Fifteen years of thoughtful, non-adversarial, accessible, and welcoming philosophy.

Sometimes it feels like there isn’t any intelligent debate left in the world. All we hear is fighting: irresponsible, loud-mouthed partisanship disguised as information. For 2500 years, philosophers have tried to cut through the rhetoric, the infighting, and the abuse, but they forgot that everyone doesn’t speak in the same technicalities.

It’s time for accessible and fun philosophy. It’s time for Why? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life.

Join us each month as we engage in philosophical discussions about the most commonplace topics. From explorations of hunting to discussions about domestic violence, from classic works of art to the most cutting-edge digital media, from the American prairie to the heart of post-communist Romania, Why? Radio takes you on a journey through the great questions, the puzzling answers, and the deepest recesses of your mind.

We’re not just a podcast. We’re part of National Public Radio, so you know we have the highest standards and have earned our reputation.

Why? Radio is a partnership between Prairie Public Radio and The University of North Dakota’s College of Arts & Sciences. Our mission is to entertain while we inform and educate. Our host and guests translates even the most obscure philosophy into a language that anyone can understand. We want to convince all of our listeners that philosophy is relevant to our daily lives and that everyone is doing philosophy all the time, most people just don’t know it.

Our host

Host Dr. Jack Russell Weinstein is a Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Institute for Philosophy in Public Life at the University of North Dakota. He is an award winning teacher, author of three books and dozens of academic and popular articles, and has edited six collections for both academics and general audiences. He is an amateur triathlete and a hobbyist baker.

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Our latest episode:

“What’s it Like Being a Philosophy Student?”

with Guests Samuel Amandolar, Terse Azure, Madilyn Lee, Sara Rasch.

Philosophy is a discipline, but it’s also a major. Most people who do it are on college campuses. We’ve spent the last fifteen years talking to the professors, now it’s time for the students. What’s it like studying philosophy in a culture obsessed with job readiness? Are professors’ expectations difficult to meet? How much of what you learn feels academic and how much is intimate, requiring self-examination and behavioral change?

In this special episode of Why? Radio, host Jack Russell Weinstein interviews four of his current students to learn what studying philosophy is like in their own words. They discuss their struggles with learning during Covid, the difficulties of attending university as am indigenous student, and, in some very moving discussion, the experience of being in Jack’s class.

“Easily the Best I’ve encountered ★★★★★

The only problem with this podcast is that there are not enough of them. Jack Russell Weinstein is first, brilliant and second, as unbiased as a human could be. The problem i have with nearly every other philosophy podcast is the systemic negativity. I understand it is in a philosophers blood to find the failings of any affirmative position, but it gets tiring when hosts don’t even attempt to present the position being torn down fairly. J.R.W. will argue brilliantly for one side as he inhales then exhales, just as brilliantly the opposing position; all the while keeping in mind the whole point of the podcast, which is to answer the question ‘why?’”

Veritruviann iTunes. 6/4/2016

“Great Show About Ideas ★★★★★

At first glance, I wouldn’t think a public radio show about philosophical ideas would make it. I say this and I’m a philosopher by trade. Jack Weinstein makes it work wot a great combination of good guests, interesting topics, and great conversation. One of the marks of a great conversation is that you don’t usually notice the wheels turning. Good conversations can sound easy and effortless, but they take really good listening and thoughtfulness. Three thumbs up for this show, and I’m glad a show like this really can make it in the United States. Wahoo for Why?”

Tony Cunningham
iTunes Review, 6/9/2016

The Best Philosophy Podcast★★★★★

I’ve listened to a lot of philosophy podcasts, but this one takes the cake. Jack does an outstanding job at facilitating fascinating conversations while still being accessible and easily digestible. The guests are always a delight, and you can tell that everyone is invested in the project. Highly recommend for anyone that’s intellectually curious and wants to hear genuine conversations between genuine people! <3

— Anna478,
iTunes, 9/23/20


Open to anyone of any age. Just bring your curiosity.

Philsophical Currents: A Philosopher’s Exploration of This Month’s Most Intriguing News Stories:

What is “Woke”?

The word “woke” is being used as a weapon, yet many people who wield it can’t come up with a definition. In this episode, Ashley and Jack discuss the meaning, history, and power of being woke, as well as the related argument that drag shows should be banned. {

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