We can all agree that forced prostitution is morally repugnant, but does it become more acceptable when it is voluntary? Many countries have legalized prostitution and many people think that the freedom to do what one wants with one’s own body should include the freedom to sell sex. But many others don’t, suggesting that no one can consent to sell their body, no matter how it might seem. Join Why? Radio for this controversial and interesting discussion.
…Continue reading “Should Prostitution Be Legal?” with Peter de Marneffe →
In the face of the tremendous violence of the last few days, in an election season like the current one, and with movements like Black Lives Matters, America and the world are focused on issues related to the African-American experience. But what happens when ask about the deeper foundations of what it means to be black? On this episode of Why? We are going to focus on these questions and Africana philosophy, the new branch of philosophy that explores the experiences and concerns people of African descent. …Continue reading “How to Think Philosophically About Black Identity” with Tommie Shelby →
Religious debate in the United States focuses on fanaticism and politics. But, do we really know what religion is and the difference between a good reason for believing something and a bad one? And what about religious commitment? What justifies it and what takes it over the top? On today’s episode of Why? Radio we are going to look at religion and ask the hard questions: Is it a good in itself? Should it remain private and what is its relationship to reason and rationality?…Continue reading “is Religious Commitment Important?” with Robert Audi →
The 18th century was a time of great change, both philosophically and politically. Yet many people reject its ideals, calling out the hypocrisy of Thomas Jefferson and the oppression that comes from being committed to Truth rather than the downtrodden. On this episode of Why?, we take another look at this exciting period of time and ask whether the enlightenment and its philosophers still have a place in today’s intellectual and political debate….Continue reading “Do We Still Need The Eighteenth Century?” with Ryan Patrick Hanley →
Everyone gets older, but not everyone plans for it. Even fewer people think about that planning philosophically. On the next episode of Why?, we are going to look closely at one author’s practical guidebook for elder care and consider it, not as practical exercise, but as a philosophical inquiry into getting older….Continue reading “How to Think Philosophically About Aging” with Sharona Hoffman →
2500 years ago, Plato wrote the central texts of the discipline we call philosophy. He asked the questions that people still ask today and set the tone for a conversation that has continued, unabated, for two and a half millennia. On this episode we look at Plato’s work and ask why, despite all the threats, violence, censorship, and even the marginalization, philosophy still exists, why Plato is still at the center of it all, and what it would look like if he were still here, walking among us. …Continue reading “Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away” with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein →
When we think of college, we think of sports: of the big 10, of the NCAA, of the draft. We identify schools by their colors and mascots. Yet, the more money college sports earns and the more professionalized it becomes, the more horrified many are by the impact they have on universities. On the next episode of Why? Radio we’re going to examine this head on, asking about the impact of sports on academics, looking at how they have complete changed student culture.
…Continue reading “Are Sports Destroying American Universities?” with Murray Sperber →
Jan Willis was raised in the Jim Crow south and had crosses burnt on her lawn when she received a scholarship for Cornell University. But her life didn’t just take her through the civil rights movement and the Ivy League, it also took her to India which led her to become a professor of Buddhism and a practicing Buddhist. How did her new religion fit with her Baptist upbringing? How does being a religious scholar relate to being a practitioner? Should we think of Buddhism as an “Eastern” religion with little to do with Western philosophy? On this next episode of Why?, we’ll ask these and other related questions, as we talk memoir, belief, and religious experience with a foremost scholar of Tibetan Buddhism. …Continue reading “What does Buddhism Offer an African-American Woman?” with Jan Willis →
We use metaphors all the time, from describing friends as two peas in a pod, to old age as a chapter in someone’s life. We think of argument as war and move forward into the future. Would our understanding of friendship, argument and the future change if we used different metaphors? Could we even talk about them if we didn’t use metaphors at all? On this episode, we ask these questions and consider how deeply metaphors influence our understanding….Continue reading “Metaphors We Live By: A Classic Revisited” with George Lakoff and Mark Johnson →
We describe people as brave all the time, but what do we really mean? Does the bravery of a firefighter have anything in common with the courage of reading books that challenge our deepest beliefs? Is there a specific kind of courage that comes from living in a democracy? What do we learn from looking at the Greek roots of the word and how is their experience relevant to ours? On this episode of Why? we’re going to look at the classical roots of courage and examine its meaning in modern democracies….Continue reading “What is courage?” with Ryan Balot →
What happens when you combine abstract art with texts for poems and books? What can a painter do in collaboration with authors, people who work in an entirely different medium and whose writing may have no connection to the visual arts at all? On this s episode of Why? we talk with Alexandra Grant about her use of text in her paintings and her explorations with writers of all stripes. …Continue reading “Text as image, image as text: How one artist uses language to combine art and literature” with guest Alexandra Grant →
Are we living in a post-racial America? How important is integration to democracy and why do we tend to live in such segregated enclaves? Do we have a moral obligation to integrate our society, even if it means some people might not want to live next to the neighbors they end up with?…Continue reading “Are We Morally Obligated to Live in A Racially-Integrated Society?” with Elizabeth Anderson →