Podcast by Philosophy Talk Starters
467: Can Reason Save Us?
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/can-reason-save-us.
To an optimist, things are constantly getting better: disease and extreme poverty are down; life expectancy, literacy, and equality are up; and it’s all thanks to the glory of human reason. But a pessimist would point to the continuing presence of injustice, oppression, and war, and the dangers of global warming and nuclear annihilation. So who's right? Are we really living in an age of progress? And can reason really save us? Josh and Ken try to reason with renowned cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, author of "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress."
525: Nonduality and the Oneness of Being
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/nonduality-and-oneness-being.
Some branches of Hindu philosophy propose that reality is nondual in nature. Such schools of thought—called advaita schools, from a Sanskrit word meaning “not two”—see the material world either as an aspect of ultimate reality (“Brahman”) or as a mere illusion. So how do we make sense of the appearance of variety in a metaphysics of oneness? Is there room for individual selves within advaita philosophy? What can be known? And what possible sources of knowledge are there in a nondual epistemology? Josh and Ray become one with Elisa Freschi from the University of Toronto, author of "Duty, Language, and Exegesis in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā."
465: The Psychology of Cruelty
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/psychology-cruelty.
Throughout history, people have committed all kinds of cruel, degrading, and evil acts toward other people. Many believe that for evil acts like genocide to be even possible, the victims must first be dehumanized by the perpetrators, starting with dehumanizing language or propaganda. But is this lack of empathy always at the heart of human cruelty? When we call others “vermin,” “roaches,” or “animals” are we thereby denying their humanity? Or can human cruelty and violence sometimes rely on actually recognizing the other’s humanity? Josh and guest host Alison Gopnik welcome back Paul Bloom from Yale University, author of "Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion."
524: The Lives and Ideas of the Vienna Circle
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/vienna-circle.
The Vienna Circle was a group of early twentieth-century philosophers, mathematicians, logicians, and scientists, best known for developing the theory of scientific knowledge called logical positivism. Although positivism as a project has been largely abandoned, the group's ideas continue to have profound influence on contemporary philosophy of science. So what philosophical theories were proposed by the Vienna Circle? How might the socio-political circumstances of their time have shaped their radical ideas? And how did their ideas aim to shape politics? Josh and Ray ask David Edmonds from the University of Oxford, author of "The Murder of Professor Schlick: The Rise and Fall of the Vienna Circle."
464: The Athlete as Philosopher
More as https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/athlete-philosopher.
For the ancient Greeks, sport was an integral part of education. Athletic programs remain in schools today, but there is a growing gap between the modern sports experience and enduring educational values such as self-discovery, responsibility, respect, and citizenship. Is there a way to bridge this gap? Can sports be a means to teach values such as these? Josh and Ken try out with Heather Reid from Morningside College, author of "The Philosophical Athlete."
523: Disinformation and the Future of Democracy
More at https://www.philosophytalk.org/shows/disinformation-and-future-democracy.
The 2020 election and startling events that followed show that the US is as polarized as ever. Not only is there fundamental disagreement over values and goals, but people can’t seem to agree on the most basic, easily verifiable facts, like who actually won. With so many seemingly living in an alternative reality, how do we continue the business of democracy together? Should we adopt paternalistic policies towards fellow citizens who are so profoundly divorced from truth? And does our current plight suggest that the project of liberal democracy is failing? Ray and guest co-host (emeritus) John Perry stay informed about their guest, attorney and political analyst Dean Johnson, co-host of KALW's Your Legal Rights.
Here is the reason you must pay $
I, too, was irked by these teaser shorts. I was even more irked to learn one must subscribe and pay $ to hear full podcasts and access archives. However, I emailed the show and received an explanation: Stanford U doesn’t pay a cent to support this show. Further, there is a restriction on advertising because the show is recorded on the campus. Thus, their only choice was to make it available by subscription. The cost is reasonable in the Scheme of All Things, about $6 to $8 monthly depending on the length you choose. I have blown a lot more on worse things.
Couple Minutes Not Worth It
It hurts me to rate this so poorly. I get that you have to make money and are restricted on advertising. But, c’mon! Find a way to get it done so you can put a full episode up and not just a few minutes. Is the restriction because you record on campus? Then record off campus. Or whatever works. This method of putting up a couple minutes and then wanting us to search elsewhere for a paid download is awful. It adds so much friction to the process that it grinds to a halt. It could be a really interesting podcast, but I’m afraid I’m so discouraged with this process that I’m just deleting it from my playlist. Again, it’s painful because I think the content can be excellent. But I have about ten minutes a week to download a few hours of podcasts, and there’s just too much quality stuff out there that requires a single click and is frictionless.
why no full episodes?
Phil Talk is superb -- but why can't full episodes be downloaded. The short segments are teases.