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  • Week of: 
    May 24, 2015
    First Aired: 
    November 25, 2012
    What is it: 

    A good novel can do many things. It can distract us from the humdrum of daily existence, stimulate our imaginations, and delight us with its creative use of language. But isn’t there something more we gain from engaging with fictional worlds and characters? Do we, for example, use literary texts to morally improve ourselves? Is there some deeper truth we’re supposed to learn from a good novel? Or do we use fiction to fine-tune certain cognitive capacities? John and Ken entertain the possibilities with Joshua Landy, author of How To Do Things With Fictions, for a program recorded live at Litquake – San Francisco's Literary Festival.

    Joshua Landy, Professor of French, Stanford University

  • Week of: 
    May 17, 2015
    What is it: 

    Humans have an amazing capacity to communicate. By uttering sounds we are able to convey meaning to those around us. These noises we make take on properties – they mean certain things, they are true or false, etc. Some animals also use forms of language: bees, for example, use dances and pheromones to communicate with each other. What gives these signals – words and movements – their linguistic meaning? How is it possible to communicate complex propositions simply by making sound? John and Ken cut through the noise with celebrated philosopher of language John Searle, in a program recorded live at the Marsh Theatre in Berkeley.

    John Searle, Slusser Professor of Philosophy, University of California Berkeley

John Perry and Ken Taylor

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