“Holding the Police Accountable” with Guest Samuel Walker

Samuel Walker has spent his career asking who polices the police. His books and paper titles read like a laundry list of horror stories – police abuse of teenage girls, the unsuccessful nature of police “sweeps” – but he also expresses an optimism about community influence and citizen involvement. On today’s episode, we will dive headfirst into the controversial and complicated world of law enforcement. Continue reading “Holding the Police Accountable” with Guest Samuel Walker

“Reinventing Government: Twenty Years Later” David Osborne

The American Government is a large. Many claim it is also slow to move and wasteful. In 1993, the book Reinventing Government took this monolith as its target and offered up a way to change it, to make government nimble, responsive, and efficient. In doing so, it brought the ideas of privatization and entrepreneurship out of the business world and into Democratic public policy. The Clinton Administration was one of the books most enthusiastic supporters and Vice President Gore spearheaded a reinventing government commission. On this episode, we revisit that book to ask about its solutions and its legacy. Continue reading “Reinventing Government: Twenty Years Later” David Osborne

“A Conversation with a Playwright” with Tony Kushner

Tony Kushner is probably the most important and most influential living American playwright. At this year’s UND Writers Conference, WHY?’s host Jack Russell Weinstein had the pleasure and honor of talking to him about the Pulitzer Prize winning play Angels in America, his movie Lincoln, and writing for the theater in general. It was a remarkable conversation in front of a very large appreciative audience. Continue reading “A Conversation with a Playwright” with Tony Kushner

“A Secular Theory of Evil” with Claudia Card

Years ago, Alan Bloom wrote that Hitler was the worst thing that ever happened to ethics classes, because when philosophers asked their students for an example of evil, they would just say “Hitler” and never actually have to think about the question. He may have had a point. We all use the word evil as if we know what it means, and more often than not, we use it in a religious context. On this episode of WHY? we’ll examine the concept of evil and ask, not just what how to define it, but how we think about it as philosophers and outside religion. Continue reading “A Secular Theory of Evil” with Claudia Card

“The Case for Religious Moderation” with William Egginton

We are, people will tell us, in the midst of a religious war. Depending on who you believe either science is making us immoral heathens or religion is making is ignorant rubes. William Egginton however challenges this view. He not only claims that this dichotomy is false, he asserts that the two sides are both fundamentalists and cut from the same cloth. Egginton argues that we should all be religious moderates combining scientific truth with religious belief. Continue reading “The Case for Religious Moderation” with William Egginton

“The NCAA and its Universities” with Taylor Branch

The college sports industry is worth fifty to seventy billion dollars annually and is governed by a single organization, the National Collegiate Athletics Association. What happens if they’re not fair? What happens if there are deep systematic problems that no one has the power to fix and they won’t budge? Taylor Branch noted civil-rights historian, claims that the NCAA is immoral, that it’s racist, and that it has, the “unmistakable whiff of plantation on it.” On this episode of WHY? we’ll talk about the philosophy of college sports and the controversial agency that governs how college athletes live their lives. Continue reading “The NCAA and its Universities” with Taylor Branch

“The Public Philosophy Experiment” Guest Clay Jenkinson interviews host Jack Russell Weinstein

The next episode of Why? is a special one–our 50th–and to celebrate we’re changing things around. Our most frequent guest Clay Jenkinson interviews host Jack Russell Weinstein. That’s right, after almost four years of asking other people about their research, it’s his turn on the hot seat. So tune in for a s spirited and spontaneous discussion. Continue reading “The Public Philosophy Experiment” Guest Clay Jenkinson interviews host Jack Russell Weinstein

“The Moral Demands we Make On Others” with guest Stephen Darwall

What allows us to make moral demands on other people? How important are relationships in ethical decision-making and why should people act ethically in the first place? Join WHY?’s host Jack Russell Weinstein and his guest Yale professor Stephen Darwall, as they ask these and your questions during an important exploration into the very foundations of morality. Continue reading “The Moral Demands we Make On Others” with guest Stephen Darwall