Podcast by Philosophy Talk Starters
514: The Arts For All?
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/arts-all.
When we think of “real” art, we often think of expensive, highbrow pieces that are displayed in museums and galleries, and critiqued by the elite. In fact, people commonly lament that they don’t know enough about art to truly understand or appreciate the works that they encounter. So should art aim to be accessible to everyone? Or is it ever okay to sacrifice accessibility for other competing aims that art can pursue? Do artists have a duty to make their work more available or accessible in other ways? Josh and Ray paint their masterpiece with Catharine Abell from the University of Oxford, author of "Fiction: A Philosophical Analysis."
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/spinoza.
Baruch Spinoza was a 17th century Dutch philosopher who laid the foundations for the Enlightenment. He made the controversial claim that there is only one substance in the universe, which led him to the pantheistic belief in an abstract, impersonal God. What effect did Spinoza have on Enlightenment thinkers? What are the philosophical – and religious – consequences of believing that there is only one substance in the universe? And why do scientists today still take him seriously? John and Ken welcome back Rebecca Goldstein, author of "Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity."
513: Are We All to Blame?
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/are-we-all-blame.
It’s easy to identify the pressing issues facing our world today, but it’s much more difficult to assign responsibility for them. Often the blame is placed on collectives — on entire governments, nations, and societies. But does the responsibility truly all fall to them? How can we identify precisely whose fault it is, for example, that we are experiencing climate change, or that hate crimes occur, or that there is a gender wage gap? Or do we as individuals hold a certain amount of responsibility for such pervasive, systemic issues? Josh and Ray avoiding pointing fingers with Maron Smiley from Brandeis University, author of "Moral Responsibility and the Boundaries of Community."
454: Monstrous Technologies?
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/monstrous-technologies.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein raises powerful questions about the responsibilities of scientists to consider the impact of their inventions on the world. Are these questions as relevant now as they were 200 years ago? What insights, if any, should today’s technologists and disrupters glean from Shelley's story? What does it mean to take responsibility for one’s scientific or technological innovations? And what role should university educators play in ensuring that no new monsters are unleashed onto the world? The hosts have a monstrously fun conversation with Persis Drell, Provost and former Dean of Engineering from Stanford University.
512: What's in a Game?
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/whats-game.
Games have been an integral part of human society since the earliest civilizations. They are played around the world by people at every rank and station, at every stage of life, from childhood to old age. Why do we love games so much? Are they just a pleasant way of whiling away some empty hours or escaping the daily grind? Or do we play games to form social bonds and build important life skills? Are there some games we should never play? And what exactly makes something a “game” in the first place? Josh and Ray team up with Thi Nguyen from the University of Utah, author of "Games: Agency as Art."
511: Why We Hate
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/why-we-hate.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of hate groups operating in the U.S. has risen to a record high. There has also been a corresponding increase in hate crime violence. So where does all this hate come from? Do we hate others because we feel a deeper sense of alienation or fear towards them? Is hating always the wrong response, or is there an appropriate kind of hate? Can we love and hate at the same time? And what's the difference between hate and other reactive attitudes like anger, disgust, and contempt? Josh and Ray shake off the haters with Berit Brogaard from the University of Miami, author of "Hatred: Understanding Our Most Dangerous Emotion."