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Program Website: http://www.philosophytalk.org/
Philosophy Talk is a weekly, one-hour radio series hosted by
Ken Taylor, Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University,
and John Perry, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
at the University of California at Riverside. The program is not a lecture
or college course—it's philosophy in action! Philosophy Talk
is a fun opportunity to explore issues of importance in a thoughtful,
Am I Alone?
A popular theme in science fiction is the eerily lifelike robot: a piece of machinery so well engineered that its outputs pass for genuinely human behaviors. Technology is not yet soadvanced, but these robots might cause us to wonder how we could possibly justify our belief in the minds of others. You're most likely sure that your family, friends, and boss are really people just like you, with similarly rich inner mental lives. But how can you be so sure? If we only have access to our own private thoughts, can we ever know that our minds are not unique? I think, therefore I exist--but what about everybody else? John and Ken step outside themselves with Anita Avramides, from the University of Oxford, author of Other Minds.
Summer Reading List 2014
What philosophers, philosophies, or philosophical issues would you like to read up on over the summer? Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus may not be the obvious choice to take onvacation, but there are a lot of readable, beach-friendly classics and non-classics to add philosophical depth to your vacation reading - not to mention new and classic fiction with a philosophical bent. You are invited to join John, Ken, and their special guests as they share some of the philosophically-minded reading on their summer reading lists.
Art and Obscenity
What do Marcel Duchamp, Damien Hirst, and Andres Serrano have in common? They've all created modern works of art that have shocked and outraged the general public, causing many to question whether these works have any artistic value at all. But isn't it the purpose of art to incite inquiry and question conventional moral wisdom? If so, then a strong public reaction would seem to prove the artistic merit of these works. So, is there a clear line to be drawn between genuine art and mere obscenity? Or has shock value simply replaced cultural value in the world of contemporary art? John and Ken curate their conversation with Stanford art historian Richard Meyer, author of What Was Contemporary Art?
Pantheism is the doctrine that the world is either identical with God or an expression of His nature. Pantheistic ideas appear in many schools of Buddhism and Hinduism, and in the Tao-te-Ching. Pantheism also has had defenders in Western philosophy, including Heraclitus, Spinoza, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. Many of the Romantic poets, like Shelley, Keats, and Wordsworth, were considered pantheists. In modern times, the ecological movement has led to new interest in pantheism and its emphasis on nature as sacred. Is there a consistent world view that all these philosophies have in common? And how should we understand the claim that nature is to be worshipped? John and Ken welcome back Philip Clayton from the Claremont Graduate School, co-author of The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy and Faith.
There Since George W. Bush first declared a "war on terror," the US has been engaged in a global campaign to rid the world of terrorists. But what exactly is a "terrorist," and how do we distinguish illicit terrorist organizations from legitimate freedom fighters? Do terrorists exhibit particular psychological patterns of behavior, or are there some tactics that only terrorists use? And what is the most effective way to combat terrorism - by waging war, engaging in "de-radicalization" processes, or some other means? John and Ken agree to negotiate with Stanford political scientist Martha Crenshaw, author of Explaining Terrorism: Causes, Processes, and Consequences
Anatomy of a Terrorist