Recent Shows

  • Week of: 
    June 19, 2016
    What is it: 

    Many of us generally admire people who donate large sums of money to charity. Yet people donate for all sorts of reasons – some selfless, some not so much. Should we consider philanthropy as mere ego expression for the wealthy, or is it genuinely altruistic behavior? If philanthropists are so concerned with having an impact on society, how should we think about "measuring" this impact? Are there better ways than philanthropy to achieve positive social change? John and Ken donate their time to Bruce Sievers from the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University.

    Bruce Sievers, Visiitng Scholar, Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University

  • Week of: 
    June 12, 2016
    What is it: 

    "Blessed are the sleepy ones," writes Nietzsche, "for they shall soon drop off." Sleep is an extraordinarily, albeit profoundly odd, phenomenon, yet we seem to accept prolonged nightly blackouts without question. Still, sleep has played a major role in philosophical thought, with the likes of Aristotle, Locke, and Leibniz putting forth theories about just what exactly sleep and dreams are. So what is the purpose of sleeping and dreaming? How can we distinguish wakefulness from sleep, as Descartes wondered? Do we experience dreams consciously? And do we sleep to live, or live to sleep? Ken and guest co-host Jorah Danenberg stay up with Deirdre Barrett from the Harvard Medical School, co-author of The Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreams.

    Deirdre Barrett, Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

  • Week of: 
    June 5, 2016
    First Aired: 
    August 18, 2013
    What is it: 

    We know what it means for a painting to be beautiful. But what about a life? Like great works of art, great people exhibit style, originality, and creativity. Maybe, then, to live well is just to practice an ART of living. But what do the values that are important to a good life – happiness, moral goodness, or friendship, for example – have to do with aesthetic beauty? Aren’t the qualities that make a work of art good different from the qualities that make a life good? Is there really such thing as a "beautiful" life? John and Ken paint their masterpiece with Lanier Anderson from Stanford University, recorded live on campus as part of the Stanford Continuing Studies series The Art of Living.

    R. Lanier Anderson, Professor of Philosophy, Stanford University

John Perry and Ken Taylor

Continue the Conversation

Sidebar Menu

More Past Shows

Support Philosophy Talk

DONATE TODAY

Philosophy Talk relies on the support of listeners like you to stay on the air and online. Any contribution, large or small, helps us produce intelligent, reflective radio that questions everything, including our most deeply-held beliefs about science, morality, culture, and the human condition. Make your tax-deductible contribution now through Stanford University's secure online donation page. Thank you for your support, and thank you for thinking!