16: Descriptivist Theory of Names - The Howie Mandel Effect

This is our second show about how proper names work (check out episode 10 for part one). It’s an important topic because much of philosophy is built around the concept of assigning truth values to sentences such as “Socrates is mortal.” And we can’t know if that sentence is true or false unless we know what “Socrates” means. In this episode we look at how Bertrand Russell developed his Descriptivist theory of names, and how that theory came to dominate the philosophy of language for much...

Duration: 00:48:46

Ep 15: Possible Worlds - Better call Saul Kripke

You might say it’s possible that Tom Selleck could have played Indiana Jones. But what does that actually mean? Can you prove that this statement is true or false in the some way? In today’s episode we look at how truth functional statements can be evaluated in the context of more than just our world. We look at the role of Possible Worlds and Modal Logic through the work of Saul Kripke, Ruth Barcan Marcus and David Lewis with a little help from the creative vision of Steven Spielberg and...

Duration: 00:48:10