Philosophy ain't just for white-haired professors anymore.
Questions about what is good, beautiful, right, and valuable are questions that all of us ask everyday. Should I be "civil" to someone with intolerant beliefs and actions? How do we know what is true in the era of fake news? Is 10 Things I Hate About You the best teen movie ever made? Check out these 30 fun, accessible conversations about philosophy and everyday life.
All 30 conversations appear on Think Hard, the podcast where two trained philosophers think hard about the real world. My co-host José Muñiz and I created this podcast because we love philosophy and we believe that it lives in the everyday world.
We bring our philosophical perspectives, our curiosity, and of course, our good humor and witty banter to everything from political protests, to self-help books, to the merits of snobbery.
We've just released our 30th episode, so I'm taking this moment to give you a brief rundown of all of our conversations thus far.
If you don't know where to begin, episodes #9, #14, #25, and #26 are some of my favorites, full of laughter, honesty, and two people trying to figure out the world.
- #1: I had a crumby trip because I'm a crumby person: Why do we desire to find authenticity when we travel?
- #2 Stop Traffic...and You Die: What purpose do protests serve in the public arena?
- #3: T-Shirt Feminism: Has the mainstreaming of feminism has sold it out to capitalist interests?
- #4: Giving with Reason: Are there rational reasons for giving to those less fortunate?
- #5: Lottery Players Lack Imagination: What happens in our mind when we think about whether or not to take a risk?
- #6: White Girl Sings the Blues: Where is the line between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation?
- #7: Death Rattles of Dance: Is social dancing on the decline? And if so, what do we lose if it dies?
- #8: Where is the Pain?: Can meditation change the brain so much that we can cease to feel pain?
- #9: In Defense of Snobs: Are snobs just obnoxious, self-righteous jerks, or do they contribute something of value to society?
- #10: Help Yourself: Can philosophy make for better self-help?
- #11: Tolerating the Nazi Next Door: Why should we value tolerance, and how do we treat those who are intolerant?
- #12: Is Belief in God Morally Wrong?: Given all of the warfare and destruction in the name of God, is it morally wrong to hold this belief without sufficient evidence?
- #13: Emotional Work for White People: Why is it so hard for white people to talk about racism?
- #14: I’m Not a Masturbation Couch: Does sexual desire always or necessarily involve the dehumanizing objectification of others?
- #15: All News is Fake News: With new technologies that have the ability to literally change what we see and hear through audio and video manipulation, how do we know that what we see or hear is true?
- #16: Teen Movies will Save the World: Are The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and 10 Things I Hate About You, just silly teen movies or important cultural artifacts that show us how to view the world with complexity, nuance, and depth?
- #17: From Happy Cow to Hopeful Child: Should we be teaching hopeful thinking as an integral part of teaching critical thinking?
- #18: You, Me, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones: What have we learned and loved in creating Think Hard?
- #19: Feminist Friendship: Guest Cori Wong asks: How we can do better in bridging the gaps between white women and women of color in the “feminist movement"?
- #20: When is Enough…Enough?: How do I know when to accept myself as I am and when to strive to improve myself?
- #21: Borrowing Worry: Can all anxiety be understood as one or more of three basic fears, all of which are fundamental features of the human condition?
- #22: We Got Options: What about polyamory provides opportunity for personal growth and development?
- #23: Hope in a Godless World: For those who don’t believe in a benevolent, higher power, where do we look for hope and guidance when things are looking grim?
- #24: The Real Thing: Why do we want to see the real, original piece of art?
- #25: On Racist Jokes (Funny Ones): Is it ok to laugh at racist jokes? Does it matter who is telling the joke?
- #26: My Baby, My Moral Mistake: Given over-population, the current environmental crisis, and the potential for a future full of hardship and suffering, is it ethical to have kids?
- #27: Of Friends and Flatulence: Why is it so hard to make friends in adulthood?
- #28: Our Patron Saint: Guest Jack Russell Weinstein considers: What do philosophers have to offer the public?
- #29: The “I” in Us: How do we, as a society, tackle issues like climate change or global poverty when we see ourselves as fractured groups, each with its own concerns?
- #30: Playing Chess with Yourself: Who are you, really, and how do you know if you’re being yourself?
What's your favorite episode? What topics have we not yet covered that you think we should? Post in the comments and let me know. And share this list with a friend, with your own recommendation for where they should begin!
Learn more about Think Hard, and give us feedback at our website thinkhardpodcast.com, or find us on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Follow us on Twitter, follow our Facebook page, and join our Facebook Community Group to connect with José Muñiz, Danielle LaSusa, and fans of the show.