July 21, 2017 – Moral Failure & Moral Dilemmas

My guest on this program is Lisa Tessman, professor of philosophy at Binghampton University. She teaches and does research in ethics, moral psychology, feminist philosophy, and related areas. Her work focuses on understanding how real human beings construct morality and experience moral demands, especially under difficult conditions. She is the author of Moral Failure: On the Impossible Demands of Morality, and most recently When Doing the Right Thing is Impossible, in which she provides examples, both real and fictional, of situations that will make us wonder whether we can be required to do the impossible, and how and why human beings have constructed moral requirements to be binding even when they are impossible to fulfill.

May 26, 2017 – Learning to Learn

My guest on this program is best-selling author Ulrich Boser, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Before the Center, he was a contributing editor for U.S. News & World Report. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. His recent book is Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything, in which he shows that how we learn can matter just as much as what we learn.

May 12, 2017 – Mind & Human Nature

My guest on this program is Daniel Everett, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He is the author of many books, including Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes; Language: The Cultural Tool; and Linguistic Fieldwork: A Student Guide. His life and work is also the subject of a documentary film, The Grammar of Happiness. His most recent book is Dark Matter of the Mind: The Culturally Articulated Unconscious, in which he argues that human nature as normally conceived does not exist. Flying in the face of major trends in evolutionary psychology and related fields, he offers a provocative and compelling argument that the only thing humans are hardwired for is freedom: freedom from evolutionary instinct and freedom to adapt to a variety of environmental and cultural contexts.

Dan’s next book:
How Language Began: The Story of Humanity’s Greatest Invention (To be released November 7, 2017)

Dan Everett’s definition of culture:
“Culture is the abstract network shaping and connecting social roles, hierarchically structured knowledge domains, and ranked values. Culture is dynamic, shifting, reinterpreted moment by moment. Culture is found only in the bodies (the brain is part of the body) and behaviors of its members. Culture permeates the individual, the community, behaviors, and thinking” (66).

March 31, 2017 – Anger and Forgiveness

My guest on this program is Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School and the Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago. She is the author of many books, and was recently named the 2017 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities, the highest honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. Her most recent book is Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice, in which she analyzes the roots of both anger, finding it conceptually confused and normatively pernicious, and forgiveness, as potentially the best way to respond to injury, shedding new light on both.

March 17, 2017 – Universal Basic Income

My guest on this program is Andy Stern former head of the nation’s most influential and fastest-growing union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and author of Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American DreamHe argues that a basic income can create a floor high enough to end poverty, and respond to how technological disruption is replacing more and more jobs in this unprecedented economic climate.

 

Andy recommended during the show that for more information go here:
Economic Security Project

March 3, 2017 – The War on Science

My guest on this program is Shawn Otto, author of The War On Science: Who’s Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It. He investigates the historical, social, philosophical, political, and emotional reasons why the evidence-based politics that gave birth to democracy are now in decline and authoritarian politics are once again on the rise on both left and right—and he provides some compelling solutions to bring us to our collective senses, before it’s too late.

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

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.