Welcome to... the future? Though we still don't have our jet-packs, there is something future-feeling about the year 2020. As such we thought we'd kick off the new year and new decade with some forward-looking episodes. Click the new year's image above to access this month's listening!
Philosophy Talk returns to the Stanford campus on Friday February 6 for a pair of live recordings at Annenberg Auditorium -- and they're FREE:
• 4:30 pm - Democracy in Crisis with Francis Fukuyama
Democratic systems of government are supposed to reflect the interests of ordinary citizens, and not some shadowy political elite. But more and more, we see the influence of big money and special interest groups in so-called democratic politics, while income inequality and voter suppression grow. With millions convinced that politicians don’t speak for them, is there a "crisis of representation" in the US? Are these problems a result of political decay in our institutions, or is democracy in trouble everywhere? How can we achieve an efficient and prosperous democracy in which the average citizen is truly represented? Should we consider a radically different system of government? John and Ken keep calm with renowned political scientist Francis Fukuyama, author of Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy.
• 7:30 pm - Morality in a Godless World with John Figdor
Belief in God is thought by many to be the only possible source of morality, such that without a God, “everything is permitted.” Yet godlessness is on the rise in the West, with figures like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Lawrence Krauss leading the “New Atheism” movement. But if atheism is defined by its lack of belief, where do these non-believers find guiding principles? Are there any positive beliefs or values that atheists have in common? If so, are they based on a rational, scientific framework, or must non-believers, like believers, ultimately rely on faith? John and Ken welcome John Figdor, Humanist Chaplain at Stanford University and co-author of Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-first Century.
Shereen Adel is a former literature student turned radio producer. She came to the Philosophy Talk team after joining KALW's newsroom as a producer on Crosscurrents and fell in love with reporting on how philosophical ideas take shape in practical applications. In addition to her work with Philosophy Talk, she still works behind the scenes in the KALW newsroom and manages the station's radio training programs for adults.
Sarah Lai Stirland is a freelance writer and producer, a graduate of Medill at Northwestern University, and the Director of Digital Community at broadband.money. She's a 2020 alumna of KALW's Audio Academy and co-teaches and edits KALW's tbh podcast with fellow Roving Philosophical Reporter Holly J. McDede.
In the United States, July is when we celebrate the birth of American citizenship — specifically, the thirteen original colonies freeing themselves from British imperial rule to become independent democratic states. Click the Statue of Liberty to listen to past episodes discussing the ideals of freedom, democracy, and citizenship!
For the month of May, we thought we'd provide some past episodes that explore the Philosophy of Science as a helpful backgrounder for our upcoming show on the Vienna Circle. Click the image above to listen!
It's a new year, a time for resolutions, fresh starts, and the marking of firsts, such as the inauguration of the first female, first South Asian and first Black vice president of the United States. So why not celebrate January by taking a look at some trailblazing philosophers who were also firsts? Click the sunrise above to see which philosophers made the list!
Our co-founder and longtime host, Ken Taylor, would have turned 66 this month. So we're celebrating him by revisiting some of his favorite recording moments: CONUNDRUMS! Click the photo of Ken above to listen to these little audio treats!
The upcoming presidential election provides a perfect opportunity to revisit some of our past episodes about elections, democracy, and politics in general. In fact, we think you'll find it striking just how relevant these discussions still are today! Click the image of the people above to listen.