Celebrating Our 500th Episode

Philosophy Talk just celebrated our 500th episode. Quite an accomplishment from the point of view of the 1st episode. Let me reminisce for a bit, going back in time to when I first had the idea for the program, getting Ken Taylor on board, creating a pilot episode, and finally getting broadcast in 2004.

Trying to Let Go of the Past

How many times have you heard people advise others to let go of the past? Once you see that these painful, traumatic experiences are over and done, you supposedly achieve “closure” and can “get on with your life.” But trying to let go of past experiences is not really something you can achieve.

#FrancisOnFilm: Sundance - It's a Wrap!

In the last three days of Sundance, I was fortunate enough to see a few more movies worth looking out for. The first four below haven’t reportedly been sold for distribution, but you may be able to catch parts or all of them online.

Perception, Memory, and Justice

Psychological research reveals a lot of deeply troubling facts about human perception and memory that should make us very skeptical of eyewitness testimony. Of course, we don’t need science to tell us that if we witness something from too far away, or if it’s too dark, or if we’re intoxicated, then our testimony is not going to be very reliable. That just seems like common sense. But common sense may also lead us astray when it comes to the reliability of eyewitness testimony, and that is what a lot of the research on this topic is telling us.

Memory and the Self

There is a long tradition in philosophy of thinking that memory and the self are intimately connected. Locke claims, for example, that what makes me today the very same person as I was yesterday, is, basically, the fact that I can now remember what I did or experienced yesterday. So memory, for Locke, is what actually determines who I am.