“Why Don’t People Believe Science?” with guest Dan M. Kahan

Every day, people reject evolution and climate change, arguing instead for their personal beliefs over evidence. Despite years of education and more access to information than any time in history, people are rejecting vaccinations and forsaking personal savings for the lottery. On this episode of Why? Radio we look at the science of science communication and the patterns behind why people reject science.Continue reading “Why Don’t People Believe Science?” with guest Dan M. Kahan

“How do Muslims, Christians, and Jews See Each Other?” David Nirenberg

Muslims, Jews, Christians: they’ve been fighting for millennia and living next to each other for just as long. They share the same prophet—Abraham—and have many of the same beliefs. Yet, they define themselves in opposition to one another, demonizing and even killing each other along the way. Is this intrinsic to who they are or is this something that can be changed? Can they coexist or must they be enemies? These questions are the focus of this episode of Why? Radio.Continue reading “How do Muslims, Christians, and Jews See Each Other?” David Nirenberg

“The Moral Argument for Revenge” with Thane Rosenbaum

We’ve been told time and time again that revenge is wrong, but is it? We’ve been taught that it’s savage, but if so, why do people turn to it so frequently? And, we’ve been encouraged to demand justice, even though most of us can’t tell the difference between it and vengeance. On this episode of Why? we’ll take a fresh look at one of the oldest practices in history, asking about the nature of revenge, honor, and the emotions that surround them both.Continue reading “The Moral Argument for Revenge” with Thane Rosenbaum

“How to Think about Dance” with Helanius J. Wilkins

Human beings dance for every reason imaginable: to protest, to pray, to court one another, to explore nature, to find truth, and simply to explore dance itself. But what makes dance “dance” and how are we to interpret the performances we watch? How theoretical are dancers when they perform and how well can they realize a choreographer’s vision? These questions will be just a part of the wide-ranging discussion on the next Why? Radio as we welcome choreographer, performance artist, scholar, and of course, dancer Helanius J. Wilkins.Continue reading “How to Think about Dance” with Helanius J. Wilkins

“Cuisine and Empire: What does food tell us about culture?” with Rachel Laudan

Do you know anyone who is following the paleo diet? How much do they really know about what people ate in our early history? Do you know people who are carb free? If so, what would they say to about the fact that grains have been the centerpiece of almost all human diets? Do you know anyone who loves Chinese food? Well, what makes food Chinese in the first place and why do the Chinese eat so little meat compared to Europeans? This episode loos at the history of cooking and examines its political and, of course, philosophical implications. Continue reading “Cuisine and Empire: What does food tell us about culture?” with Rachel Laudan

“The Rise of Writing: What happens when people write more than they read?” with Deborah Brandt

Have you noticed how much you’ve been writing lately? How many emails, texts, and Facebook posts you compose on any given day? Have you realized how much more you write than you read? Deb Brandt has and she wants us to all understand that we are experiencing a mass-writing revolution that will change our culture forever. On this episode we discuss the shift of focus from reading to writing and look at how it has changed both the workplace and the ways in which people express themselves.Continue reading “The Rise of Writing: What happens when people write more than they read?” with Deborah Brandt

“Equality and Dialogue in American High Schools” with Nel Noddings

If you believe the news, you would think that American children are stupid and that schools only make them worse. Is this true? And, more importantly, what should learning look like? Do we continue to teach a specialized and standardized program or can we find a more integrated way to teach students about home and family, their future occupation, and civic life, all at the same time? On this episode of Why?, we discuss the future of education and what High Schools can do to education the whole person. Continue reading “Equality and Dialogue in American High Schools” with Nel Noddings

“Why not socialism?” with Robert Paul Wolff

Anyone who lived through the 20th century will have a complex relationship with Karl Marx; some will see socialism as the glorious road not traveled and others will see him as the folly we defeated. Those who came to political consciousness in the 21st century, though, will have virtually no notion of him at all, he’s a relic, a demon from the past, and socialism is simply an epithet used during political debate. Continue reading “Why not socialism?” with Robert Paul Wolff

“Can A Philosopher Govern the United States? The Case of F.A. Hayek” with Bruce Caldwell

If you’ve paid any attention to politics, you’ll know that libertarians are convinced they have a better way to govern. Much of their philosophy is built on the work of Friedrich Hayek, an Austrian philosopher and economist who saw the free market as an antidote to Nazism and the Soviet Union. Those threats are gone, does that mean Hayek is no longer relevant? On this episode we ask about Hayek, about the nature of economics, and whether specialized researchers have a duty to be relevant. Continue reading “Can A Philosopher Govern the United States? The Case of F.A. Hayek” with Bruce Caldwell

“The Intelligence in Everyday Work” with Guest Mike Rose

Mike Rose’s mother was a waitress. She worked for years negotiating the complex world of planning around, strategizing about, delivering to, and socializing with customers. She had to master timing, memory, efficiency, and psychology, but if you asked just about anyone, they would have said her work involved no deep thought at all. She had to master timing, memory, efficiency, and psychology, but if you asked just about anyone, they would have said her work involved no deep thought at all. In his important book The Mind at Work. Mike challenges the idea that waitressing is thoughtless, while also looking at the complex intellect of hairdressers, electricians, carpenters, and others in similar professions. This episode of Why? asks us to relearn everything we claim to know about manual laborers and reexamine our assumptions about the role of thinking in jobs. Continue reading “The Intelligence in Everyday Work” with Guest Mike Rose

Alex Schweder

“What is Performance Architecture” with guest Alex Schweder

Alex Schweder spent a week living with six other people, in a 24-inch wide apartment, to see what that experience would tell him living spaces. And he did it in a gallery in front of a live audience. He wasn’t just doing performance art. He’s an architect interested in learning about the relationships between psychology and the structures we build. Tonight on Why? we’ll talk with Alex about his experiments and what he calls performance architecture Continue reading “What is Performance Architecture” with guest Alex Schweder

“How to Think about Antisemitism” with Daniel Goldhagen

Almost two decades ago, Daniel Goldhagen wrote a book about the holocaust that changed the entire discussion. For the first time, people were forced to consider how everyday Germans influenced the genocide. Since then, he’s written more books on related topics and watched as global antisemitism got worse and worse, publishing, finally, a powerful study called The Devil that Never Dies. On this episode Danny and Jack have a wide-ranging discussion about antisemitism itself, Israel, the use of language to describe Jews, and even Microsoft Word! Continue reading “How to Think about Antisemitism” with Daniel Goldhagen