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Preview: Philosopher's Zone

The Philosopher's Zone - Program podcast



The Philosopher's Zone looks at the world of philosophy and at the world through philosophy. The program addresses the big philosophical questions and arguments. It also explores what philosophical analysis can contribute to our understanding of some of t



Copyright: Copyright 2016, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
 



The posthuman

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 17:30:00 +1100

In the 1960s Michel Foucault famously declared the end of man as we know him. So, how's the project going? Rosi Braidotti on how we got here, and what’s still to come.(Getty Images: Colin Anderson)


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Pride and prudence

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Smashed avocados are now at $22—so what of prudence, virtue, and frugality? Emrys Westacott has a veggie patch and has taught philosophy students how to be 'tight-wads'.Diogenes sheltering in his barrell—as painted by John William Waterhouse (Wikimedia Commons)


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Seeing reason

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Aristotle firmly held that reason sets humans apart from other animals—Julian Baggini explains the reasonable limits of reason.We may need more than reason to find the light bulb moment (Getty Images: Nastco)


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Snookered: women and philosophy

Sun, 13 Nov 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Why so few women in philosophy? David Papineau talks with Eleanor Gordon Smith about his contentious article on the matter.Women, snooker, and philosophy—an uncommon relationship (Getty Images: Narvikk)


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Race and gender in an age of transition

Sun, 06 Nov 2016 17:30:00 +1100

The trans moment: gender and race in an age of unsettled categories.(Getty Images: Caroline Purser)


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Memories, morals, and me

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 17:30:00 +1100

An essential part of personal identity may be our moral self.


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The social contract in an age of terror: who can you trust?

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Media, trust, and the politics of fear.The social contract may jeopardise our trust in one another (Flickr: Richard CC 2.0 BY)


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Happiness—it’s not personal

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 17:30:00 +1100

What does critical theory have to do with happiness?What does critical theory have to do with happiness? (Getty Images: Thomas Barwick)


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Sleep, sex, and fairy tales

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 17:30:00 +1100

For an activity that takes up 30% of our lives it’s a mystery that we don’t pay more attention to it.(Flickr: Béni Rivière)


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Death duties

Sun, 02 Oct 2016 17:30:00 +1100

It’s said that philosophy is a preparation for death—so try this simple question.Considering the question of what we owe the dead (Thomas Leiser/Getty Images)


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Gender bending

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Gender—time to revisit the basics.Gender is multiplying—and there are philosophical implications (Transgender symbol ex nonbinary.org/CC 2.0 BY)


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From Reason to Enlightenment

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Some pivotal moments in philosophy—in plain language.Woodcut depicting an allegory of logic. At lower left is Parmenides, whose only known written fragment sparked a debate lasting 2500 years. (Middle Temple Library/Getty Images)


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Logic: if + then = why?

Sun, 11 Sep 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Hold on to your modus ponens; we’re getting serious about precision.The strange loop of self-reference (Ben Deavin/Flickr CC 2.0 BY NC ND)


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The truth, beauty, and power of punk

Sun, 04 Sep 2016 17:30:00 +1000

40 years of punk, but what's it got to do with philosophy?What would Albert have made of punk? (Bruno Gonçales/Flickr CC 2.0 BY NC, with adaptation)


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What were they thinking?

Sun, 28 Aug 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Can we really know what other minds are up to—including your dog, cat or canary?


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Talk about a revolution!

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 17:30:00 +1000

The rise of science was more mess than method; the untold story of a glorious revolution.Examining the hype about an archaic worldview (orionpozo/Flickr CC 2.0 BY)


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Martha Nussbaum on the limits of anger

Sun, 14 Aug 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Is anger a sign of moral seriousness or a dangerous slippery slope?When the anger has gone can we be friends? (PeopleImages/Getty Images)


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Martha Nussbaum on politics and emotions

Sun, 07 Aug 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Strong emotions can divide us, so best to banish them from the public square. Not so fast, says Martha Nussbaum.Crown Fountain, Chicago: for Martha Nussbaum it’s a prime example of how to bring life, love and deeper feeling into the public square. (Johnny Haglund/Getty Images)


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David Chalmers on Pokémon Go and the future of reality

Sun, 31 Jul 2016 17:30:00 +1000

How would you like your reality? David Chalmers has some suggestions.A cute pocket monster has made us question reality—again (4rank/Flickr 2.0 CC BY NC)


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I’m just not myself

Sun, 24 Jul 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Buddhist thought holds that at core there is no real self—two philosophers at the junction of east and west, self and mind.Self—and the nature of memories, bodies and continuity (JoSon/Getty Images)


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Hilary Putnam

Sun, 17 Jul 2016 17:30:00 +1000

We mark the passing of Hilary Putnam—and explore some of his key insights.Hilary Putnam (Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.5)


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How to love a less free will

Sun, 10 Jul 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Free will is on the run—so why not relax and enjoy a healthy dose of compatibilism.We can be at ease with the idea of not having free will. (Liam Larkin/Eye Em/Getty Images)


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Cicero on growing old

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Marcus Tullius Cicero on an undeniable fact of life—and how it fares in our modern utilitarian world?Two millennia ago Marcus Tullius Cicero proposed a ten-point plan for growing old. (DEA/S. Vannini/Getty Images)


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Can you trust your memory

Sun, 26 Jun 2016 17:30:00 +1000

What’s so wrong with the storehouse model of memory?Your memories may depend on things beyond your memory (Lane391, Getty Images)


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Your right to be a foodie

Sun, 19 Jun 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Why do so many people find foodie-ism morally questionable?The time has come for a robust defence of foodie-ism (Alex Raths, Getty Images)


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Habit

Sun, 12 Jun 2016 17:30:00 +1000

So, you have good habits and bad habits. But what what are your habits of gender and race?Certain habits are good for us—but aspects of gender and race might have something to do with bad habitual action. (Shestock, Getty Images)


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The pleasure-pain paradox

Sun, 05 Jun 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Pain is a puzzle; and so is pleasure. It’s even more confounding when one leads to the other.Neuroscience can explain pleasure and pain—but perhaps there's more to the story (Yuichiro Chino, Getty Images)


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Charles Taylor

Sun, 29 May 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Since its publication in 2007 Charles Taylor’s magnum opus A Secular Age has gathered great intellectual momentum. His analysis has never been more apt.Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age continues to gather intellectual momentum in the western world (alex de carvalho, Flickr CC 2.0 BY NC ND)


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A public act

Sun, 22 May 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Doing it in public might seem like a good thing, but is the truth about philosophy hard to bear?Doing philosophy in the public sphere will keep it alive (Chris Mellor, Getty Images)


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Political philosophy in the world: Liberalism and the end of the world as we know it

Sun, 15 May 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Political liberalism is a great achievement. But has it come at a heavy cost?Is the end of political liberalism imminent? (Alan Powdrill/Getty)


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Political philosophy in the world: Democracy—not?

Sun, 08 May 2016 17:30:00 +1000

You may not have thought of democracy as essentially undemocratic, but this week’s guest is no fan of the least-worst system.Democracy may not now mean what it used to (Tom Thai, Flickr 2.0 BY)


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Political philosophy in the world: A right to be angry

Sun, 01 May 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Political philosophy can turn coldly technical and miss the very basis of the original question: how can we best live together?Representative democracy can come with various stipulations (Matthew, Flickr 2.0 BY NC ND)


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Political philosophy in the world: Universal norms

Sun, 24 Apr 2016 17:30:00 +1000

The human rights debate echoes an ancient quarrel that's been running since the time of Plato and Aristotle: how the world is, and how it ought to be.Human rights may be a debate between ideal principle and practical politics. (Melissa Baldwin, Flickr CC 2.0 BY NC)


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Political philosophy in the world: Rights without borders

Sun, 17 Apr 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Few contemporary debates have proven more divisive than the treatment of asylum seekers—and the participants often speak different languages. But we're not the first to wrestle with this tension.The rights of the stateless are often problematic (The Image Bank, Getty Images)


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Political philosophy in the world: Global justice

Sun, 10 Apr 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Global justice necessarily relies on an expanded view of community—but how far can the social contract stretch?Global justice relies on an expanded view of community—but how far can the social contract stretch? (Getty Images, Moment Collection)


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Political philosophy in the world: Human rights

Sun, 03 Apr 2016 17:30:00 +1000

Many would say that we have lived to see the twilight of political philosophy. The Philosopher’s Zone explores the widening gap between the world as it is and the world as some would like it.Human rights are among the bedrock of ideas guiding political change (The Image Bank, Getty Images)


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Moral diversity

Sun, 27 Mar 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Why do we have disagreements? Not the garden variety types, but the heavier duty ones around moral questions—the stuff which divides families, neighbours, and even entire communities.We might disagree over issues—and it could be a good thing (Anya T. Miller, Flickr CC BY NC)


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Noam Chomsky on the hard stuff

Sun, 20 Mar 2016 17:30:00 +1100

What are words worth? Well they are worth thinking about, and that’s what Noam Chomsky has spent a lifetime doing.Noam Chomsky has spent a lifetime thinking about what language does—and how it came about. (Arturo Espinosa, Flickr CC BY)


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Awe and wonder

Sun, 13 Mar 2016 17:30:00 +1100

If gazing at the heavens stirs deep feelings within you, imagine what it’s like for astronauts.The world and the universe are full of awe and wonder (E+/Getty Images)


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Special relationships

Sun, 06 Mar 2016 17:30:00 +1100

What’s so special about your friends?Some relationships may be extra special—but from the standpoint of the universe aren't we all morally equal? (Cultura Exclusive/Getty Images)


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Spooky action is closer than you think

Sun, 28 Feb 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Einstein didn't think much of it, but spooky action at a distance might tell us more than we'd care to askThe quantum conversation entangles more than sub atomic particles; welcome to the age of quantum insecurity (Digital Vision/Getty)


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Rescuing the beautiful

Sun, 21 Feb 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Would you do something simply because it is the beautiful thing to do?Doing something beautiful has fallen from vogue—but the art of contemplation hasn't slipped away (Blend Images, Getty Images)


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The Enlightenment

Sun, 14 Feb 2016 17:30:00 +1100

How could such a formative epoch in human civilisation fall so low in intellectual standing? Time to rethink the Enlightenment.One of the French fab four—François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire—famous for his wit, his advocacy of freedom of religion, and freedom of expression. (De Agostini/G. Dagli Orti, Getty Images)


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The Anatomy of Melancholy

Sun, 07 Feb 2016 17:30:00 +1100

What can a 400-year-old text can tell us about modern day depression and anxiety?The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton, frontispiece 1638 edition (Wikipedia, public domain)


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Talk to the hand

Sun, 31 Jan 2016 17:30:00 +1100

It seems that we owe a lot to the hand, and its grip—literal and metaphoric—on the world.In the beginning was the hand; a gripping tale of the emergence of an extraordinary species (Design Pics/Don Hammond/Getty) (Design Pics/Don Hammond/Getty)


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Who’s afraid of inequality?

Sun, 24 Jan 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Inequality might just be the defining challenge of our time. But is it a moral challenge as well?Should we be aiming for both democratic and economic equality? (Toban B. Flickr CC 2.0 BY NC)


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What is it to dream?

Sun, 17 Jan 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Dreams and dreaming really stirred up Rene Descartes. And so they should, because dreams bring up a bunch of conceptual matters that largely remain unresolved.Puzzling, opaque and often bizarre: an encompassing philosophical treatise of dreaming has proved as elusive as the target itself. Dreaming by Moyan Brenn/Flickr.com/CC-BY-2.0 (Dreaming by Moyan Brenn/Flickr.com/CC-BY-2.0)


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Mottainai: a philosophy of waste

Sun, 10 Jan 2016 17:30:00 +1100

Mottainai combines elements of Buddhism and Shinto to create a nuanced approach to the environment and wasteful practices.A famous Shinto shrine off the coast of Japan between Tokyo and Kyoto (CARL PARKES, LICENSED UNDER CC BY-NC-ND VIA FLICKR) (CARL PARKES, LICENSED UNDER CC BY-NC-ND VIA FLICKR)


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Crossing the threshold

Sun, 03 Jan 2016 17:30:00 +1100

When choosing to become a vampire isn't that far off from choosing to become a parent.Will that new experience be what you think? (Andrew Roche, Getty Images)


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Battle of the time lords

Sun, 27 Dec 2015 17:30:00 +1100

It was the day a philosopher and a physicist slugged it out—in the red corner was Albert Einstein, in the blue was Henri Bergson—and their bone of contention was the true nature of time.Albert Einstein said that time is what clocks measure. But Henri Bergson wanted to know why we build them in the first place. (Derek P. Redfearn, Getty Images)


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Doing good better

Sun, 20 Dec 2015 17:30:00 +1100

'Tis the season of love, goodwill, and honed calculations—the rise of the new altruist.Giving to your favourite cause might make you feel good but is it efficient? (Silicon Prairie News, Flickr CC 2.0 BY)


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Race

Sun, 13 Dec 2015 17:30:00 +1100

We know from experience that talk of race can quickly lead to racism, yet we cling to it as something useful. So how should race be understood?The idea of race has aroused the curiosity of many thinkers—including François Bernier, who developed the first racial classification system in his New Division of Earth, published in 1684 (From page 158 of Travels in the Mogul Empire, A.D. 1656-1668, by François Bernier—Internet Archive book image, contributing library: Columbia University Libraries)


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The existential MBA

Sun, 06 Dec 2015 17:30:00 +1100

Graduate business schools are not in the habit of teaching existentialism for fun and profit. But it’s possible that today’s captains of commerce are missing a big opportunity to better understand tomorrow’s economic environment.For the modern leader finding a clear path in a time of great disruption is hard to muster. Is it time for a philosophical approach to an existential problem? (John Lund/Blend Images, Getty Images)


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The unconscious

Sun, 29 Nov 2015 17:30:00 +1100

Is it time for a better explanation of Freud’s concept of the unconscious?Perhaps time to take another look at the unconscious (Illustration Works, Getty Images)


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Ontology and all that

Sun, 22 Nov 2015 17:30:00 +1100

Ontology and metaphysics—what things are in the world and what might unify them—can set many philosophical traps. Simple questions can lead to strange places.Unicorns, like ontology, come in different shapes and sizes (Jenn and Tony Bot, Flickr CC 2.0 BY NC)


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Shame, desire, and Rene Girard

Sun, 15 Nov 2015 17:30:00 +1100

The sting of shame still hurts. Explaining its enduring hold takes some conceptual rigour.The world at large does have its uses for shame (Grey World, Flickr, CC 2.0 BY)


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What is a disease?

Sun, 08 Nov 2015 17:30:00 +1100

It’s been said that philosophy can’t cure disease; but it might be able to tell you what one actually is.When does a collection of symptoms become an actual illness (Kathleen Finlay, Getty Images)


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Sooo cute

Sun, 01 Nov 2015 17:30:00 +1100

What is it to be cute? Not quite the sublime or the beautiful, but this peculiar category might reveal more than we’d care to admit.The cuteness of a rubber duck—which has gained global recognition (Greg Wood, Getty Images)


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The young and the reasonable

Sun, 25 Oct 2015 17:30:00 +1100

Socrates copped a bad rap over corrupting the youth. What would his Athenian accusers make of the burgeoning philosophy for children movement?The results are in: learning philosophy in the classroom leads to sustained better results in other subjects, as well as leading to long-term school social cohesion (Klaus Vedfelt, Getty Images)


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Meaning in life

Sun, 18 Oct 2015 17:30:00 +1100

So, what exactly are we asking when we talk of life’s meaning?Trying to find an answer to the question of the meaning of life (Luminitsa, Flickr CC 2.0 BY NC ND)


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A new way to blame

Sun, 11 Oct 2015 17:30:00 +1100

Is it possible to hold someone responsible for a perceived wrong but not to blame them?Finding a different way to define responsibility and blame (Yuliya Nemova, Flickr CC 2.0 BY)


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Philosophy in a divided world

Sun, 04 Oct 2015 17:30:00 +1100

How to turn a cycle of violence into a culture of debate.Al Farabi—one of the preeminent thinkers of medieval Islam, and credited with preserving the original texts of Plato and Aristotle through his commentaries and treaties (unknown, public domain wikimedia)


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Evolution—a rather large leap

Sun, 27 Sep 2015 17:30:00 +1000

You could say that evolution was a pretty big leap. But can Darwin’s insight stretch as far as we’d like it to?Structuring the world through art and evolution (Seasonspics, Flickr CC 2.0 BY NC ND)


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Quantum worlds

Sun, 20 Sep 2015 17:30:00 +1000

What does American pragmatism tell us about the universe?Using quantum mechanics as a tool to think about philosophy (Lydia, Flickr CC 2.0 BY)


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Who’s afraid of inequality?

Sun, 13 Sep 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Inequality might just be the defining challenge of our time. But is it a moral challenge as well?Should we be aiming for both democratic and economic equality? (Toban B. Flickr CC 2.0 BY NC)


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Wellbeing

Sun, 06 Sep 2015 17:30:00 +1000

What exactly is wellbeing? And what if someone else dictates what yours ought to be?Political philosopher John Rawls writes of the grass-counter—a brilliant Harvard mathematician who develops an overriding desire to count the blades of grass on the lawns of Harvard. If the mathematician is not misled, and not mentally afflicted, it could be said that the life of grass-counting will indeed contribute to the well being of the grass-counter. Is this what is meant by wellbeing? (Nicholas Blumhardt, Flickr CC BY 2.0)


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Akeel Bilgrami on Islam and identity

Sun, 30 Aug 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Akeel Bilgrami on Islam and identity in the Western world.(Danumurthi Mahendra/Flickr CC BY 2.0)


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Mottainai: a philosophy of waste

Sun, 23 Aug 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Mottainai combines elements of Buddhism and Shinto to create a nuanced approach to the environment and wasteful practices.A famous Shinto shrine off the coast of Japan between Tokyo and Kyoto (CARL PARKES, LICENSED UNDER CC BY-NC-ND VIA FLICKR) (CARL PARKES, LICENSED UNDER CC BY-NC-ND VIA FLICKR)


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Mind upload

Sun, 16 Aug 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Can you really upload your mind? Better get your theoretical assumptions right before you push that button.Be careful of the upload: you might just lose your mind. What are the assumptions underlying the idea of digital mind transfer, and could they be mistaken? (Anna M; Fickr.com/CC BY-NC 2.0) (Anna M; Fickr.com/CC BY-NC 2.0)


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What is it to dream?

Sun, 09 Aug 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Dreams and dreaming really stirred up Rene Descartes. And so they should, because dreams bring up a bunch of conceptual matters that largely remain unresolved.Puzzling, opaque and often bizarre: an encompassing philosophical treatise of dreaming has proved as elusive as the target itself. Dreaming by Moyan Brenn/Flickr.com/CC-BY-2.0 (Dreaming by Moyan Brenn/Flickr.com/CC-BY-2.0)


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Life as a matter of death

Sun, 02 Aug 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Socrates famously declared the philosopher’s life to be a preparation for death. Somehow, through the centuries, this urgent message has been lost.Socrates famously declared the philosopher’s life to be a preparation for death. Somehow, through the centuries, this urgent message has been lost. (Derek Key/ Flickr.com/CC-BY-2.0)


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On consent: no means no, but does yes mean yes?

Sun, 26 Jul 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Everybody agrees that non-consensual sex is seriously wrong. But what exactly is it to be non-consensual?How do you give sexual consent: Is it something you think, or something you need to demonstrate like signing a form? (ABHI Flickr.com/CC/BY/20)


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Marriage: is it all the same?

Sun, 19 Jul 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Same-sex marriage, marriage equality, redefining marriage—seeking the light in a heated debate.Getting married might encompass a range of options (Mike Licht, Flickr CC BY 2.0)


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The complexity of evil

Sun, 12 Jul 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Extreme acts of deliberate cruelty test our capacity to make sense of actions. It's good that we can reach for the ‘E’ word—or is it?Ted Bundy: one of the faces of evil? (Ted Bundy: ex Wikipedia, and Florida Memory Project, Florida State Archives)


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Romantic love in the 21st century needs some attention

Sun, 05 Jul 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Romantic love in the 21st century needs some attention—and we’ll give it some.Love: being closer than ever, or your head in the sand? (Photo: Joe Gelonesi)


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Blinded by sex: gender and the brain

Sun, 28 Jun 2015 17:30:00 +1000

What if women and men were both partly from Venus and partly from Mars? Apart from collapsing book sales, what would that do the idea of natural kinds?Is it at all possible to say that men are from Mars and women are from Venus? Hear what happens when you try to test for it. (Jeffrey, Flickr, CC BY NC 2.0)


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Battle of the time lords

Sun, 21 Jun 2015 17:30:00 +1000

It was the day a philosopher and a physicist slugged it out—in the red corner was Albert Einstein, in the blue was Henri Bergson—and their bone of contention was the true nature of time.Albert Einstein said that time is what clocks measure. But Henri Bergson wanted to know why we build them in the first place. (Derek P. Redfearn, Getty Images)


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The will of the people: multitude or mob?

Sun, 14 Jun 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Thomas Hobbes thought of the multitude as a mob and redemption possible only through a social contract, but the idea of the will of the many remains at the heart of direct democracy.Thomas Hobbes was preoccupied by thoughts of the multitude (ddean: Day 36 Occupy Wall Street, David Shankbone, Flickr: CC BY 2.0 + Hobbes ex Wikipedia/Public Domain)


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John Gray on the burden of freedom

Sun, 07 Jun 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Freedom—leave it to marionette puppets or God—John Gray on our hellish groundhog day.Would it be easier to be a puppet on a string—where all decisions are made by the puppeteer—would it be true freedom? (Zack Blanton, Getty Images)


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Creatively unleashed

Sun, 31 May 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Sometimes it’s hard to get that balance just right—between heart and mind. Public art might be able to tell us something about locking into creative sync.Sarah McClosky—Leederville (Jarrad Seng, courtesy of FORM)


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Big data—then what?

Sun, 24 May 2015 17:30:00 +1000

It's been called the fourth revolution, but what do we really understand about the infosphere? If only it were as simple as being on or off.Data will just get bigger and bigger (christopher_brown, Flickr)


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Crossing the threshold

Sun, 17 May 2015 17:30:00 +1000

When choosing to become a vampire isn't that far off from choosing to become a parent.Will that new experience be what you think? (Andrew Roche, Getty Images)


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Bringing words to heel

Sun, 10 May 2015 17:30:00 +1000

The origins of language are tough to pin down. A new theory promises a breakthrough—but what does it have to do with dogs?How do words come about? (Image Source, Getty Images)


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Family values

Sun, 03 May 2015 17:30:00 +1000

Some think the traditional family has a lot to answer for; but there still might be some good arguments for it.Social equality is at stake: What should parents do or not do for their children? Is it good night for the bedtime story? (Keith Brofsky, Getty Images)


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Humans in the Anthropocene

Sun, 26 Apr 2015 17:30:00 +1000

How seriously should we take the threat of climate change in the age of the Anthropocene? The end of the world has been predicted before, so is the wolf howling again?How can we utilise our sense of wonder to confront problems like climate change? (NASA)


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Free speech—one each

Sun, 19 Apr 2015 17:30:00 +1000

After Charlie Hebdo it seems that all bets are off. But is free speech really worth defending to the death?After Charlie Hebdo, what would Voltaire have done? The justification for free speech is more complex than at first sight. Is it an inalienable 'innate' right or is it something we want because it makes for a free and democratic society? (Joel Saget Getty Images)


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Mind the brain

Sun, 25 Jan 2015 17:30:00 +1100

Hard-wired, experiential, or just upbringing?  The truth about the mind-body split.Consciousness in a material world: Putting the mind back into the brain (Don Farrall/Getty Images)


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Empathy

Sun, 18 Jan 2015 17:30:00 +1100

Empathy is the emotion du jour. But can it do more harm than good?The plea for empathy: but is it a risky call? (Rita M; Flickr.com/CC/by-nc-nd/2.0)


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A super dilemma

Sun, 11 Jan 2015 17:30:00 +1100

Should we expect more from Superman than from Clark Kent? On the horns of a very modern moral dilemma.In the enhanced world being good might not be good enough. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)


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Do the right thing

Sun, 04 Jan 2015 17:30:00 +1100

Doing the right thing: will it be your own judgement or the big stick?Being good can be tricky: do you use your own judgement? And what part does the 'stick ' play in maintaining order? (George Marks, Getty Images)


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Sex, flies, and fairytales

Sun, 28 Dec 2014 17:30:00 +1100

There are times when one needs to go low in the thicket to see things more clearly.At fly level the world seems so very different: a philosophical call to contemplate the lives of small instinctual life (Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel; Flickr.com/CC/by-nc-nd/2.0)


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Does maths matter?

Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:30:00 +1100

There would be nothing like discovering eternal truths to sort out the mess of existence. Too fanciful? Not if you’re a believer in the magic of mathematics.Seeing mathematics in the real world (Kal Schreiber, Flickr)


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The Tommy dilemma: animal right or human privilege?

Sun, 14 Dec 2014 17:30:00 +1100

Can Tommy the chimp ever be a person?  A landmark legal ruling says no. But are we being speciesist by keeping personhood all to ourselves?Can animals be persons? (Dave Smith Photography, Getty Images)


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Metaphysics of pregnancy

Sun, 07 Dec 2014 17:30:00 +1100

Questions of conception, gestation and birth are often found in debates about ethics, and tensions between mother and foetus; doctors and mothers; the state and the individual. But we may need a more rigorous assessment.When does one become two? (Marc Quinn, Flickr)


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Love, the revolution—and Alain Badiou

Sun, 30 Nov 2014 17:30:00 +1100

He’s perhaps the best-known French philosopher alive today. Alain Badiou has tackled the big questions, but not just from his armchair.Alain Badiou on love, the revolution, and the contradictions that could unmake the modern liberal state. (Keffieh67;Flickr/CC/BY/3.0)


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The meaning of extinction

Sun, 23 Nov 2014 17:30:00 +1100

What does it mean to become extinct?  The answer is not what you might think.The black rhino is a symbol of endangered life but can a single species really convey the idea of mass extinction? (Ray Morris 1, Flickr)


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Return of the Stoics

Sun, 16 Nov 2014 17:30:00 +1100

Why does an ancient school built on restraint and reserve hold such fascination for the modern world?The Stoic way of life is is being prized again; but can the stiff upper lip work as personal therapy? (Tom Jervis Flickr)


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A space mess

Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:30:00 +1100

It will only be a matter of time until we all know someone who’s been ‘up there’. Could it be a tabula rasa for humanity? How to make a space mess: let us count the ways.Life in space may create an ethical mess (Bianca Casimes: Flickr.com/CC/BY-NC-ND/2.0)


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Empathy

Sun, 02 Nov 2014 17:30:00 +1100

Empathy is the emotion du jour. But can it do more harm than good?The plea for empathy: but is it a risky call? (Rita M; Flickr.com/CC/by-nc-nd/2.0)


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Significant other beings

Sun, 26 Oct 2014 17:30:00 +1100

The creation of significant other beings has haunted humanity. And now in the age of techno-science it’s probably only a matter of time before our intelligence escapes its biological bonds.What significant other beings might tell us about ourselves (Brinzei/Getty)


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