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Why We Argue

Hosted by political philosopher and Vanderbilt University professor Robert Talisse, Why We Argue is an interview podcast that brings in academics, philosophers, historians, journalists, politicians, and other notable public figures to think about the state of American political discourse and the roll intellectual humility can play in public conversation. Created by Humility & Conviction in Public Life a project of the University of Connecticut's Humanities Institute and funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
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Aug 10, 2017

Helene Landemore is Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Yale University. She defends the idea that democracy succeeds at harnessing the collective wisdom of the citizenry. This view is spelled out in her 2013 book Democratic Reason (Princeton University Press 2013). Landemore is currently completing a new book about the institutional design of a smart democracy.

 

Jul 27, 2017

Nigel Warburton holds a PhD in Philosophy from Cambridge and has held academic positions at University of Nottingham and the Open University.  But he is today a freelance public philosopher. He has offered philosophy courses at the Tate Modern gallery, he conducts monthly philosophical discussions at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford, and co-hosts with David Edmonds the wildly popular podcast series Philosophy Bites.  Nigel is the author of several books of philosophy, including The Art Question (Routledge 2002), Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2009), and A Little History of Philosophy (Yale 2012).

Jul 13, 2017

Thom Brooks is Dean of Durham Law School, Professor of Law and Government, and Associate in the Department of Philosophy in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. His academic work focuses on issues in Ethics, Criminal Law, and Public Policy. But he is widely known as an outspoken critic of the UK Citizenship Test. His most recent book is Becoming British: UK Citizenship Examined (Biteback Publishing 2016).

Jun 28, 2017

Trudy Govier is Emerita Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. Her research is focused on the nature of argumentation and questions concerning social trust, forgiveness, and reconciliation. She is also the author of a highly influential informal logic text,  A Practical Study of Argument (7th edition, Cengage), as well as Forgiveness and Revenge (Routledge 2002) and Victims and Victimhood (Broadview 2015).

Jun 15, 2017

Akeel Bilgrami is Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, and a member of Columbia’s Committee on Global Thought.  Bilgrami’s research spans issues in Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Moral Philosophy, and Political Philosophy.  His most recent book is titled Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment(Harvard 2014). And he is the author of the forthcoming book, What is a Muslim?(Princeton UP).

Jun 1, 2017

Does voter ignorance undermine democracy? Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University and regular contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy blog at the Washington Post. Somin’s research focuses on issues concerning constitutional law, property law, and public political participation. He is the author of The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter (revised edition, Stanford University Press, 2016) .

May 18, 2017

How can we as consumers distinguish between the many different political medias? Eric Alterman is CUNY Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism at Brooklyn College.  Eric is also a columnist for The Nation, and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington and the World Policy Institute in New York. He is the author of several books, including When Presidents Lie (Penguin 2004),  Kabuki Democracy (Nation Books 2011), and most recently, Inequality and One City (Nation Books 2015).

May 4, 2017

Don't discuss politics at the dinner table? Why not? Karen Stohr is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. Stohr’s research focuses on Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy and virtue theory. She is the author of academic articles dealing with topics such as beneficence, modesty, and friendship. In her recent book, On Manners (Routledge 2012), Stohr argues that the social niceties commonly characterized as manners have distinctively moral content.

Apr 20, 2017

Joshua Cohen is a faculty member of Apple University, and is Distinguished Senior Fellow at the School of Law, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of Political Science at Berkeley.  He is the author of several influential academic articles, many of which are collected in Philosophy, Politics, Democracy(Harvard 2009), and The Arc of the Moral Universe and Other Essays (Harvard, 2011). Since 1991, Cohen has edited the Boston Review

 

Apr 5, 2017

Donald Trump won the election largely by making grand promises of radical change. William Galston argues that, ultimately, talk is cheap and results are what counts. William Galston is Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program.  He is also a former Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy. Additionally, he writes a weekly column for the Wall Street Journal. Galston’s academic work focuses on value pluralism and civic renewal. 

Apr 5, 2017
As US politics becomes increasingly driven by divisions, we need some way of sustaining a shared civic life. Paul Taylor makes the case for democratic virtues. Paul C. Taylor is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies at Penn State. His research focuses on philosophy of race, social and political philosophy, Africana philosophy, and aesthetics. 
Apr 5, 2017
The ‘ideological odd couple’ of Robert George and Cornel West jointly authored a statement defending free speech on campus and elsewhere. Find out why. Robert George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and the founding director of Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.  His research focuses on issues in ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of law.
Apr 5, 2017

Contemporary democracy is becoming increasingly populist. Elizabeth Anderson explains what populism is, why many find it appealing, and what makes it dangerous. Elizabeth Anderson is John Dewey Distinguished University Professor, John Rawls Collegiate Professor, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and Department Chair at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  She specializes in Ethics and Political Philosophy, writing on issues of social justice, equality, race, and gender. 

Apr 5, 2017
Social Media rewards snap judgments and blind conviction. Michael Lynch finds this troubling. Michael P. Lynch is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Humanities Institute a University of Connecticut. His research concerns truth, public discourse, and the impact of technology on democratic society.  

 

Apr 5, 2017

Donald Trump won the election largely by making grand promises of radical change. William Galston argues that, ultimately, talk is cheap and results are what counts. William Galston is Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program.  He is also a former Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy. Additionally, he writes a weekly column for the Wall Street Journal. Galston’s academic work focuses on value pluralism and civic renewal. 

Apr 5, 2017
As US politics becomes increasingly driven by divisions, we need some way of sustaining a shared civic life. Paul Taylor makes the case for democratic virtues. Paul C. Taylor is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies at Penn State. His research focuses on philosophy of race, social and political philosophy, Africana philosophy, and aesthetics. 
Apr 5, 2017
The ‘ideological odd couple’ of Robert George and Cornel West jointly authored a statement defending free speech on campus and elsewhere. Find out why. Robert George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and the founding director of Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.  His research focuses on issues in ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of law.
Apr 5, 2017

Contemporary democracy is becoming increasingly populist. Elizabeth Anderson explains what populism is, why many find it appealing, and what makes it dangerous. Elizabeth Anderson is John Dewey Distinguished University Professor, John Rawls Collegiate Professor, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and Department Chair at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  She specializes in Ethics and Political Philosophy, writing on issues of social justice, equality, race, and gender. 

Apr 5, 2017

Social Media rewards snap judgments and blind conviction. Michael Lynch finds this troubling. Michael P. Lynch is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Humanities Institute a University of Connecticut.  His research concerns truth, public discourse, and the impact of technology on democratic society.  

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