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.

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.

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.

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.

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 17, 2015 – The Ethics of Attachment, Virtue, & Respect

The guest on this program is Philip Pettit, L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University, where he teaches courses in political theory and philosophy. He holds a number of honorary doctorates and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has authored numerous books, most recently The Robust Demands of the Good: Ethics with Attachment, Virtue, and Respect. We will be Continue reading

June 19, 2015 – The Search for Justice in Science

My guest, Alice Dreger, is a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and the author of numerous books. Her work has been discussed in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Science, and on CNN, and her op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. We’ll be talking on this program about her Continue reading

August 29, 2014 – Pride, Vanity, Arrogance and Other Preoccupations

This program features an interview with philosopher Simon Blackburn, author most recently of Mirror, Mirror: The Uses and Abuses of Self-Love. The book is a philosophical commentary on our modern culture, and presents a biting critique of narcissism and other vices of the overinflated self. He taught philosophy for many years at the University of Continue reading

March 15, 2013 – Privacy

Body scans at the airport, candid pictures on Facebook, and a surveillance camera on every street corner: What happens to our privacy when we cannot escape public scrutiny? In the face of such a threat, how do we sustain a society with “liberty and justice for all”? My guest Garret Keizer is the author of seven books, most recently Privacy. He is also a Continue reading