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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Why We Argue


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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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