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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

July 18, 2014 – The Island of Knowledge

This program features a conversation with Marcelo Gleiser, the Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College. He is the author of four books, most recently The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning. This book addresses such questions as, “Do all questions Continue reading