Most Recent Shows

  • Week of: 
    July 20, 2014
    What is it: 

    Imagine discovering that your grandfather was a serial killer. Would you feel guilty about it? Would you be at all tempted to contact the families of his victims? Philosophers have long thought that we can only be responsible for what is under our voluntary control, but sometimes we feel guilty about events we didn’t bring about, simply because we are connected in some way to those who did. Many Germans, for instance, feel guilty about their ancestors' participation in the Nazi regime. Can we really be responsible for things outside of our control? Or are these feelings just vestiges of a more primitive moral outlook? John and Ken play innocent with Larry May from Vanderbilt University, author of Sharing Responsiblity.

    Larry May, W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Law, and Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University

  • Week of: 
    July 13, 2014
    First Aired: 
    April 15, 2012
    What is it: 

    There seems to be a paradox in leadership: the qualities of ruthlessness and opportunism necessary to attain power and become a leader are not necessarily the qualities of morality and a sense of justice that make for a good leader. Do the traits that make it likely that someone will become a leader correlate positively or negatively with the traits that make a good and effective leader? Do our democratic institutions lead to better leaders than, say, a lottery like the Athenians used? Ken and John ask what leaders are – and should be – made of with Stanford Law Professor Deborah Rhode, co-author of Moral Leadership: The Theory and Practice of Power, Judgment, and Policy. This program was recorded live at the Marsh Theatre in Berkeley.

    Deborah L. Rhode, Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, Stanford University

John Perry and Ken Taylor

Continue the Conversation

Sidebar Menu

More Past Shows

Support Philosophy Talk


Philosophy Talk relies on the support of listeners like you to stay on the air and online. Any contribution, large or small, helps us produce intelligent, reflective radio that questions everything, including our most deeply-held beliefs about science, morality, culture, and the human condition. Make your tax-deductible contribution now through Stanford University's secure online donation page. Thank you for your support, and thank you for thinking!