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.
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.
With so many students unable to start their studies in person this fall, "back to school" is somewhat of a misnomer. But the abnormality of this year makes it the perfect time to re-evaluate what we think school is and should be. So for September, we present to you a collection of past episodes questioning the concept, value, and role of education. Click the pencils and pens above to listen!
Holly J. McDede is the criminal justice reporter for KALW public radio in San Francisco. She studied Creative Writing and Literature at the University of East Anglia in Norfolk, England, where she wrote her dissertation on Don Quixote and a radio drama about public radio. She also works as an editor and producer at KCBS radio, sometimes very late at night when it’s difficult not to ponder life’s existential questions.