“What Animals Can Teach Us about Free Will” with guest Helen Steward

For millennia, human beings have believed that we have free will-that we are agents who can choose our own paths. But what does this mean in the age of antidepressants and identity politics? Perhaps more intriguing, does this imply that people are unique, that we are the only animals that are undetermined? Our guest on this episode says “no,” asking not what it means to be a free person, but what it means to be a free animal. This conversation combines a classical philosophical debate with new insights in cognitive science to rethink what it means to choose an action. Continue reading “What Animals Can Teach Us about Free Will” with guest Helen Steward

“What a food magazine tells us about the world” with guest Kerry Diamond

Food is more than just sustenance. It is a culture unto itself. It is our identity and our aspirations, pleasure and a tool. Members of the food industry know this and make money bringing us both the food we want and the food they want us to want. On this episode we examine it all through the perspective of a food magazine, Cherry Bombe. We’ll look at how the restaurant industry change when it magnifies the voices of women and what happens to culture when we embrace trends along side the classics.Continue reading “What a food magazine tells us about the world” with guest Kerry Diamond

“Can ordinary people understand advanced logic?” with guest Otávio Bueno

Formal logic is complicated, abstract and daunting. Its precise language makes it virtually impossible to read without significant training. Yet, it’s also tremendously important and at its best, it provides a focused framework for understanding the most human of abilities: rational thought. Is it really out of the reach of the general public? On this episode we find out that it isn’t. We ask what logic is, how it works, and investigate how it holds the key to good and bad thinking.Continue reading “Can ordinary people understand advanced logic?” with guest Otávio Bueno

“Can we know things better?” with guest Ernest Sosa

We live in the days of “alternative facts,” what does this say about human knowledge? People think that climate change is a myth, even though most scientists claim the evidence for it is overwhelming. What does this tell us about our ability to know what we know? To answer these questions, Why? Radio looks past the facts and the disagreements to examine the human faculty of knowledge itself. In today’s episode we introduce and explore epistemology–the philosophical investigation into the nature and limits of knowledge Continue reading “Can we know things better?” with guest Ernest Sosa

“Feminism as Philosophy, Politics, and Friendship” with guests Gloria Steinem and Suzanne Braun Levine

It is Why? Radio’s 100th episode; a powerful milestone for a monthly show. To help us celebrate, we are joined by writers, activists, and feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Suzanne Braun Levine. As the founder and the first editor of Ms. Magazine, Gloria and Suzanne left an indelible mark on the American consciousness, but they weren’t with stopping there. They have spent almost a half century fighting for political, social, and even philosophical equality, and did so as friends with a joint mission.Continue reading “Feminism as Philosophy, Politics, and Friendship” with guests Gloria Steinem and Suzanne Braun Levine

“Thinking Philosophically About the Black Church J. Kameron Carter” with guest.

People have been thinking a lot about race lately and we’ve also been thinking about the role of religion in elections. What we haven’t been doing is examining what happens when the two intersect. On the next episode of Why? we are going to do just this, examining specifically the role of the church in the lives, politics, and self-image of the African-American community (and everyone else).Continue reading “Thinking Philosophically About the Black Church J. Kameron Carter” with guest.

“Philosophy and Disability” with Anita Silvers

In 2003 there was a fire at a Russian boarding school, 28 deaf children were killed. In a published analysis, two philosophers claimed that it was their deafness that caused their death. They had to be woken up individually and they couldn’t hear instructions to run. The rest was inevitable. Anita Silvers not only takes issue with this interpretation, but describes this analysis as emblematic of everything wrong about our thinking on disability. On this episode of Why? we talk with her about the philosophical errors in our discussions about the disabled and how to learn from these mistakes.Continue reading “Philosophy and Disability” with Anita Silvers

“An Argument for Moral Relativism” with David. B. Wong

Nothing could be more common than people asserting that their own ethical beliefs are right while others are wrong. From abortion, to vegetarianism, to pacifism, to democracy, people and cultures are convinced that their way of life is morally superior. But what happens when we consider the possibility that there is more than one way to live ethically? What happens when we are charitable about others’ way of life? On this episode we are going to do just that. Continue reading “An Argument for Moral Relativism” with David. B. Wong

“Women and Men: Talking, Arguing, Loving, and Politicking” with guest Deborah Tannen

Sixteen years ago, Deborah Tannen published the bestselling You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, a book that ushered in a very public face to a prolific scholarly career. Her work on gender and communication has expanded to focus on romantic and work life, relations between mothers and daughters, siblings, and the role of argument in talking, all through the lens of gender. On this episode of Why? we look at her work over the last couple of decades and explore what it can tell us about our lives, our relationships, and our politics.Continue reading “Women and Men: Talking, Arguing, Loving, and Politicking” with guest Deborah Tannen

“Should Prostitution Be Legal?” with Peter de Marneffe

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

“How to Think Philosophically About Black Identity” with Tommie Shelby

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

“is Religious Commitment Important?” with Robert Audi

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

“Do We Still Need The Eighteenth Century?” with Ryan Patrick Hanley

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

“Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away” with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

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

“Are Sports Destroying American Universities?” with Murray Sperber

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

“What does Buddhism Offer an African-American Woman?” with Jan Willis

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

“Metaphors We Live By: A Classic Revisited” with George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

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

“What is courage?” with Ryan Balot

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

“Text as image, image as text: How one artist uses language to combine art and literature” with Alexandra Grant

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 Alexandra Grant

“Are We Morally Obligation to Live in A Racially-Integrated Society?” with Elizabeth Anderson

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 Obligation to Live in A Racially-Integrated Society?” with Elizabeth Anderson

“Why Don’t People Believe Science?” with 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 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 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 Mike Rose

“What is Performance Architecture” with 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 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

“Saying ‘No’ Through Civil Disobedience” with Jason D. Hill

When Jason Hill was in Turkey, he met a family with a gregarious nine year old daughter. When he compared her lively personality with the distant, quite, and isolated behavior of her burka-clad mother and sister, he began to shudder. He realized that in a few years, she too would be expected to put on similar outfits and withdraw from the world. Continue reading “Saying ‘No’ Through Civil Disobedience” with Jason D. Hill

“Do we live in a commercial republic? A Discussion about American Government and its Economy” with Mike O’Connor

If you believed the pundits, you’d think that America has always had one kind of economy; that our democracy has always relied upon the same kind of free market. But this isn’t the case. If you believe the politicians, you’d think capitalism and democracy are pretty much identical, that when you talk about one, you are really talking about the other. Are this episode of Why? Radio we are going take a journey through American history and examine the actual arguments that helped determine just what kind of economy America should have.Continue reading “Do we live in a commercial republic? A Discussion about American Government and its Economy” with Mike O’Connor

“Are there too many people for our environment?” with Philip Cafaro

Right now waters are rising around the world, chemicals are seeping into our food and people are going hungry. Right now, wilderness is diminishing and cities are increasing in both size and density. In short we have an overpopulation problem and we have way too many environmental crises and no one seems to know what to do about any of it. On this’s episode of Why? we are going to tackle all of this at once by talking about overpopulation from an environmentalist’s perspective. Continue reading “Are there too many people for our environment?” with Philip Cafaro

“Are Indian Tribes Sovereign Nations?” with George Tinker

It is no secret that there are strained relations between Native American tribes and the U.S. Government. In fact, many tribes want to be considered sovereign nations, free from US law and expectations. Even more so, most Americans understand little about American Indian life, traditions, and history. How are we to have a serious conversation about Indian liberation if we don’t know the basic facts? On this episode, we look not only at political question of tribal sovereignty, but delve deeply into its relationship to Native American culture, theology and history. Continue reading “Are Indian Tribes Sovereign Nations?” with George Tinker

“Can there be a world without borders?” with Seyla Benhabib

Our world is getting smaller and people are migrating from place to place. It feels like the old ideas of ethnicity and national origin just don’t hold the same power that they used to. Instead, the real question may turn out to be, how can we all be world citizens? On this episode we investigate cosmopolitanism and ask what it means to live without national boundaries and travel restrictions. Continue reading “Can there be a world without borders?” with Seyla Benhabib

“The Urbanization of Happiness” with Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman

Think about those that work and those that are falling apart. What influences their character, and, perhaps, more importantly, why do some succeed and others fail? On today’s episode of Why? we are going to ask these question and take a special look at how design creates urban problems, how what and where they build encourages violence, poverty, and unhappiness. Continue reading “The Urbanization of Happiness” with Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman

“How to Tell the Story of Art” with Ross King

When Ross Kind decided to tell the story of Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, he didn’t start with the paint colors or brushes; he started with politics, gossip, power and intrigue. When he told the story of Brunelleschi’s dome for the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, he started with competition and rivalry. Is this how we should tell the story or art? Is one painting or one building so complex, that he needs hundreds of pages to prepare the audience? Ross King thinks so and we’re going to find out why. Continue reading “How to Tell the Story of Art” with Ross King

“Civic Renewal in America” with Peter Levine

Every one of us has been encouraged to be an involved citizen, but what exactly does this mean? Every one of us has been told that small groups of thoughtful people are the only things that change the world? Is this true? Every one of us has been told that the government represents our interests, but the government doesn’t seem to know that. This episode of looks at all these puzzles and examine activism, democracy, the attempts to influence government policy.Continue reading “Civic Renewal in America” with Peter Levine

“The Unity of the Sciences: Is All Knowledge Connected?” with Joseph Margolis

WHY? Radio is, of course, a philosophy show, but our guests aren’t just philosophers. They are historians, artists, scientists, musicians, sociologists and specialists from many different fields. Are we doing something wrong? Aren’t all these disciplines different? On this episode of WHY? we are going to tackle these questions. We will ask about the classic “unity of the sciences,” look at the relationship between how cultures describe knowledge and how they describe themselves.Continue reading “The Unity of the Sciences: Is All Knowledge Connected?” with Joseph Margolis

“Should there be a national standard for education?” with Michael Apple

Education in the United States has changed radically in the last twenty years – standardized tests and the new Common Core goals have changed the way students are taught. At the heart of the debate is a complex philosophical question: should there be national standards for education or should educational goals be determined on the local level? Does the federal government have the best idea of what students should learn, or do local school boards, towns, cities, and counties? Should politicians and policy makers determine standards, or should teachers and parents? On this episode we discuss the Common Core, the purpose and nature of education, necessary educational goals, and Michael Apple’s new book “Can Education Change Society?” Continue reading “Should there be a national standard for education?” with Michael Apple

“Holding the Police Accountable” with 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 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 Philosophy of Poetry” with Mary Jo Bang

Almost seven hundred years ago Dante Alieghieri took us on a terrifying and mesmerizing journey through the nine circles of hell. He could never have predicted that today, in that same poem, the sin of gluttony would be represented by the South Park Character Eric Cartman. This isn’t a joke, but a way of modernizing Dante’s epic, and of showing that it still speaks to us as a serious work of art. On this episode of WHY?, we’re going to take our own journey, not through hell, but through the nature and limits of poetry, of what it means, and how it speaks to us Continue reading “The Philosophy of Poetry” with Mary Jo Bang

“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

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

“WHY? Goes to China: The View from a Private High School” with Yuyan Liu

Is Chinese education a mindless brainwashing free of critical thinking or is it a modern, pragmatic, well-rounded experience preparing world leaders for the future? Is it a single-monolithic entity treating all citizens alike, or is it more like America where people can choose their own way? Join WHY? and our guest Dr. Yuyan Liu, principal of the Camford Royal School in Beijing, China, as we look at Chinese education from the perspective of the reformer.Continue reading “WHY? Goes to China: The View from a Private High School” with Yuyan Liu

“WHY? Goes to China: Young, Female, and Upwardly Mobile in Shanghai.” with Catherine Gao and Sheryl Jiang

Catherine and Sheryl are in the early twenties, studying at a major university, and are ready to take on the world. They are two Chinese women with every opportunity in the world, and they, like everyone their age, want to know how to proceed. How does it feel to be the hope of a nation, the first generation to experience economic security and freedom of movement? Join WHY? as we ask what it’s like to grow up amidst the fastest changes in Chinese history.Continue reading “WHY? Goes to China: Young, Female, and Upwardly Mobile in Shanghai.” with Catherine Gao and Sheryl Jiang

“WHY? Goes to China: Music Without Borders” with Noukilla

Music crosses cultures, but how about the messages it imparts? How do you get an audience to dance, laugh, or even think, when you sing to them in a different language? And what if the music that one person thinks of as a relaxing party-soundtrack is actually regarded as dangerous and revolutionary? Join WHY? as we talk with the Shanghai band Noukilla and ask how five African musicians are breaking ground new ground in the Chinese world music scene while remaining true to their own roots, experiences, and music.Continue reading “WHY? Goes to China: Music Without Borders” with Noukilla

“WHY? Goes to China: Environmentalism Without Protest” with Lynn King and Irving Steel

In the United States, when we think of environmentalism we thing of Greenpeace, demonstrations, and boycotts. But what would environmentalism look like without protests? How can people be inspired to change their ways without petitions and social pressure, and how do you clean up a massive, industrial, over-polluted nation where food safety is a neglected concern? Join WHY? as we continue our exploration of modern China with guests Lynn King and Irving Steel. This episode was recorded live before an audience at the American Culture Center at the University Shanghai for Science and Technology. Continue reading “WHY? Goes to China: Environmentalism Without Protest” with Lynn King and Irving Steel

“WHY? Goes to China: Confucius and Today’s China” with Daniel Bell

Confucian philosophy plays an important role in the Chinese family, but what role does it play in politics? Chinese is a traditional society, but modern China is built on a break from the past. China holds dearly to its own past, but is experiencing more change than ever before. Join us for a discussion about how tradition works in a changing China and the importance of cities in moral life. This interview was recorded at The American Culture Center at The University of Shanghai for Science and Technology before a live audience. Continue reading “WHY? Goes to China: Confucius and Today’s China” with Daniel Bell

“Lies My Teacher Told Me” with James W. Loewen

In 1995, James Lowen published Lies My Teacher Told Me, a powerful critique of how American history is taught in schools. He surveyed twelve leading textbooks and found, in his words, ”an embarrassing amalgam of bland optimism, blind patriotism, and misinformation pure and simple, weighing in at an average of four-and-a-half pounds and 888 pages.” His book won the American Book Award, the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship, and the AESA Critics’ Choice Award. The book has sold over 1,250,000 copies. Continue reading “Lies My Teacher Told Me” with James W. Loewen

“Does science give us Truth?” with Jan Golinski

For thousands of years, people have looked to science to reveal the truth about nature – to conquer it or to discover its secrets. But there are others who think that this approach is deeply mistaken. Science, they say, tells us about our culture and reveals the ideas we bring to the laboratory. Is there such a thing as objectivity or does science just describe what we ourselves bring into the laboratory? On this episode of WHY? we are going to examine these questions and wade deep into what some philosophers call “the science wars.”Continue reading “Does science give us Truth?” with Jan Golinski

“Should the Government Care About You?” with Virgina Held

Does the government have the responsibility to care about its citizens? Does it have an obligation to think of each of us as people, as individuals, and not just as interchangeable? Join WHY? as we talk with influential and ground-breaking philosopher Virginia Held about the ethics of care and how her approach change the way we think about the government, the law, and justice itself. Continue reading “Should the Government Care About You?” with Virgina Held

“A House Divided: Analytic vs. Continental Philosophy” with Gary Gutting

Should philosophy make things simpler or more complex? Should it describe the muddle of human emotions or simply give us the language to analyze them? The answers to these questions not only tell us what we can know, but also aligns us with of two very controversial philosophy camps. Join WHY? as we discuss one of philosophy’s deepest and most divisive controversies: the battle between the “continentals” and the “analytics.”Continue reading “A House Divided: Analytic vs. Continental Philosophy” with Gary Gutting

“Marriage and the Family” Stephanie Coontz

Is the “traditional” marriage between one man and one woman really the most preferred form of marriage? History suggests it is not. In addition to polygamy (the most valued, historically), there is also polyandry (one woman, many husbands), ghost marriages, “female husbands,” and many others, and almost none of them had anything to do with love. Join WHY? as we talk with Stephanie Coontz about her research on the history of marriage, family, and the moral systems that justify the choices. Continue reading “Marriage and the Family” Stephanie Coontz

“Philosophy of Violence” with Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker argues that the world is less violent today than it has ever been before. For some of his critics, this claim is more than false, it’s bizarre. What is Pinker’s argument, what does it tell us about human nature, and how should we think about violence in general? Join WHY? as we explore Steven’s newest book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined, and come face to face with one of the contemporary world’s most important questions: is there moral progress? Continue reading “Philosophy of Violence” with Steven Pinker

“Teaching Philosophy for Children” with Maughn Gregory

How young can children learn philosophy? How should it be taught in the schools? What does philosophy offer that other curricula do not? For decades, the international movement known as “philosophy for children” has had tremendous success teaching in both public and private schools. Emphasizing moral education, critical thinking, and concept development, P4C, as it is know, has inspired even the youngest children to speak out in class, think about the most difficult subjects, and come to their own conclusions about controversial issues. Join WHY? as we examine this fascinating topic and ask whether a subject like philosophy is compatible with schooling built on standardized testing. Continue reading “Teaching Philosophy for Children” with Maughn Gregory

“Plato Not Prozac: What is Philosophical Counseling?” with Lou Marinoff

Can philosophy make our lives better? Can it help us develop better senses of self? Can it ever be used as a therapy-like tool to heal us psychologically or inspire us to change our behavior? In this episode of WHY? we will look at the role of belief, worldview, and intellectual choices, to see how they contribute to a healthy, well-balanced personality. Join host Jack Russell Weinstein and his guest Lou Marinoff, as we investigate the philosophical counseling movement. Continue reading “Plato Not Prozac: What is Philosophical Counseling?” with Lou Marinoff

“Growing Up North Dakotan” with Joshua Boschee, Kathryn Joyce, Jessie Veeder Schofield, Prairie Rose Seminole

North Dakota is a complex state. It is mostly rural but fifty percent of its population lives in cities. There is a strong sense of identity and place, but significant hostility between the eastern and western regions. For a long time, it had a very powerful federal congressional delegation, but it is usually regarded as a “fly-over state” with little electoral importance. How is all of this viewed by younger North Dakotans and how much pressure is there to stay in the state or leave? Join WHY? as we discuss these questions with a panel of four involved, successful, and native-born North Dakotans. Continue reading “Growing Up North Dakotan” with Joshua Boschee, Kathryn Joyce, Jessie Veeder Schofield, Prairie Rose Seminole

“On Liberty and Libertarianism” with James Otteson

Political freedom lies at the core of any democracy. Yet some people claim that even countries like America and England aren’t free enough. What does a free society look like and how much liberty is necessary for the moral life? What is the role of government, how big should it be, and what happens when individual interests clash? Join WHY?’s guest James Otteson as he examines these questions, talks about Adam Smith, the father of free-market theory, and discusses his own account of political morality with its roots in the “classical liberal tradition” (the political tradition that has led to everything from the American Tea Party to libertarians who argue for gun rights and drug legalization). Continue reading “On Liberty and Libertarianism” with James Otteson

“The Philosophy of Water” with Clay Jenkinson

Water is a force for life and for destruction. We simultaneously take it for granted and infuse it with profound meanings. Some of the deepest political battles revolve around its access, yet for most of us, these debates are invisible or disregarded. What is the philosophy of water? How does it affect our lives, and what happens what we are denied it, face too much of it, and when it becomes our enemy? Join WHY? as we swim though these questions, asking about the legacy of Hurricane Katrina, the recent floods in Minot, North Dakota, and the struggle to supply clean, accessible water to the worldContinue reading “The Philosophy of Water” with Clay Jenkinson

“Are There Just Wars?” with Michael Walzer

The philosopher William James once remarked that those who think that war is inevitable suffer from a lack of imagination. What about those who think that war is never justified, do they suffer from a lack of imagination as well? Can war ever be the moral thing to do? Is it ever justified to be the attacker, or is war only a matter of defense? Given the modern nature of war, can we really distinguish between civilians and combatants, and, given the dangers of terrorism, is pre-emptive war now permissible? Join WHY? as we engage in the thousand-year old quest for a definition of just war with one of the most influential thinkers on the subject: Michael Walzer. Continue reading “Are There Just Wars?” with Michael Walzer

“Food and Sutainability” with Jay Basquiat

How much thought have you given to the idea of food? Why do we eat some things and not others, even though they are all edible? And, what exactly does it mean to be natural? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the philosophy of food and sustainability: What are the moral rules for manufacturing food, for farming, and for our agricultural priorities? Why does food play such important cultural and spiritual roles in virtually every society? What responsibilities do we have to provide food for other and to provide specific kinds of food for ourselves? And, to what extend is the creation of food – farming, baking, manufacturing, etc. – cultures in and of themselves, and how do those cultures effect the larger ones we live in? Continue reading “Food and Sutainability” with Jay Basquiat

“Is Ghostwriting Ethical?” with Deborah Brandt

Everyday, politicians publish books telling the stories of their lives and their political views. But more often than not these “autobiographies” are written by ghost writers, unnamed people who imitate the voice of the author for money and a brief acknowledgement in the introduction. Is this lying? Is this ethical? Should it diminish the politician’s credibility. Join WHY? as we examine this complicated issue with one of America’s foremost experts on literacy and its connection to politics. Continue reading “Is Ghostwriting Ethical?” with Deborah Brandt

“In A Different Voice and After” with Carol Gilligan

Do men think differently than women? Is moral reasoning inherently male? Is psychology biased against relationships and the women who value them? Thirty years ago, Carol Gilligan asked these questions and shook the foundations of philosophy, psychology, and feminism. This month on WHY?, we revisit Gilligan’s classic study In A Different Voice and ask whether her answers still hold true. How was the classic text received? How is it viewed now? And, what does it (and Gilligan) still have to teach us? Join us for a challenging and important conversation that may be as powerful today as it was when the book was first released. Continue reading “In A Different Voice and After” with Carol Gilligan

“Art and Philosophy” with Arthur C. Danto

What is art? What is beauty? How are they related to truth? These questions lay at the core of philosophical inquiry, and few have been more baffling – and more enriching – to philosophers. Combine these issues with the fact that art is an inherently intimate experience for viewers and you get the recipe for deep controversy and exciting debate. Join WHY? as we delve deep into aesthetics, the philosophy of art, with one of its most respected and influential practitioners: Arthur Danto. Continue reading “Art and Philosophy” with Arthur C. Danto

“Fiction as Philosophy” with Rebecca Goldstein

Philosophy tries to discover Truth, but more often than not it tells stories, relying on allegories, parables, and dialogues at key moments. What happens when a professional philosopher decides to embrace this method, and how does it affect the philosophy at the core of the story? Join WHY? as we interview Rebecca Goldstein, author of such novels as 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, The Mind-Body Problem, Mazel, and Strange Attractors. How do truth and fiction relate? How does one move back and forth from scholarly research to popular fiction, and, most of all, how does fiction relate to discovery? Continue reading “Fiction as Philosophy” with Rebecca Goldstein

“Honor Codes and Moral Revolutions” with K. Anthony Appiah

How does the concept of honor inspire moral revolutions? What is the ethical code at the core of dueling? How does dishonor lead to fundamental changes in behavior and shifts in entire moral systems? These questions lie at the core of a fascinating discussion about the nature and origin of ethical practices. Join WHY? as we interview K. Anthony Appiah, as he discusses his new book The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen. Talk with us as we draw lines between British aristocratic duels, “honor killings’ in Pakistan, the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, and foot-biding in turn-of-the-century China. As Appiah shows, by focusing on the age-old question of honor, we can see, more clearly than ever, why moral beliefs are what they are.
Continue reading “Honor Codes and Moral Revolutions” with K. Anthony Appiah

“A Secular Age” with Charles Taylor

Even the most religious of people understand that their belief is only one option of many; a different attitude than those who lived 500 years ago when theological commitments were so automatic as to not be questioned. What caused this radical cultural shift? This is the question Charles Taylor seeks to answer in his new book A Secular Age. In doing so, he asks about the nature of religion, the meaning of secularism, and the history of how much of the world shifted from the former approach to the latter. Join WHY? as we ask about this innovative and important topic, and connect it to Taylor’s long career of influential philosophical study.Continue reading “A Secular Age” with Charles Taylor

“The Profession of Philosophy Redux” with Brian Leiter

Brian Leiter joined Why? in April but technical difficulties prevented us have having anything but a short conversation. In this episode, he generously returns to try again.
What is the difference between a philosopher and a philosophy professor? What does the world think a philosopher is and how does this square with the philosopher’s own self-image? The next episode of Why? looks closely at the philosopher’s job, exploring both the perennial question of its relevance and the tremendously competitive hiring process that almost every professional philosopher must endure. Join guest Brian Leiter for an insider’s look at the profession of philosophy, and a discussion about the future of the discipline: where is philosophy now, how has it changed, and how will it evolve over the next decades? Continue reading “The Profession of Philosophy Redux” with Brian Leiter

“Domestic Violence and the Law: China vs. the U.S.A.” with Robin Runge

In March of 2010, Robin Runge traveled to Beijing to train Chinese judges to better deal with issues of domestic violence in the law; this was her second such visit. In comparing the Chinese and American systems, she has able to see those areas in which American law better responds to the needs of the community and those areas in which the Chinese system does. In this episode of Why? we will discuss her experiences and address central questions in the philosophy of law. What counts as evidence? How ought the court deal with a he said/she said situation? In what ways can judges work with the police to promote better investigations? How do cultural differences affect legal frameworks, and to what extent is domestic violence a violation of human rights? Continue reading “Domestic Violence and the Law: China vs. the U.S.A.” with Robin Runge

“Exporting Democracy Revisited: A Report From Romainia” with Paul Sum

Last year, Paul Sum joined us to talk about the possibilities of exporting the American model of democracy to other countries. He was about to embark on a one-year trip to Romania to examine their transition to democracy. Now he’s back and ready to share what he learned. Join us for a conversation about what democracy looks like in Eastern Europe now, at this very moment, and how the reality compares to our hopes and theories. Continue reading “Exporting Democracy Revisited: A Report From Romainia” with Paul Sum

“Eric Sevareid and the Philosophy of Journalism” with Clay Jenkinson

What constitutes serious journalism? Can a reporter be a philosopher? How did broadcast journalism change the philosophy behind news reporting? These are just some of the questions that come to mind when one thinks about the life and work of Eric Sevareid. Born in Velva, North Dakota, Sevareid was one of America’s most influential broadcast journalists. One of “Murrow’s Boys” – named as such because of his extensive work with the legendary Edward R. Murrow – his reports on World War II captivated America. On this episode of Why?, Clay Jenkinson returns to examine Sevareid’s legacy and the ways in which journalism has changed since then. Discussing his current documentary project on the legendary reporter and Sevareid’s autobiography Not So Wild A Dream, Jenkinson will explore the impact journalism has on the world around us and ways in which autobiography reveals how one person, at least, crafted and pursued his personal mission. Continue reading “Eric Sevareid and the Philosophy of Journalism” with Clay Jenkinson

“Empathy, the Constitution, and Sexual Orientation” with Martha Nussbaum

Should America allow gay marriage? Are demands for civil rights by homosexuals analogous to earlier movements for equality by black Americans, women, and others? How have personal attitudes – particularly disgust – shaped law in the United States? This episode of Why? will focus on the enlarging sphere of respect that American culture is cultivating for all of its members, as well as the role the humanities play in articulating political rights. Join us for a discussion about constitutional interpretation regarding same-sex relations, and the role that the ethical and sympathetic imagination plays in recognizing the humanity of others. Continue reading “Empathy, the Constitution, and Sexual Orientation” with Martha Nussbaum

“The Humanities in America: The Case for Public Funding” with Brenna Daugherty

What are the humanities and why are they important? How can the National Endowment for the Humanities claim that their activities are “critical to our common civic life as a nation?” And most controversially, should the U.S. government fund such cultural endeavors? In this episode of Why? we examine the philosophical issues related to what has come to be called the public humanities: the effort of both private and governmental organizations to create and supports events that disseminate philosophy, history, literature, and other arts to the general public. Continue reading “The Humanities in America: The Case for Public Funding” with Brenna Daugherty

“Ideology and Curriculum: 30 Years of a Discussion” with Michael W. Apple

What political and economic forces affect teachers as they write their lesson plans? How does socialization create the kind of education we give our children? Why isn’t school politically neutral? In our next episode of Why? we will ask these questions and more, focusing on Michal Apple’s influential book Ideology and Curriculum. For thirty years, the book has challenge educators, directed policy conversations, and inspired those who want to think differently about schools and their roles in a democracy. Continue reading “Ideology and Curriculum: 30 Years of a Discussion” with Michael W. Apple

“On Self-Deception” with Amelie Rorty

Amelie Rorty tells us that self-deception is useful, yet this belief runs counter to much that we hold dear. What of truth and integrity? What of self-knowledge? These question lie at the core of a wide-ranging discussion about who we are, how we relate to the world around us, and our relationship with knowledge. Join Why? for a discussion that helps distinguish self-deception from delusion, ambivalence from skepticism, and how we actually live from how we think we do.Continue reading “On Self-Deception” with Amelie Rorty

“What is Critical Thinking?” with Harvey Siegel

Is it ever possible to actually persuade anybody? How do we best critically analyze our own opinions? Is human rationality really that which lies at our decision making process? Is there a right answer and how do modern diversity considerations interfere with arguments seeking the Truth? These questions mark only the beginning of discussions regarding critical thinking and the role of informal logic in people’s day to day life. Join Harvey Siegel for a discussion on how people think, whether thinking skills can actually be improved, and coping with relativism in an argument. Continue reading “What is Critical Thinking?” with Harvey Siegel

“The Other Economics: Welfare, Development, and Justice” with Amartya Sen

It is easy to think that all economists believe the free market solves every problem and that government assistance is a detriment to distributive justice. Nobel Prize winning economist and philosopher Amartya Sen argues otherwise. His groundbreaking work on famine, human capabilities, gender equality, and justice are found at the core of “development economics.” In this episode of Why?, Sen will discuss all these issues and their connection to philosophy. How are human capabilities related to democracy? Why is famine a political problem rather than simply one of food supply? How does all of this stem from a misunderstanding of Adam Smith and the connections between morality and commercial structures? Join Amartya Sen for an exciting and timely discussion about justice and the economic structures that help bring it to everyone in the world. Continue reading “The Other Economics: Welfare, Development, and Justice” with Amartya Sen

“The Morality (and Legality) of Universal Healthcare” with Sharona Hoffman

Very few issues are more on the American mind than health care right now. But what are the philosophical issues behind the politics? Does the state have a moral obligation to provide health care to others? Do citizens have the duty to pay for it? And given that the constitution is silent on the question of health care, what is the relationship between legality and morality? Sharona Hoffman will join us to ask these and other timely questions for what is bound to be a controversial but exciting show. Continue reading “The Morality (and Legality) of Universal Healthcare” with Sharona Hoffman

“Justice, Caring, and the Mentally Disabled” with Eva Feder Kittay

Modern political philosophy has argued that justice requires full equality for those who can both carry the burdens and get the benefits from participating in social cooperation. But what about those who cannot fulfill these obligations because of limited mental capacities? Are these people still due justice, and if so, what sort of equality could we expect to grant them? In other words, what do we owe to those among us who are not capable of participating in society in typical ways because of their cognitive limitations? These and other questions will focus the discussion with Eva Kittay, author of the highly influential book Love’s Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency. Does justice presuppose participation, and what happens when we shift the obligation from duty to caring for others? This discussion will get to the core of what we believe we owe others and what it means to live in a society where difference means more than just religious, ethnic, or political difference. It goes to the heart of what it means to be human in society. Continue reading “Justice, Caring, and the Mentally Disabled” with Eva Feder Kittay

“Literature in the Digital Age” with Crystal Alberts

Is a book on the web still a book? Do hyperlinks change the role of narrative? What is an author if anyone can publish anything whenever they want? These questions frame Why?’s first episode in front of a live audience. Recorded at the newly renovated opera house in New Rockford, North Dakota, guest Crystal Alberts will crack open “philosophy of literature” to help us investigate our assumptions about reading, writing, and art in general. An expert in “new media,” we will take the opportunity to ask her the kinds of questions that come up all-too-often in today’s computerized world. What does interactivity do to the experience of reading? How does the urgency of “hipness” compare with the time-tested lessons of the classics? What does the world “classic” mean anyway? Is the feel of paper on your fingers a necessary component of good reading?Continue reading “Literature in the Digital Age” with Crystal Alberts

“Exporting Democracy” with Paul E. Sum

“Democracy assistance” has become ever more important to U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Its goal is to help usher in or encourage democratic practices amongst the world. But these attempts raise many philosophical questions including whether it is possible to “export” democracy at all. Paul E. Sum is a political scientist whose research explores the effectiveness of such democracy assistance programs in the post-communist world. In late July, he will travel to Romania for one year to investigate that country’s transition to democracy. With this episode of WHY?, we will catch up with him before he goes and ask a range of preliminary but related questions: What is a democracy? What conditions are necessary for a transition to this form of government? What method most effectively delivers democracy assistance? And, what has the track record of the US attempt to foster democracy been so far? We hope, when he returns, to revisit these questions and discover what new information he can provide about the process of democratization in Romania and around the world. Continue reading “Exporting Democracy” with Paul E. Sum

“America’s So-Called Decline” with Mark Stephen Jendrysik

Today’s pundits and politicians love to tell us that America is in decline. Michael Moore, Bill O’Reilly, Patrick Buchanan, Bill Clinton, and even philosophers like Allan Bloom and Noam Chomsky work to persuade us that America has lost its way. But this message is nothing new. From the earliest moments of North American settlement people have been preaching American downfall, yet this “jeremiad” – the use of the theme of downfall named after the biblical Book of Jeremiah – “does not invite discussion. It is not designed to create debate. It preaches to the converted, or at best draws in those who have not considered the issues before and are ready to be converted.” So writes Mark Jendrysik, author of the book Modern Jeremiahs: Contemporary Visions of American Decline.” Continue reading “America’s So-Called Decline” with Mark Stephen Jendrysik

“Competition, Society, and the Athlete” with Paul Gaffney

What is the meaning of athletic competition and how should we understand its prominence in our society? Is victory the chief criterion of success or are other values significant? Does it play a moral role in our society? Can it teach us something? Is competition beautiful? Can we justify the enormous investments made in our professional and amateur sporting enterprises? What precisely is the satisfaction gained by athletic achievement? Continue reading “Competition, Society, and the Athlete” with Paul Gaffney

“Philosophy of Hunting” with Lawrence E. Cahoone

What happens when a philosopher raised outside of a culture that promotes hunting takes up the sport? What philosophical lessons can he learn from the experience and how can he describe them in existential terms? Lawrence Cahoone asks these questions and more. Growing up in the urban and suburban Northeast, he had no experience of hunting. But in middle-age, after moving to a rural area, he decided that if he was going to eat meat he ought to find some himself. It seemed only fair. So, he began to hunt. But as a philosophy professor, he was forced to reflect on the experience in a very particular way. Was it moral to shoot animals? What does it feel like to seek and to kill? What was involved in entering the “wild on wild” business? Philosophers have debated whether hunting is a violation of animal rights, a friend to the environment, or a sport. But what Larry ended up asking was something more basic. In the end, he wanted to know: what does hunting mean? Continue reading “Philosophy of Hunting” with Lawrence E. Cahoone