Live at the Marsh Berkeley June 22

Apr 22, 2014
Sunday, June 22, 2014 - 12:00

Philosophy Talk is back at The Marsh Theater in Berkeley on Sunday June 22 for the final two live recordings in our 2013-14 season.

  • 12:00pm - Second-Guessing Ourselves with Sherri Roush
    We like to think of ourselves as self-aware, reflective beings, but psychological studies demonstrate that we’re usually overconfident in the accuracy of our own beliefs. Memory, for example, can be extremely unreliable, even when we feel certain we know what happened. Surprisingly, when we’re made aware of this, we adjust our level of confidence in ourselves only slightly. How, then, can we doubt ourselves in a rational and efficient manner to bring our beliefs closer to reality? And, just as importantly, how do we prevent ourselves from falling into the other extreme of constant second guessing? John and Ken think twice with Sherri Roush from UC Berkeley, author of Tracking Truth: Knowledge, Evidence, and Science. (buy tickets)
  • 3:00pm - Is Intuition a Guide to Truth? with Alvin Goldman
    Turns out that Galileo was right and Aristotle was wrong: in a vacuum, a feather and a bowling ball will fall from a tall building at exactly the same speed. This is not to say that Aristotle wasn’t a brilliant thinker; empirical evidence shows he just had a wrong intuition. Even the most powerful intuitions we have can be misleading. Why is it, then, that many philosophers treat them as crucial when arguing for a conclusion? Can intuitions lead us to important truths about the world, or do they merely teach us about ourselves? John and Ken trust their gut with Alvin Goldman from Rutgers University, author of Pathways to Knowledge: Public and Private.  (buy tickets)
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person through The Marsh's box office.
The Marsh is located at 2120 Allston Way in Berkeley, California.
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We're coming to Oregon April 2-5!

Feb 17, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 18:00

Mark your calendars: on Saturday April 5 at 7:30 pm, Philosophy Talk will be recording a brand-new program live at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Portland.

Come see John, Ken, the Roving Philosophical Reporter, the Sixty-Second Philosopher, and live musical guests the Plāto'nes for "Remixing Reality: Art and Literature for the 21st Century" with special guest David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto.

***Click here to purchase tickets and join the conversation as part of our audience.

We'll also be at Oregon State University in Corvallis on Wednesday April 2 at 7:00 pm for a live recording of "The New Surveillance Society: Big Brother Grows Up."

And we'll be taking calls LIVE on the air Thursday April 3 at 9 pm on OPB as the Philosophers discuss "Conspiracy Theories."

Watch this space for more details!

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Live at the Marsh Berkeley February 16

Feb 8, 2014
Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 12:00

Philosophy Talk returns to The Marsh Theater in Berkeley on Sunday February 16 for the next two live recordings in our 2013-14 season.

  • 12:00pm - Science and Gender with Londa Schiebinger
    What does gender have to do with science? The obvious answer is 'nothing.' Science is the epitome of an objective, rational, and disinterested enterprise. But given the history of systemic under-representation of women in science, what does it mean that science answers almost exclusively to the methodologies of men? Has male domination contributed certain unfounded assumptions or cognitive biases to the 'objectivity' of scientific inquiry? Is there any possibility of achieving a gender-neutral science, and if so, what would that look like? John and Ken make room at the table for Stanford historian Londa Schiebinger, author of Nature's Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science. (buy tickets)
  • 3:00pm - Risky Business: The Business of Risk with Lara Buchak
    There is an element of risk – either to ourselves or to others – in almost everything we do. By deciding to go to the grocery store, for example, we take a (very small) risk of getting into a car accident. Many risks are acceptable, of course, but how do we know when a risk is worth taking?  The most important decisions, after all, are often risky ones. What about risks to others' welfare? How do we, and should we, take risk into account when we make decisions?  John and Ken take their chances with Lara Buchak from UC Berkeley, author of Risk and Rationality. (buy tickets)

Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person through The Marsh's box office.
The Marsh is located at 2120 Allston Way in Berkeley, California.
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Live at OSU in Corvallis

Jan 29, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 19:00

Philosophy Talk returns to the Lasells Stewart Center on the campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis for a brand-new live recording on Wednesday, April 2 at 7:00 pm.

The New Surveillance Society: Big Brother Grows Up
Recent revelations confirm what many already suspected—not only is Big Brother watching you, he is also potentially reading your emails, listening to your phone calls, mapping your personal networks, and tracking your every move. While many see whistleblowers as heroes, others see them as criminals who ought to be severely punished. So, how should we treat whistleblowers who break the law for moral or political ends? How do we adjudicate between national or corporate security and individual rights? And what kind of rights and responsibilities does a proactive citizenry have when confronted with injustices committed by the state? John and Ken blow the whistle with Christopher McKnight Nichols from OSU, author of Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age.
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Live at the Marsh San Francisco June 30

Apr 9, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 12:00

Philosophy Talk returns to the Marsh Theatre in San Francisco for another pair of live recordings! Join us for the final two programs in our 2012-2013 season.

  • 12:00 pm - The Dark Side of Science with Paul Rabinow
    Science aims tell us something about nearly everything, from the atoms in our cells to the motions of the stars. It assumes that knowledge is good for its own sake, and therefore takes as its sole purpose the acquisition of knowledge. But shouldn’t knowledge serve practical and ethical concerns, like ending conflict and feeding the hungry? Could some knowledge be interesting, but ultimately irrelevant? And isn’t there some knowledge we might be better without, such as how to build nuclear weapons? John and Ken test their claims with UC Berkeley anthropologist Paul Rabinow. (buy tickets)
  • 3:00 pm - Trust and Mistrust with Jorah Dannenberg
    If we couldn't trust each other, our lives would be very different. We trust strangers not to harm us, we trust our friends to take care of our most prized possessions, we even trust politicians (sometimes) to come through on their campaign promises. But trust may also come at a high cost: it can leave us vulnerable to lies, deception, and blackmail. So is it reasonable for us to be so trusting? And how should we treat those who trust us? John and Ken put their trust in Stanford philosopher Jorah Dannenberg. (buy tickets)
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person through The Marsh box office.
The Marsh is located at 1062 Valencia Street in San Francisco's Mission District.


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Live at the Marsh in Berkeley January 27

Nov 6, 2012
Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 12:00

Philosophy Talk returns to the Marsh Theatre in Berkeley for another pair of live recordings! Join us for the next two programs in our 2012-2013 season.

  • 12:00pm - Bioethics: Myths and Realities with David Magnus
    Recent advances in mapping the human genome suggest a vision of the future that might fill us with equal parts hope and dread. On the one hand, the possibility of identifying disease-causing genes may enable us to eradicate cancer, obesity, or depression before they ever develop. On the other hand, the idea that soon we could be “designing” our progeny, choosing physical and psychological traits we deem desirable, is fraught with deep moral complexities. But are these ideas realistic or just the stuff of science fiction? What real ethical problems does the current state of human genomics present? John and Ken map out the terrain with David Magnus, Director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and co-editor of Who Owns Life?  (buy tickets)
  • 3:00pm - Dance as a Way of Knowing with Alva Noë
    Whether it be rhythmic or shuffling, athletic or pedestrian, erotic or just social, dance is an art form that utilizes movement of the body through space. Could the aesthetic experience of being physically present and embodied in the world be considered a way of knowing? Is there something in particular we can come to know by watching or performing dance? And are there broader lessons that dance can teach us about human perception and action? John and Ken hit the floor with Alva Noe from UC Berkeley, author of Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness. (buy tickets)
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person through The Marsh's box office.
The Marsh is located at 2120 Allston Way in Berkeley, California.
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Live at the Marsh in Berkeley

Oct 5, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 12:00

Philosophy Talk returns to the Marsh Theatre for another series of live recordings! Join us for the first two programs in our 2012-2013 season.

  • 12:00pm - The Linguistics of Name-Calling with Geoffrey Nunberg
    Sticks and bones may break your bones, but names can also hurt you. And language gives us surprisingly many ways deride, hurt and demean – from a subtly sneering intonation to hurtful and offensive names. How does such language work? And why is there so much of it around these days? Has our acerbic political culture ushered in a new era of name-calling? Or is name calling a phenomenon as old as language itself? John and Ken welcome back linguist and NPR commentator Geoffrey Nunberg, author of Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, The First Sixty Years.  (buy tickets)
  • 3:00pm - Truth and Other Fictions with Alexis Burgess
    Most of us think that we know the truth when we see it. But what exactly is truth, anyway? Philosophers have offered a blizzard of different answers - ranging from truth as correspondence or coherence all the way to the view that truth is a matter of  pragmatic utility or just a compliment we pay to the things we're prepared to believe or to say. But what is the truth about truth? Is there really such a thing? Or is truth itself a fiction? Join John and Ken as they explore the fickle nature of truth with Alexis Burgess, co-author of Truth.  (buy tickets)
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person through The Marsh's box office.
The Marsh is located at 2120 Allston Way in Berkeley, California.
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Live in Las Vegas

Jul 27, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 19:30

Join us for a live recording on Wednesday, September 12 at the Las Vegas Hotel (3000 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada).

"The Sex Trade" with best-selling author Tracy Quan

Despite being considered the "world's oldest profession," prostitution is often critiqued on both moral and political grounds. There are those who consider the commodification of sexual services inherently wrong, something that ought to be abolished outright. Some argue that prostitution necessarily involves the oppression of women, most of whom are forced into it out of economic necessity or lack of appropriate alternatives. However, others claim that prostitution is a legitimate form of commerce and that changing its legal status would reduce or eliminate most harms to sex workers. So, in a just society, are there any conditions under which buying and selling sex are morally acceptable? Does the sex trade inevitably involve coercion of some kind, or can becoming a sex worker ever be a free, fully autonomous choice? John and Ken explore the complexities of the world's oldest profession with Tracy Quan, author of Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl.

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Live at the Marsh Berkeley April 29, 2012

Sep 12, 2011
Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 12:00

Join us for the next two programs in our 2011-2012 series at the Marsh theatre.

Tickets for any individual show are $15 dollars in advance, or $20 dollars at the door.  Multiple ticket pricing (advance sales only) is as follows: $25 for any two shows (same or different dates) or $45 for any four shows.

Tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets, by phone, or in person through The Marsh's box office.

  • 12:00pm - Identities Lost & Found in a Global Age with Bharati Mukherjee.
    Throughout human history, people have tended to live and die in the same place, or at least the same region, in which they¹re born. Place is an important part of one's identity. But what happens when people are deprived of this sense of place? What psychological effects do emigrants, exiles, and expatriates endure? What happens to the importance of place when community membership can be based on common interests among people linked by email and facebook? Do we risk losing an important part of human life? Or do we gain freedom from the lottery of birth? John and Ken situate themselves with UC Berkeley English Professor Bharati Mukherjee, author of Miss New India and other novels exploring migration, alienation, and identity.  (buy tickets)
  • 3:00pm - Hypocrisy with Lawrence Quill.
    Hypocrites believe one thing, but do another. Jefferson opposed slavery, but owned slaves. Jesus professed universal love, but cursed an innocent fig tree. Jerry Brown opposes the death penalty, but as governor of California will be responsible for executions. Hypocrites all ­ but vile hypocrites? Surely it was better that Jefferson was a hypocrite, and articulated the case against slavery, than not opposing it at all. Does it take courage to defend a view that you, yourself, don't have the courage or the character to follow through on? John and Ken try to practice what they preach with Lawrence Quill from San Jose State University, author of Civil Disobedience: (Un)Common Sense in Mass Democracies.  (buy tickets)
The Marsh is located at 2120 Allston Way in Berkeley, California.
United States


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