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.

March 4, 2016 – The Way Forward

My guest on this program is social critic Curtis White, and author of the acclaimed The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers, and the bestselling The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don’t Think for Themselves. His most recent book is We, Robots: Staying Human in the Age of Big Data, which takes up the question, “Can technology really solve all of our problems?” to which he answers essentially, “No.” He offers us an insightful and incisive look into what it will take to alter course.

February 19, 2016 – Philosophy in The New York Times

My guests on this program are Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley, editors of The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments. The book is derived from the popular New York Times philosophy series, The Stone, first launched online in 2010. It has attracted millions of readers through its accessible examination of universal topics like the nature of science, consciousness and morality, while also probing more contemporary issues such as the morality of drones, gun control and the gender divide. Peter Catapano has been an editor at The New York Times since 2005. Simon Critchley is a best-selling author and the Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research.

January 22, 2016 – How Do We Establish A Purposeful Life?

My guest on this program is Baylor University Associate Professor of Sociology, Paul Froese, author most recently of On Purpose: How We Create the Meaning of Life. Professor Froese is also the Director of the Baylor Religion Surveys, and co-author of America’s Four Gods: What We Way about God—and What That Says about Us. The current book, On Purpose: How We Create the Meaning of Life, mixes data and analysis with literary and historical examples to show not that life has some ultimate meaning or no meaning at all, but rather that creating a purpose-driven life has always been a collective project.

November 6, 2015 – Faith versus Fact

My guest today is Jerry Coyne, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, where he specializes in evolutionary genetics. New York Times bestselling author, his most recent book is Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible, In which he asserts that religion and science are not complementary, but rather compete with each other to understand the realities of our universe, but that only one area—science—has the means to actually discover the truth.

September 25, 2015 – The Politics of Openness

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.

September 11, 2015 – Ecology, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity

My guest on this program is philosopher and environmental & human rights activist Adam Riggio. In his book, Ecology, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity, he argues that climate change and the ecological destruction it entails requires a complete reorientation of morality, politics, and human identity along ecological lines. Bringing together concepts from environmental activism, moral philosophy, biological and ecological sciences, and Continue reading

August 14, 2015 – Original Sin & the Western World

My guest on this program is historian James Boyce, author of Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World. The book explores how the centuries-old concept of original sin has shaped the Western view of human nature, right up to the present. He explores how many historical figures have contributed to the idea, and he argues that Continue reading

July 31, 2015 – Philosophy in a Divided World

My guest on this program is Carlos Fraenkel, McGill University professor of philosophy and Jewish Studies. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Nation, the London Review of Books, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others. He has traveled and taught philosophy and religion in many different regions, and his most recent book, Teaching Plato in Palestine: Philosophy in a Divided World, explores how useful the tools of philosophy can be–particularly in places fraught with conflict–to clarify important social, political, and religious questions and explores answers to them.