My guest on this program is Sir Roger Scruton, a writer (who has published over 40 books), conservative philosopher at the University of Buchingham, and a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington D.C. We’ll be talking about his recent book, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left, in which he examines the fact of a preponderance of humanities academics who are on the left, and challenges the arguments they make for their authority. We’ll also be considering some of the themes in Confessions of a Heretic: Selected Essays, which is due out in America on March 28th.
My guest on this program is Professor Emrys Westacott, author most recently of The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More—More or Less. The book examines why, for more than two millennia, so many philosophers and people with a reputation for wisdom have been advocating frugality and simple living as the key to a good life. They have been mostly ignored, but he argues that in a world facing environmental crisis, it may finally be time to listen to the advocates of a simpler way of life.
My guest on this program is Harvard University Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government Nancy Rosenblum. Her most recent book is Good Neighbors: The Democracy of Everyday Life in America, in which she explores how our relationships with our neighbors—meeting on the street, monitoring one another, and even betraying each other—create a democracy of everyday life that is somewhat removed from the moral principles prescribed for public, and more universalized, civil society and democratic life.
My guest on this program is Matthew Crawford, senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. We’ll be talking today about his book, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, which was recently released in paperback, in which he investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind. He argues that our current crisis of attention cannot exclusively be attributed to digital technology, but can be better understood in light of some Western cultural assumptions that are profoundly at odds with human nature.
My guest on this program is Paul Pierson. He is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley, and co-author with Jacob Hacker of American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper.They explore how America’s prosperity has long rested on robust capitalist enterprise, supported, supplemented, and regulated by government. This “mixed economy” channeled the powerful but volatile engine of capitalism into broad-based growth and healthy social development. But the anti-government advocates have undermined this productive and necessary relationship.
My guest on this program is philosopher Susan Neiman author of Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age. Drawing on thinkers such as Kant, Rousseau and Arendt, she shows that genuine adulthood, not permanent youth, is a subversive ideal worth striving for. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard, and was a professor at both Yale and Tel Aviv University. She is currently the director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, which presents innovative, international and multidisciplinary thinkers to the public in conferences, workshops, panel discussion, and presentations.
My guest on this program is Nathaniel Tkacz, author of Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness. Few virtues are as celebrated in contemporary culture as openness. But what does openness mean, and what would a political theory of openness look like? On this program, we will analyze the theory and politics of openness in practice–and break its spell.