9pm - 10pm
Philosophy Talk is radio that celebrates the value of the examined life. Week after week, our two philosopher-hosts invite listeners to join them in conversations about a wide variety of issues-- ranging from popular culture to our most deeply held beliefs about science, morality, and the human condition. Philosophy Talk challenges listeners to identify and question their assumptions and to think about things in new ways. We are dedicated to reasoned conversation driven by human curiousity. Philosophy Talks is broadly accessible, intellectually stimulating and, most of all, fun!
Philosophy talk is hosted by Ken Taylor, Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, and John Perry, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Riverside and Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Stanford University.
May 22, 2013
Faith vs. Reason
It sounds plausible to require that all our beliefs be based on evidence and sound reasoning. Yet some people's most cherished beliefs, like their belief in a deity, are based on faith alone. Does that make those beliefs fundamentally irrational, or could there be some rational justification for such faith? And what about reason itself—are there limits to what can be known rationally? Does our reliance on reason demand a kind of faith of its own? Is there a way to reconcile faith and reason, or does the well-lived life demand that we choose one over the other? John Ken put reasonable faith in Howard Wettstein from UC Riverside, author of The Significance of Religious Experience. This program was recorded live on campus as part of the Stanford Continuing Studies course The Art of Living.
May 29, 2013
Summer Reading List
Summer is the perfect time to dig in to deep reading. Heidegger's Being and Time may be a bit much to take on vacation, but there are lots of readable, beach-friendly classics and non-classics to add philosophical depth to your summer reading. Not to mention new and classic fiction books with a philosophical bent. John and Ken share some of the philosophically-minded titles on their reading list and take suggestions from listeners and special guests.
June 5, 2013
Gay Pride & Prejudice
The question of gay rights has become a hot button issue, with opposition taking on the air of a moral panic and support taking on the air of a righteous crusade. John and Ken attempt to dispassionately examine the competing scientific, religious, and philosophical visions of the nature of gayness. They explore the consequences of those competing arguments for and against gay rights with cultural and psychological anthropologist Gilbert Herdt, editor of Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight over Sexual Rights. This program was recorded live at the Marsh Theater in Berkeley.
June 12, 2013
Physics, Philosophy, and Theology
The world disclosed by the physical sciences can seem depressing. Modern physics, for example, has undermined the religious idea that the universe has a spiritual dimension. Quantum physics in particular seems to present the world as more paradoxical than rational. Is there room within – or in addition to – the world presented to us by the physical sciences for philosophical and religious ideas such as values, freedom, dignity, justice, and even God? Or should these all be regarded as useful illusions?
June 19, 2013
Nations and Borders
One’s country of birth has a profound effect on life prospects. It's often best to go elsewhere. But moving is not always so easy. Borders and immigration control restrict people from going where they want to pursue a better life. On the one hand there is the state’s need for security, self-determination, and a functioning economy. But why should arbitrary boundaries, based on past thefts of territory, limit a person's opportunities? Are borders essential to nationhood, or do they form an exclusive club that unfairly keeps certain people from pursuing a better life? John and Ken lift the gate for UC Berkeley Law Professor Sarah Song, author of Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism. This program was recorded live at the Marsh Theater in San Francisco.
June 26, 2013
Educaton and the Culture Wars
In contemporary democracies, the state is responsible for providing children with an education. But parents surely have both the right and responsibility for instilling appropriate morals and values in their children. How should we reconcile conflicts between the state’s responsibility to properly educate minors and the parents’ rights to influence their children's values and ideals? Should the government’s approach to education in areas such as history and science always trump that of the child’s most direct guardians? Or should parents hold some veto power when it comes to education about evolution, sex, and other issues that bear on religious and personal values? John and Ken do their homework with Stanford political scientist Rob Reich, co-editor of Education, Justice, and Democracy, for a program recorded live at the Marsh Theater in San Francisco.
July 3, 2013
Atheism and the Well-Lived Life
Atheists don't believe in God – does that mean they don't find life meaningful? Are atheists doomed to be grouchy nihilists, finding meaning only in criticizing theists? Or does a world without God offer its own meanings and values to structure a well-lived life? John and Ken search for a meaningful atheism with Louise Antony from UMass Amherst, editor of Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life. This program was recorded live as part of the Engaging Philosophy conference at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.