059: Ep55 – Evaluating Public Philosophy

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Eric Thomas Weber.Photo of Dr. Anthony Cashio.In this fifty-fifth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, Anthony and Eric talk about “Evaluating Public Philosophy,” in an episode based upon their recently co-authored paper, titled “Lessons Learned Baking Bread.” In this episode and in our paper, Anthony and Eric propose four criteria by which public philosophy can be evaluated: substance, accessibility, invitingness, and community building.

Judges scoring with numbers raised high.

Anthony and Eric presented this paper in the summer of 2017 at the Future of Philosophical Practice conference at UNC Asheville, in the beautiful hills of Asheville, North Carolina. We are grateful to Brian Butler for hosting a great event there, as well as for all the great feedback that we received at the event. In fact, that is where we met and interviewed Cole Nasrallah, our guest from episode 36, “Quality Philosophy for Everyone.” While we were there, we also interviewed John Shook and Randy Auxier for episode 34, on “Saving American Culture in a Yurt.”

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.


(1 hr 8 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

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Notes

  1. UPDATE: As of this podcast release, our updated numbers are: 27,500 downloads from 99 countries!
  2. Freeman Dyson, “What Can You Really Know,” The New York Review of Books, November 8, 2012. In that review essay, Dyson asks, “When and why did philosophy lose its bite? How did it become a toothless relic of past glories?”
  3. Our episode with Nancy McHugh, on “Philosophy and Social Change,” episode 47.
  4. Our episode with Amy Leask, on “Philosophy at Home,” episode 46.

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Anthony and Eric posed the following questions in this episode:

“Whom should we have on the show? It doesn’t have to be a philosopher, just someone thoughtful and fun to talk to, from any walk of life.”

“What rewards would be attractive for people who might want to support the show?”

Let us know what you think! Via TwitterFacebookEmail, or by commenting here below.

Looking Back on 11 Months of Philosophy Bakes Bread

Logo for Philosophy Bakes Bread, as of June 2017.

Click here to visit PhilosophyBakesBread.com.

SOPHIA released our first episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread in our podcast series on January 19th of 2017. We had a handful of pilot episodes that now-co-host Eric Thomas Weber had made on his own. But in the third week of January, the show launched on the internet for the first time in its present form, with Anthony Cashio serving as our first guest. From then on, Cashio and Weber have to date released and aired 59 episodes on the radio, and 53 in the podcast. As we round the bend and think back on the year, we are also hopeful that this last month leading up to January 19th of 2018 will garner the 2,700 downloads remaining to mark 30,000 for our first year.

View of a sunset through a rear-view mirror.

Copyright Aldertree, CC0 license.

The hope is realistic. The month of November saw 3,500 downloads, and August saw more than 4,500. So, we’re excited. 30,000 seems like a nice round number that also has been mentioned in some of the podcasts that Weber and Cashio listen to regularly, and is considered an important milestone in bigger shows’ growth. Our 59th aired episode was actually our first one recorded entirely while live on the radio in Lexington, at WRFL, 88.1 FM. Anthony had to call in half way through the episode for family reasons. It worked and was a lot of fun. He says that he liked being able to pace as he spoke. That’s not usually an option when you’re in front of a condenser microphone.

In our most recent episode, we took a moment and [spoilers] talked about our most downloaded episodes, as well as which were the favorites for Anthony, Eric, and our returning guest, Dr. Annie Davis Weber. Annie has seen the mountains of work that have gone on behind the scenes to put the show together, edit it, and get it out to you all. Plus, the very first pilot episode of the show (not counting Weber’s roughly recorded speech), Ep0.1, had focused on how philosophy profoundly helped him to be happy despite challenges for the Webers’ daughter, Helen. Given that the episode was recorded so long ago, and was told from Eric’s perspective, Anthony and Eric decided to interview Annie about the matter. She was also helped by philosophical thinking. For Eric, it was stoicism that helped most. For Annie, Buddhist philosophy. We’ll have that episode out in the podcast in a few weeks, but as we round out the year, we thought we’d provide some spoilers about which were our favorite episodes, as well as which have been the most downloaded.

For anyone who hasn’t heard the following episodes, here’s your chance to catch up on them and to help us reach our target milestone of 30,000 downloads by January 19th, 2018. Let’s start with our most downloaded episodes and then we’ll share with you which ones we said were our favorites.

 

Our most downloaded episodes:

 


Dr. Daniel Brunson.#5 of Our Most Downloaded Episodes

Our fifth most downloaded episode featured Drs. Seth Vannatta and Daniel Brunson! The episode was the first part of a two part series:

 

Episode 6: “Part I of II – Teaching Philosophy to First-Generation College Students”

Dr. Seth Vannatta

As of December 20th, 2017, this episode has had 826 downloads. To listen alongside show notes and a transcript, you can click on the link here above, or just listen to it right here:

 

(1hr 5 mins)

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057: Ep53 – Kneeling and Civil Protest

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Arnold Farr.In this fifty-third episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, we interview Dr. Arnold Farr about “Kneeling and Civil Protest,” concerning the conflicts that have arisen in the last few months about football star Colin Kaepernick and many others who followed his example.

Embed from Getty Images

Arnold is a professor of philosophy at The University of Kentucky. He authored Critical Theory and Democratic Vision: Herbert Marcuse and Recent Liberation Philosophies. He is currently writing a new book on The New White Supremacy. He is focusing on race and African Philosophy. In addition to these works, Arnold has written numerous articles and book chapters on subjects like German idealism, Marxism, critical theory, and philosophy of race. In addition to his writings, Arnold is the founder of the International Herbert Marcuse Society.

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 

(1 hr 4 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

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Subscribe to the podcast! 

We’re on iTunes and Google Play, and we’ve got a regular RSS feed too!

 

Notes

  1. John Branch, “The Awakening of Colin Kaepernick,” The New York Times, September 7, 2017.
  2. The Editors of GQ, “Colin Kaepernick Is GQ‘s 2017 Citizen of the Year,” and “Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced,” GQ, November 13, 2017.
  3. The International Herbert Marcuse Society.

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Arnold posed the following question in this episode:

“What is democracy and how can we achieve it?”

Let us know what you think! Via TwitterFacebookEmail, or by commenting here below.

056: Ep 52 – Against the Common Core

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Nicholas Tampio. In this fifty-second episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, we interview Dr. Nicholas Tampio, author of Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy.

A snippet of the cover for Tampio's book, 'Common Core,' featuring the letters of the title in bubble format, as if each letter were an answer on a multiple choice test.

Nicholas is Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University. In addition to his forthcoming book, he has also authored a book titled Kantian Courage, and another titled Deleuze’s Political Vision. More recently, he has authored a number of essays for popular audiences for such venues as the Huffington Post, Aeon, and CNN.com.

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.


(1 hr 5 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

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Subscribe to the podcast! 

We’re on iTunes and Google Play, and we’ve got a regular RSS feed too!

 

Notes

  1. Nicholas Tampio, Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), available for pre-order.
  2. Nicholas Tampio, “In Praise of Dewey,” Aeon, July 28, 2016.
  3. Nicholas Tampio, “Why Common Core Tests Are Bad,” CNN.com, April 24, 2014.
  4. Lindsay Layden, “How Bill Gates Pulled Off the Swift Common Core Revolution,” The Washington Post, June 7, 2014.

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Nicholas posed the following question in this episode:

“Should America have national education standards, and why or why not?”

Let us know what you think! Via TwitterFacebookEmail, or by commenting here below.

055: Ep 51 – What Philosophers Owe Society

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

In this fifty-first episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, we interview UCLA philosophy graduate student and co-founder of the Vim BlogZach Biondi, about “What Philosophers Owe Society,” the subject of a set of essays that he wrote for the Vim.

Zach Biondi.

Zach caught our attention with three essays that he wrote for the Vim Blog, which were released in part in the effort to define what the Vim Blog is all about. According to the site, “The Vim Blog is a collection of philosophers who write and podcast about issues in politics. It is a rethinking of the think piece. The goal is not to write the news but instead to discuss broader trends and the philosophical ideas that are pertinent in the current political climate. The Vim is not embedded in the news cycle. Each article is written to be relevant for a longer term.” Zach’s three essays begin with “What Philosophy Owes Society” here. See also parts II and III

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 

 

(1 hr 6 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

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Subscribe to the podcast! 

We’re on iTunes and Google Play, and we’ve got a regular RSS feed too!

 

Notes

  1. The Vim Blog.
  2. Zach’s first Vim essay, “What Philosophy Owes Society, Part I.”
  3. Zach’s second Vim essay, “Anti-Intellectualism.”
  4. Zach’s third Vim essay, “A New Public Philosophy.”
  5. Michael Sandel, Justice (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010).
  6. Michael Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013).

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Zach posed the following questions in this episode:

“Do you adopt the Socratic attitude — the openness to question any of our beliefs — which Socrates thought was necessary for a life worth living? And, what kinds of political consequences would adopting that attitude have?”

Let us know what you think! Via TwitterFacebookEmail, or by commenting here below.

A group of SOPHIA members will meet and lead a discussion about Episode 1 of Philosophy Bakes Bread, on The Molemen and Plato’s Cave Today, with the University of Kentucky Philosophy Club!

A group meeting for a SOPHIA conversation.

If you can listen to the episode in advance, great! If not, no worries, as we have the handout about it so that we’re all on the same page.

Here’s the episode: https://www.philosophersinamerica.com/2017/01/19/ep1-the-molemen-and-platos-cave-today/

The meeting is meant to be genuinely conversational, and to introduce people to what SOPHIA is all about.

Join us!

Date: November 29, 2017
Time: 04:00-05:00 p.m.
Event: Lexington SOPHIA Group Chat about Plato's Cave Today
Topic: Plato's Cave Today
Sponsor: The University of Kentucky Philosophy Club
Venue: White Hall, room 231
Location: 140 Patterson Drive
Lexington, KY 40506
USA
Public: Public

Not a member of SOPHIA yet? Consider joining!

054: Ep50 – Transitional Justice

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

In this fiftieth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, we interview Dr. Colleen Murphy of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign about her recent book on “Transitional Justice.”

Dr. Colleen Murphy.

Cover of Colleen Murphy's 2018 book, The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice.Colleen’s recent book is titled The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice. This project is an extension of her work from a prior book, A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation. Colleen is a Professor in the College of Law and the Departments of Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also the Director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program in International Programs and Studies, and Affiliate Faculty of the Beckman Institute. She is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Moral Philosophy.

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.


(62 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

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Subscribe to the podcast! 

We’re on iTunes and Google Play, and we’ve got a regular RSS feed too!

 

Notes

  1. Colleen Murphy, The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), available for pre-order.
  2. Colleen Murphy, A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Colleen posed the following question in this episode:

“What do you think counts as dealing justly with our own past here in the United States (or in your country)?”

Let us know what you think! Via TwitterFacebookEmail, or by commenting here below.

058: Ep54 – BC11 – Super Cute PBB Promo

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

This fifty-fourth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast is our eleventh “breadcrumb” so far, this time featuring only a humorous radio spot that we recorded for the station, WRFL, to play throughout the week to promote the show. We had a lot of fun making this little promo, which features Weber’s 3-year-old son Sam. If you’d enjoy a chuckle, give this, our shortest breadcrumb, a listen.

Samuel Maxwell Weber, the star in our promo spot for Philosophy Bakes Bread.

While putting together this show takes a tremendous amount of work and some resources, we hope you can tell how much it’s been a labor of love, the Philo- part of Philosophy! If you enjoy this breadcrumb, share it with your friends, be sure you’ve subscribed to the show, and give us a positive rating and review on iTunes or your podcast outlet of choice!

As always, you can reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we may play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 

(4 minutes)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

 

iTunes logo.Google PlayRSS logo feed icon and link.

Subscribe to the podcast! 

We’re on iTunes and Google Play, and we’ve got a regular RSS feed too!

 

 

The logo for WRFL Lexington, 88.1 FM.Notes

  1. WRFL, Radio Free Lexington, 88.1 FM: Web site, Facebook page, and Twitter profile.
  2. Kentucky Child Labor Laws.

Let us know what you think via TwitterFacebookEmail, or by commenting here below!

053: Ep49 – Public Philosophy and Polarization

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

In this forty-ninth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, we interview Matt Yglesias on the subject of “Public Philosophy and Polarization.” Before starting his career as a pundit, writer, and philosophical blogger, Matt majored in Philosophy in his undergraduate studies.

Matt Yglesias.

Matt is a Senior Correspondent and a co-founder of Vox.com, which he started with Ezra Klein and Melissa Bell in 2014. Vox.com is a popular online news publication that offers commentary and explanations about news of the day. Matt’s writings focus on politics and economic policy. He also co-hosts The Weeds podcast twice a week, a show that gets into the weeds of politics and policy. In addition to his writings for Vox, Think Progress, The Atlantic, Talking Points Memo, and The American Prospect, Matt has authored two books, including most recently, The Rent Is Too Damn High, about the policy origins of the middle class housing affordability crisis in America.

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

(61 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

iTunes logo.Google PlayRSS logo feed icon and link.

Subscribe to the podcast! 

We’re on iTunes and Google Play, and we’ve got a regular RSS feed too!

 

Notes

  1. Vox.com, which Matt co-founded.
  2. Morris Fiorina, The Myth of a Polarized America (New York: Longman, 2010).
  3. Oprah’s recent 60 Minutes episode, featuring discussion from people on the Left and Right, politically, predicting another civil war.
  4. Newsweek on FDR’s internment camps.

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Matt posed the following question in this episode:

“What issues do you think need to be written about and discussed more in the public sphere?”

Let us know what you think! Via TwitterFacebookEmail, or by commenting here below.

Humanizing Monsters

Civil American, Volume 2, Article 5 (October 31, 2017), https://goo.gl/KRo5bY.

| By Casey Dorman |

Adobe logo, to serve as a link to the Adobe PDF version of the transcript.

I was listening to NPR recently and an interviewer was talking to Thomas Hegghammer, a Norwegian professor of political science, who had just published an edited collection of essays/research studies called Jihadi Culture: The Art and Social Practices of Militant Islamists. One of the interviewer’s questions was “Aren’t you afraid that your book will humanize jihadists?” This struck me as strange. Could seeing anyone as human, even someone who engaged in systematic killing, be harmful? We often describe the most horrific crimes, such as genocide in terms of one group viewing the other as less than human. We are all aware of Hitler’s genocidal actions against Jews, whom he believed were biologically inferior to what he called the Aryan race. When Hutus in Rwanda killed nearly a million of their Tutsi neighbors, they described them as “cockroaches.” Even the American founding fathers were only willing to count each African American slave as worth 3/5 of a White person. These are instances, not uncommon in history, when embracing an ideology that involved viewing others as less than full human beings led to systematic mistreatment, killing or enslavement of people. But should we then turn around and view those who subscribe to such ideologies as also less then human?

Image of a man walking towards a monster silhouetted in the mist.

Image by Kellepics, CC0 License.

What does it mean to regard another person as a human being? Although many racist ideologies have based their prejudices on notions of “inferiority,” most of us reject such views. Some individuals are stronger, taller, smarter, slower, fatter, etc. than others, but it does not lessen their humanity in most people’s eyes. We tend to see others as less human when we see the trait they express as “evil”—when they show themselves as capable of cruelty that we do not regard ourselves, or any “normal” person, as capable of producing. To many Westerners and also to many from other parts of the world, including mainstream Muslims, jihadists such as al Qaeda or ISIS are seen as “evil.” They rape women, chop off heads, and they conduct deadly terror attacks on civilians. After recent White Supremacy demonstrations in places such as Charlottesville, VA, many Americans view those who espouse neo-Nazi or KKK-like racist views as evil enough that they have become unrecognizable as fellow human beings. They have crossed a line beyond which normal human beings never tread. We view all or most members of such groups as, in the words of Chloe Valdary, “hateful monsters.”

Dr. Philip Zimbardo.

Dr. Philip Zimbardo. CC0 license.

There are two broad theories of how people can embrace actions we typically regard as “evil” as a way of behaving toward their fellow men: One theory, embodied by the work of British psychologist, Simon Baron-Cohen (2011), is that some people lack or suffer from a reduction in empathy, and those people are not sensitive to how others feel. At this extreme of the distribution of empathy, along with some people with relatively rare developmental disabilities, are psychopaths. The other theory, embodied by the work of American psychologist, Philip Zimbardo (2007), famous for the Stanford Prison Experiment, is that anyone can be coaxed into behaving evilly toward his fellow man, using the proper social techniques. Baron-Cohen’s theory is a dispositional one; Zimbardo’s is a situational one.

Baron-Cohen defines empathy as “our ability to identify what someone else is thinking or feeling and to respond to their thoughts and feelings with an appropriate emotion.” He claims that, “we all lie somewhere on the empathy spectrum (from high to low). People said to be evil or cruel are simply at one extreme of the empathy spectrum.” Despite describing empathy as “more like a dimmer switch than an all-or-none switch,” he also describes people with “zero degrees of empathy,” who may be “Zero-Negative.” Those who are Zero-Negative include psychopaths, those with borderline personality disorder and narcissists. Their lives, and the lives of those around them, are affected negatively by their lack of empathy combined with impairment in their experience of emotions. Although Baron-Cohen does not dismiss the role of social pressures, such as conformity, in producing cruel acts, he insists that “when cruel acts occur, it is because of malfunctioning of the empathy circuit.” This may be only temporary, but in those who are truly evil and capable of long-term, systematic cruelty, he says the empathy system is “permanently down,” due to a variety of biological and environmental factors and their interaction. In other words, the truly evil are not like the rest of us.

Dr. Stanley Milgram.

Stanley Milgram. Photo by Jewish Currents.

Philip Zimbardo describes what he calls, “The Lucifer Effect,” or “How Good People Turn Evil.” His point is that evil behavior, as demonstrated in examples such as the behavior of Nazis killing Jews or the inhumane treatment of prisoners by the American guards at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, is something of which we are all capable, and he tries to show the social forces that contribute to it. He uses many examples, but three are particularly telling: his own 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, Stanley Milgram’s 1960’s experiments on obedience, and psychologist Christopher Browning’s 1992 account of Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland.

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