Philosophy accessible to all, everywhere.

The Institute for Philosophy in Public Life bridges the gap between academic philosophy and the general public. We cultivate discussions between professional philosophers and those with an interest in the subject, regardless of their experience or credentials.

IPPL is founded on the premise that anyone can do philosophy, and we recognize that philosophy relates to our day-to-day lives. Philosophical communities are fun, fulfilling, and essential for democracy.

Because there is no ivory tower.


WHY? Philosophical Discussions Aboute EVERYDAY LIFE

Public radio show and podcast

Currently in its fifteenth year on public radio, Why? is a thoughtful, engaging, accessible, and non-adversarial conversation with today’s most engaging thinkers. No question is off limit; no challenge is too difficult.

Philosophical Currents

Public radio show and podcast

A monthly public-radio show and podcast presenting a philosopher’s analysis of the most important news stories and cultural events. From Supreme Supreme Court decisions to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, no news isn’t worth exploring.



The official blog of Why? Radio dedicated to the host’s exploration of philosophy in all of its forms. It also features “Ask A Philosopher,” a philosophical advice column.


Website is a clearinghouse for information explaining why philosophy is an excellent college major. From high salaries to flexible skills, this is a site to go for data and personal accounts explaining why philosophy is a good choice for undergraduates.

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The latest episode of WHY? Radio:

“Why do we Dehumanize People? with guest David Livingstone Smith

The history of humanity is an endless cycle of identifying us versus them: of violence between people who look down on one another as subhuman and monsters; of not just killing, but brutalizing, maiming and massacring in the name of superiority. On this episode, we explore the philosophical foundations of this phenomenon and its roots in culture, ideology, psychology, and history. We ask who makes these monsters and how they are made.

This month’s discussion of current events:

“Justice: Historical and Personal Experiences”

A North Dakota representative is accused of sex tourism. How can his reputation recover if he is found innocent and how can his victim recover if he actually did it? These two questions start Jack and Ashley on a philosophical exploration of the many meanings of Justice. What do we mean by Justice, capital J and how does it differ from the justice system? Can the justice system stand alone? These and other questions feature prominently in this month’s Philosophical Currents.

Join us monthly:

WHY? Radio Senior Citizens’ PHILOSOPHY discussion group

vimeo logio

YouTube has deleted our account. We don’t know why. We’ve received no notice or justification, and no one in customer service will engage with us (there’s no phone number to call). We have copies of most of our videos, but thirteen years of followers, likes, and data are now gone, not to mention the thousands of links from websites around the world that are now dead. There’s nothing we can do about it. There’s no way to recover what we lost. It’s both devastating and frustrating. We are helpless in the face of the uncaring juggernaut that is Google. Kafka would be proud.

As a result, we have started a new channel on Vimeo.
Click here to visit, subscribe, and update your links

It will take a while to populate it, but if a particular video you want is missing, email us and we’ll get it up as soon as we can. We apologize for any inconvenience and dead links on your sites.

You are invited to participate in a wide range of philosophical activities, from asking questions of some of the world’s most thoughtful people on our radio show and podcast, to sitting in a coffee shop with a dozen intellectually curious octogenarians. Read our blog and our magazine, or learn why philosophy is a great major with employable graduates.

Please explore our site and enjoy. We welcome all of your feedback. Send us your thoughts via our comment form.

Why? Radio and IPPL needs your help more than ever.

we get no ACTUAL money from the University of North Dakota.

And really, if you won’t support philosophy, who will?

Every guest on Why? Radio and every person who works with IPPL donates his or her time. This keeps our costs low and means that everyone associated with our programs is happy to be doing what they can for us. Your contribution goes a long, long way.

Thank you! We appreciate your generosity!

Donate Now

Donors receive thank-you gifts, music CDs that have  themselves been donated to us.

For gifts of $25 or more, you will receive the world jazz CD Lua e Sol from Mark Weinstein (while supplies last). This is the album that contains all of the wonderful music that makes up the show¹s soundtrack.

For gifts of $100 or more, you will receive a handful of his CDs, remarkable music from Brazil, Cuba, and some straight-ahead jazz. You can visit Mark¹s website and listen to his other music at

For donations of $250 or more, you will receive the CD¹s and be named on the air as an episode¹s sponsor. You¹ll be a role-model for all of our listeners.