Philosophy Talk Live at The Marsh SF this Sunday
Devon Strolovitch

13 October 2010

This Sunday we kick off another series of live recordings at the Marsh theater with two new shows in San Francisco:

  • 12 pm: The Moral Costs of Free Markets.  We live in a market-driven society—our day-to-day lives consist of buying and selling goods and services, and to some, our ability to do so without government regulation is the underpinning of democratic freedom itself.  Everything has a price, and pretty much everything is for sale, from concert tickets to political influence. But should it be this way?  John and Ken to discuss the moral limits of the free market with Stanford philosopher Debra Satz, author of Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets.
  • 3pm: Abortion.  Nothing stirs up controversy like abortion. To some, it carries the steep moral cost of destroying human life, and to others, it represents an inviolable bastion of women’s rights over their own bodies. Despite the polarizing nature of the debate, it covers broad philosophical ground, and touches on religious, political, social and moral considerations.  John and Ken unravel the complicated issues surrounding abortion and see what can be gained by a rational philosophical approach to the discussion with UC Berkeley Journalism professor Cynthia Gorney, author of Articles of Faith: A History of the Abortion Wars.

Tickets for these shows can be pruchased through Brown Paper Tickets or by calling the Marsh box office at 1-800-838-3006.

This year, we're also offering advance-ticket and multiple-show discounts.

Speaking as one of the men behind the Philosophy Talk curtain (official title: Production Coordinator), I can say that putting the program on for a live Bay Area audience is both a ton of work and incredibly rewarding. There are a lot of individual elements to line up for everything to run smoothly and coherently: tables, microphones, music, visuals, etc. Not to mention making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time with the right material. And once the tape is rolling (so to speak), I tend to focus on what'll need to happen production-wise to get the program ready for broadcast.

But what unique radio it is! And as we start our second full season of Marsh tapings, I can only hope that if you haven't yet made it out for a live event you'll make the trek to the Mission district. And if you have been to one before, we hope you'll be enticed by this year's lineup. Philosophy Talk is nothing without its audience (Ken refers to the callers on the radio broadcast as a "second guest"), so this Sunday come down and question everything -- except your desire for thought-provoking, audience-engaging radio.

Comments (6)

Guest's picture


Friday, October 15, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

Sounds like a lively and engaging program, ladies

Sounds like a lively and engaging program, ladies and gentlemen. Suggestion for your editorial interest: you may wish to check your spell checker(s). Just what is a boradcast anyway? I know, it is only a typo---but we who endeavor to communicate through the written word know how fussy people can be.
Yes, everything is for sale it seems and no, I for one do not think everything ought to be. I am tired of having the best government money can buy. Just one opinion though. Question about your upcoming (tonight) broadcast: can I tune in here in Ohio, via ordinary radio? If not, best of wishes with the abortion issues. That dialogue could generate some pretty firey rhetoric. YT, PDV.

Guest's picture


Saturday, October 16, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

I attended the Philosophy Talk today with the topi

I attended the Philosophy Talk today with the topic of abortion. At the end of the program, John Perry used the phrase morning-after abortion. I think this needs to be corrected or clarified. A morning-after pill is not an abortion. The hormone in the morning-after pill works by keeping a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs ? ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormone in the morning-after pill also prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman's cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg. The hormone also thins the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. Since one of the main topics of the show was the point at which point a fertilized egg becomes a fetus or "person" and the morality behind destruction of that so-called life, I believe this is relevant. The morning-after pill (often called Plan B) does not destroy a fertilized egg but prevent fertilization from potentially occurring. This is a common misconception and i was a little bit shocked to here it go out there into the universe, especially in San Francisco.

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Saturday, October 16, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

I doubt that Mr. Perry was being insensitive or di

I doubt that Mr. Perry was being insensitive or disrespectful with his comment concerning morning-after abortion. Still, the entire subject is, admittedly, a sensitive one and given the polarity it has generated, I can understand Ms. Green's concern.It is interesting that in some quarters, we are hearing it said that people are too sensitive about certain remarks which are made; actions that are taken; other behaviors which are found unacceptable or offensive in some way.
It appears there has been a paradigm shift of sorts---at least in some areas of human interaction. No more than thirty years ago (in my memory, anyway),people were being roundly chastised for not being sensitive enough to the feelings and situations of others. I wonder if we can have it both ways, or if in trying to do so, we lose credibility and respect? Yes, maybe I think too much. "Ah, but I was so much older then,I'm younger than that now..."*
(*The Byrds, Younger Than Yesterday, Columbia Records-from: My Back Pages, written by Bob Dylan)

Guest's picture


Sunday, October 17, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

I'll weigh in here. My opinion says we cannot have

I'll weigh in here. My opinion says we cannot have it both ways. One and one does not equal equanimity. There are no paradigms which excuse intolerance, either on the positive or the negative side of the balance. If you cannot get through your own biases, you have no business criticizing someone else's.
Nor do I. And this is my point. Neuman is right ethically. Where he fails is where many of us fail: ethics is essentially meaningless now. We are a nation---probably a world, without any true ethical base. Here it is: History messed us up. Historionicity carried forward the things which led us to our current defects. And finally, the Historionic Effect continues to exacerbate where we are.
This is not complicated, on its face. I have a book which explains it. Talk to me, if you are interested. If not, I'll find a venue. No worries.

John Perry's picture

John Perry

Saturday, November 20, 2010 -- 4:00 PM

I think Lisa Green makes a good point, and gives a

I think Lisa Green makes a good point, and gives a very lucid explanation of why my phrase was inept.