Philosophy Talk | KALW

Philosophy Talk

Sundays at 11am, Tuesdays at Noon
  • Hosted by hosted by Ken Taylor, Debra Satz, & Josh Landy

The program that questions everything...except your intelligence.

Episodes are not archived at  For a comprehensive listing of recent and upcoming programs and various listening options, visit the Philosophy Talk website.

Philosophy Talk: The 2020 Dionysus Awards

Mar 17, 2020

What movies of the past year challenged your assumptions and made you think about things in new ways?

Philosophy Talk: Midlife and Meaning

Mar 6, 2020

Is the midlife crisis nostalgia for lost youth, or the fear of old age (or both)?  

Philosophy Talk: Trash Talks

Mar 3, 2020

Do the things we call 'trash' say more about those things or about us?

Philosophy Talk: Is the Self an Illusion?

Feb 25, 2020

Is the self just a fiction we create to make sense of a complicated world?

Philosophy Talk: A World Without Work

Feb 7, 2020

Can we still lead productive, meaningful lives if the demand for human labor disappears?  

Philosophy Talk: Race Matters

Jan 31, 2020

What could be controversial about a movement insisting that Black lives matter too? 


Philosophy Talk: Death of the Sentence

Jan 28, 2020

Is the internet destroying language?

Philosophy Talk: Post-Truth Politics

Jan 17, 2020

Have we entered a post-truth era in which politicians and "news" outlets can lie without consequence?

Philosophy Talk: Comedy and the Culture Wars

Jan 14, 2020

Is there a place in democratic society for comedy that finds humor in people's deepest identities?

Philosophy Talk: Polyamory

Jan 3, 2020

We don't have only one friend at a time, so why have only one lover at a time?

Philosophy Talk: Ken Taylor Tribute

Dec 26, 2019

Remembering Philosophy Talk's co-creator, chief cheerleader, and guiding light, Ken Taylor.

Philosophy Talk: Could the Laws of Physics Ever Change?

Dec 20, 2019

The laws of physics determine how things in the cosmos change. But what would happen if the laws themselves changed?

Philosophy Talk: Driverless Cars at the Moral Crossroads

Dec 6, 2019

Can we trust an algorithm to make morally responsible driving decisions?

Philosophy Talk: Habermas and Democracy

Nov 29, 2019

Could rational communication really be the true key to real democracy?   

Philosophy Talk: Nonhuman Rights

Nov 22, 2019

If humans have human rights because they’re persons, are there some nonhumans who are also persons with nonhuman rights?

Philosophy Talk: Sanctuary Cities

Nov 19, 2019

What rights should undocumented immigrants have?

Philosophy Talk: Hobbes and the Ideal Citizen

Nov 5, 2019

What do citizens owe the state? What does the state owe its citizens?

Philosophy Talk: Conscious Machines

Oct 22, 2019

Would a race of thinking, autonomous, conscious machines be our slaves, our masters, or our partners?

Philosophy Talk: The Space-Time Continuum

Oct 11, 2019

Are Space and Time two separate entities, or just different dimensions of one thing? And what difference does that make?

Philosophy Talk: The Allure of Authoritarianism

Oct 8, 2019

Democracy may not be in great shape, but why would anyone prefer to be ruled by a despot?

Philosophy Talk: Explanation At Its Best

Oct 1, 2019

Is the most elegant explanation always the best one?

Philosophy Talk: Knowing What We Know (And What We Don't)

Sep 20, 2019
"SELF UNDER SIEGE REVISITED" by tio tom tomlinson used under CC license

Is knowing what you don't know the first step toward wisdom, or is a little arrogance a good thing?

Philosophy Talk: Changing Minds on Climate Change

Sep 10, 2019

What could we possibly still say to people who don't believe the climate is changing?

Philosophy Talk: Summer Reading (and Misreading)

Aug 30, 2019

What should you have been be reading this summer—and how should you have been reading it? 

Philosophy Talk: Philosophy Behind Bars

Aug 20, 2019

What is it like to teach philosophy in prison. What is it like to study philosophy while serving time?

Philosophy Talk: Reading the Troubled Past

Aug 13, 2019

What should we do with literature and philosophy from a discredited moral past?

Philosophy Talk: The Doomsday Doctrine

Aug 6, 2019

How do we justify keeping so many nuclear weapons – and continually threatening to use them?

Philosophy Talk: The Mystery of the Multiverse

Jul 26, 2019
"Multiverse" by Tony Ibarra used under CC license

Could our universe be just one among an infinite number of universes in the multiverse?

Did postmodernism simply predict cynicism about the facts, or did it actually promote it?

Philosophy Talk: Reparations

Jul 2, 2019
"Guyana" by CjimB used under CC license

Should any person or institution who has benefited from our sorry history of racism be required to compensate the victims of racism?