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53 minutes | Jan 4, 2012
Nihilism and Meaning
The ancients believed in an enchanted universe – a universe suffused with meaning and purpose. But with the dawn of modernity, philosophy and science conspired together to disenchant the universe, to reveal it as entirely devoid of meaning and purpose. Must any rational and reflective person living in the 21st century accept such nihilism? Or is there a way to re-infuse the disenchanted universe with meaning and purpose? John and Ken welcome Hubert Dreyfus, co-author of All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age, for a thought-provoking discussion of nihilism and meaning. This program was recorded live at the Marsh theatre in San Francisco.
53 minutes | Oct 12, 2011
From the Minds of Babies
Consciousness, morality, meaning and truth have perplexed and puzzled generations upon generations of philosophers. But could it be that we have been looking in all the wrong places to solve these imponderable mysteries? Could the minds of babies hold the key to philosophical progress? John and Ken welcome back renowned developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik, author of The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell us about Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life, for a program recorded in front of a live audience at the Marsh theatre in San Francisco.
53 minutes | Jul 27, 2011
What Are Words Worth?
How do words shape our minds? Do the French suffer because they have no word for berry or cozy? Do we suffer because we have no word for schadenfreude? Why do we adopt new words, or give old words new meaning? Can we eliminate a concept by renaming it, or eliminating the word for it? Ken and John welcome back Geoff Nunberg, author of The Years of Talking Dangerously, for a program recorded in front of a live audience at the Marsh theatre in San Francisco.
53 minutes | Jul 13, 2011
Atheism and the Well-Lived Life
Atheists don't believe in God – does that mean they don't find life meaningful? Are atheists doomed to be grouchy nihilists, finding meaning only in criticizing theists? Or does a world without God offer its own meanings and values to structure a well-lived life? John and Ken search for a meaningful atheism with Louise Antony from UMass Amherst, editor of Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life. This program was recorded in front of a live audience at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
0 minutes | Jun 22, 2011
Rae Langton, Professor of Philosophy, MIT Is pornography an art form, or simply anything that depicts genitals in action? Where does mere eroticism end and pornography begin? In the internet age, pornography appears to have become not only more accessible but also more acceptable in American society – is this a welcome loosening up of a conservative tradition, or is it the path to moral degradation? John and Ken probe the philosophical implications of pornography with Rae Langton, author of Sexual Solipsism: Philosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification.
0 minutes | Jun 6, 2011
Gay Pride and Prejudice
Gilbert Herdt, Professor of Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University The question of gay rights has become a hot button issue, with opposition taking on the air of a moral panic and support taking on the air of a righteous crusade. John and Ken attempt to dispassionately examine the competing scientific, religious, and philosophical visions of the nature of gayness. They explore the consequences of those competing arguments for and against gay rights with cultural and psychological anthropologist Gilbert Herdt, author of Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight over Sexual Rights. This program was recorded in front a live audience at the Marsh Theater in Berkeley, California.
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