What Is It
It’s our anniversary! Join the philosophers for a celebration of the program that questions everything – except your intelligence – with a look back on the issues and the people that have made Philosophy Talk a hit.
Philosophy Talk has made it to its 100th episode! This arguably arbitrary marker leads John and Ken to contemplate why they do the show, and what it has to contribute to public discourse. They also throw themselves a little party, inviting back five of their most eloquent and insightful guests to find out what they’ve been up to since they last visited the show. They hear from Anne Ashbaugh, who explains how her philosophical interest in pornography and the erotic has lead to her work on immortality. John and Ken have several questions for her, and Ken gives his thoughts on whether there’s sex in heaven. Anthony Appiah of Princeton also stops by, updating our hosts on his work in race and identity. He introduces us the new phrases such as “Experimental Moral Psychology” and “Neural Economics,” using the Trolley Problem to illustrate his explanations. John lets us in on his plans for exploring the Trolley Problem once he retires.
After some caller input, Alison Gopnik checks in to discuss the consciousness of babies, and how they differ significantly from adults. She’s followed by Jenann Ismael, who has very insightful comments regarding the self and experience. The gravity of her remarks is counterbalanced by outtakes from past shows, much to John and Ken’s surprise—they receive no warning prior to the airing of some of their less serious moments. The show returns to a more serious note when the final guest, Martha Nussbaum calls in to talk about education, social justice, and the imagination. She makes the point that education for the imagination has been largely lost in recent decades, and our hosts contemplate the social and cultural implications of this shift.
- Roving Philosophical Report (seek to 5:00): Polly Stryker talks to graduate students to find out what the next generation of philosophers is up to. They prove that philosophy is alive and kicking, centering on topics from intersubjectivity to rationality to metaphor.
- 60-Second Philosopher (seek to 50:00): Ian Shoales contemplates the number 100, and questions why it is a mark worth celebrating.