February 17, 2017 – Utopia Is Creepy

My guest on this program is Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and the Glass Cage, among other books. Former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, he has written for The Atlantic, the New York Times, and Wired. His most recent book is Utopia is Creepy and Other Provocations, which gathers a decade’s worth of posts from his blog, Rough Type, as well as his seminal essays. It offers an alternative history of the digital age, chronicling its roller-coaster crazes and crashes, its blind triumphs, and its unintended consequences.

As a follow up to this on-air conversation, Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement the day before. Here are links to an NPR story about it, Nicholas Carr’s Rough Type blog post response, and the original text of Zuckerberg’s announcement:

Facebook wants Great Power, But What About Responsibility?
Zuckerberg’s World by Nicholas Carr
Building Global Community by Mark Zuckerberg

February 3, 2017 – Philosophy on the Right

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.

January 6, 2017 – A Paradigm Shift in Education

Larry Geni (pronounced JEE-nee) is a career-long, passionate educator and founder of Geni Consulting, a firm dedicated to transforming classrooms into dynamic communities of self-directed learners. In his more than 25 years as a high school science teacher, he developed a unique approach to education that teaches students to take ownership of the learning process and creates a classroom culture grounded in the personal growth and academic success for every student. His two books on this are available for free on his website.

December 9, 2016 – Job Listing: Philosopher Wanted

My guest on this program is Justin E.H. Smith, university professor of the history and philosophy of science at Université Paris Diderot. He writes frequently for the New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, and other publications, and has authored and edited numerous books. His most recent is The Philosopher: A History in Six Types, in which he brings to life six kinds of figures who have occupied the role of philosopher in a wide range of societies around the world over the millennia—the Natural Philosopher, the Sage, the Gadfly, the Ascetic, the Mandarin, and the Courtier.

October 14, 2016 – The Wisdom of Frugality & Simple Living

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.

September 30, 2016 – Parent and Child Relationships

My guest on this program is Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley. She is an internationally recognized leader in the study of children’s learning and development. She writes the Mind and Matter Column for the Wall Street Journal, and is the author of The Philosophical Baby and a coauthor of The Scientist in the Crib. Her recent book is The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us about the Relationship between Parents and Children, in which she argues that the modern notion of parenting as a kind of avocation or Continue reading

July 22, 2016 – Being a Good Neighbor

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.

July 8, 2016 – Living in the World Beyond Your Head

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.

June 24, 2016 – Ethical Life

My guest on this program is Webb Keane. He is the George Herbert Meade Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He has written several books, and his most recent is Ethical Life: Its Natural and Social Histories, in which he argues that ethics is neither entirely culturally relative nor solely a function of human nature, but arises at the intersection of human biology and social dynamics.

April 29, 2016 – Why Grow Up?

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.