May 2018

Is Kanye a Philosopher?

Kanye West, best known for his music career, is now expanding into philosophy, as revealed in an interview with his interior designer. But the 'book' Kanye has in mind will find its medium not in printed pages, but in real-time tweets.

Read more

The Twilight Zone and the Human Condition

The Twilight Zone aired its last episode in 1964. The show's most prevalent themes distill to the following: "'you are not what you took yourself to be,' 'you are not where you thought you were,' and 'beneath the façade of mundane American society lurks a cavalcade of monsters, clones, and robots.'”

Read more

What is it Like to Lose Your Identity?

Hannah Upp has dissociative fugue, an extremely rare form of amnesia, in which people lose access to their autobiographical memory and personal identity. If we associate autobiographical memory with personhood, is the Hannah Upp during an episode of fugue a different person from the Hanna Upp who is conscious of herself?

Read more

Against Marriage

It might seem baffling that the state gets involved in our love life. Why does the government need to keep track of who's married to whom? Will they next start tracking who our friends are?

Read more

The Morality of Big Business

"Big business" for many has largely immoral associations: corrupt, profit-driven at the expense of human wellbeing or the environment, threatening to mom-and-pop shops everywhere. But this wasn't always the case—big businesses used to be viewed positively by the public.

Read more

On Deepities and Bullshit

The so-called Law of Attraction, one of the cornerstones of New Age positive thinking, is a textbook case of what Dan Dennett calls a "deepity"—an ambiguous claim that on one reading is either true but trivial, on another is false but would be earth-shattering if true.

Read more

Consciousness Deniers?

The idea that consciousness is an illusion may be a familiar one. Thinkers like Daniel Dennett, Brian Farrell, and Richard Rorty espouse this basic notion. But is it, as philosopher Galen Strawson calls it, "the silliest claim ever made"?

Read more

Is there a Right to Sex?

Most of us would think that straight men who demand the right to sex are motivated by a patriarchal sense of entitlement. As a reaction against this claim, we may naturally argue that nobody is entitled to sex. But this reaction can buttress sexual preferences that are extremely problematic.

Read more

Faith and Humility

For better or for worse, believers and non-believers are unlikely to fully agree about the relationship between faith and humility. Indeed, some non-believers may insist that there is an inherent conflict between the two.

Read more

Happy 200th, Karl Marx!

It's Karl Marx' 200th Birthday! It is hard to deny that Marx left a lasting, far-reaching impact on the course of history. But how exactly can we distill the core insights of Marx's teachings?

Read more

May the Fourth Be With You

In honor of 5/4, Star Wars Day, we're taking a deeper look at the paradox of Force in Star Wars. Eduardo Perez, an Assistant Professor of English, examines the paradox of the Force in George Lucas' Star Wars universe.

Read more

Dark Knowledge: A User’s Guide

The Intellectual Dark Web has developed into an academic counterculture, with an enormous and rapidly growing fan base. While it’s wonderful that there are sites where taken-for-granted orthodoxies can be challenged in accessible ways, I have grave concerns about the way that this movement is unfolding.

Read more

Are We Alone?

Are we alone in the universe? Or is the cosmos teeming with life? And what difference would it make if we found the answer? Those are just some of the questions we address in this week's show.

Read more