Recent Shows

  • Week of: 
    October 16, 2016
    First Aired: 
    January 12, 2014
    What is it: 

    It seems reasonable to believe that we can only be blamed or praised for actions that are under our control. Nevertheless, in many concrete scenarios, we're inclined to base our moral assessment of people on circumstances that are ultimately beyond their control. Blind chance, or “moral luck,” as philosophers call it, may determine the difference between, say, murder and attempted murder. But do we think that a would-be murderer whose attempts are foiled by chance is really less morally culpable than someone who happens to succeed? How should moral luck affect our judgments of responsibility? John and Ken welcome back Susan Wolf from UNC Chapel Hill, author of The Variety of Values: Essays on Morality, Meaning, and Love.

    Susan Wolf, Edna J. Koury Professor of Philosophy, UNC Chapel Hill

  • Week of: 
    October 9, 2016
    What is it: 

    All the matter we have ever observed accounts for less than 5% of the universe. The rest? Dark energy and dark matter: mysterious entities that we only know about from their interactions with other matter. We infer their existence to satisfy our laws—but are we justified in making conclusions about what we cannot directly measure? How far can we trust our scientific laws? Where do we cross the line from theoretical science to metaphysics, and can the two overlap? John and Ken see the light with Priya Natarajan from Yale University, author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos.

    Priyamvada Natarajan, Professor of Astronomy, Yale University

  • Week of: 
    October 2, 2016
    First Aired: 
    December 29, 2013
    What is it: 

    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, in a program recorded live at the Marsh Theater in San Francisco.

    Jorah Dannenberg, Center for Ethics in Society, Stanford University

John Perry and Ken Taylor

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