Recent Shows

  • Week of: 
    May 22, 2016
    What is it: 

    Aldous Huxley explains his conception of the brain as a "reducing valve" of consciousness in his provocative book, The Doors of Perception. His famous experiment with the psychedelic substance mescaline was an attempt to open this valve and expand his capacity for knowledge. However, many drugs and psychedelics today are seen as simply tools for pleasure or the source of bad habits. Do drugs possess the capability to expand our consciousness and provide meaningful insight? Or are they nothing more than a route to empty delirium? Ken and guest co-host Alison Gopnik take a trip with artist, scientist, and founder of the Beckley Foundation, Amanda Feilding.

    Amanda Feilding, Founder of the Beckley Foundation and Countess of Wemyss and March

  • Week of: 
    May 15, 2016
    First Aired: 
    October 20, 2013
    What is it: 

    A trolley is approaching a track junction, and you happen to be standing by the switch. If you do nothing, the trolley will kill a number of innocent children playing on the tracks.  If you throw the switch, it will kill only one fat man, who is sleeping on the tracks. The so-called Trolley Problem sheds light on many claims in moral philosophy: utilitarian positions (doing what's best for the greatest number), the difference between doing and letting happen (being more obliged to not cause harm than to prevent harm), and issues of "collateral damage" (killing one person to save others). John and Ken climb aboard with Thomas Cathcart, author of The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge: A Philosophical Conundrum.

    Author Thomas Cathcart

  • Week of: 
    May 8, 2016
    What is it: 

    Addressing our nation’s history of racial injustice can be a truly backbreaking endeavor. Race-based affirmative action is usually thought of as one such effort, and colleges and universities often use it in their admissions process. However, affirmative action does seem to lower standards for certain under-represented minorities like Blacks and Hispanics. Should we think of affirmative action as patronizing those minorities, or rectifying the injustices they face? Is affirmative action enough to redress racial injustice, or is it simply the best we can do for the time being? John and Ken welcome Glenn Loury from Brown University, author of The Anatomy of Racial Inequality.

    Glenn Loury, Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics, Brown University

John Perry and Ken Taylor

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