November 2012

How Fiction Shapes Us

By guest blogger Joshua Landy   What, if anything, do works of verbal art—poems, plays, novels, films—do for us?  These days, most people will tell you one of two things: some will claim that works of verbal art make us better human beings (usually by teaching us Important Lessons about Life, or by rendering us more empathetic), and others will insist they have no effect on us whatsoever.  I happen to think both of these hypotheses are wrong, and that fictions are capable of extremely important—but morally neutral—effects on our lives.

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Economics: Cult or Science?

Why the suspicions about economics, expressed in our question for the show? Because there is so much basic, public, disagreement among economists -- way more than in most sciences. You’ve got the Chicago School of economics, supply-side economics, Keynsian economics, and on and on. Beyond the basic law of supply and demand, is there really much that they agree on?

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