My guest on this program is Jordan Peterson, professor at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, and the author most recently of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, published just last week. His YouTube channel, on which he has posted his university and public lectures, has over 665,000 subscribers, and approximately 40M views. In his NY Times column of last week, David Brooks cited economist and author Tyler Cowen as arguing that Dr. Peterson is the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now.
My guest on this program is linguist 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; and Language: The Cultural Tool; and his life and work is also the subject of a documentary film, The Grammar of Happiness. I interviewed him last May for his book, Dark Matter of the Mind: The Culturally Articulated Unconscious, and we have him back for his new book, How Language Began: The Story of Humanity’s Greatest Invention. He argues that we are not born with an instinct for language, and that the near seven thousand languages that exist today—the product of one million years of evolution—are the very basis of our own consciousness.
My guest on this program is David Benatar, professor of philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. His research interests are in moral and social philosophy, and applied ethics. His most recent book is The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions, in which he invites us to take a clear-eyed view of such questions as “Are human lives ultimately meaningless?” “Is our inevitable death bad?” He argues that while our lives can have some meaning, cosmically speaking we are ultimately the insignificant beings we fear we are.
My guest on this program is Eric Patashnik, Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Brown University. He is one of three co-authors of Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine, to be published next Wednesday, October 4th. The authors argue that many common medical treatments in the U.S. are not based on sound science, and shed light on why the government’s response to that troubling situation has been so inadequate, and why efforts to improve the evidence base of U.S. medicine continue to cause so much political controversy and public trepidation.
My guest on this program is renegade economist Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. She is senior visiting research associate and advisory board member at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, and educator in Oxford’s masters program for Environmental Change and Management. In addition, she is senior research associate of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and a member of the Club of Rome, a global think tank focusing on international issues. Her work has appeared in the Continue reading
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.
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.
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).
This program features University of Miami philosopher Mark Rowlands. He is the author of eighteen books, and over a hundred journal articles, chapters and reviews, and his work has been translated into more than twenty languages. His memoir, The Philosopher and the Wolf, became an international bestseller. His most recent book is Memory and the Self: Phenomenology, Science and Autobiography, in which he explores the role of memory in maintaining a sense of personal identity over time.
My guest on this program is Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Black Studies and History at the University of Delaware. She has been the recipient of Ford, Mellon, and Social Science Research Council fellowships, and is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer. She is the author most recently of Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, in which she chronicles the story of Martha Washington’s chief attendant who fled to freedom, and George Washington’s determination to recapture his property by whatever means necessary.