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: 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?

Philosophy Talk: J.S. Mill and the Good Life

Jun 25, 2019

Is it better to choose a life of suffering or live happily in somebody else's vision?

Philosophy Talk: The Limits of Tolerance

Jun 11, 2019

What do we do with people with people with whom we radically disagree: tolerate, shun, or persuade?

Philosophy Talk: John Dewey and the Ideal of Democracy

May 24, 2019

John Dewey is regarded by some as the quintessential American philosopher. 

Philosophy Talk: This Is Your Brain on Art

May 17, 2019
"Your Brain on Rainbows" by garlandcannon used under CC license

If you could see inside my brain when I was looking at a piece of art, would you know what it was like for me to look at that art?

Philosophy Talk: What Is Religious Belief?

May 7, 2019

Is believing in God different from believing in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus? 

Philosophy Talk: Authority and Resistance

Apr 19, 2019

What makes some forms of authority legitimate and others not?

If you could add a novel sense beyond the normal five, what would you want it to be?

Philosophy Talk: The Mystery of Music

Mar 22, 2019
"Music" by crayon27 used under CC license

What does it mean to have good (or bad) taste in music?

Philosophy Talk: Immigration and Multiculturalism

Mar 8, 2019

Should ethnic or cultural identity ever be considered in any country’s immigration policy?

Philosophy Talk: Altered States

Mar 1, 2019

Can mind-altering drugs expand our consciousness and provide meaningful insight, or are they nothing more than a route to empty delirium?

Philosophy Talk: The 2019 Dionysus Awards

Feb 17, 2019

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

Philosophy Talk: Identity Politics

Feb 1, 2019


The notion of identity has become so hugely important in contemporary political discourse that no conversation on social issues would be complete without it. But is identity politics the problem or the solution to what divides us?

Does affirmative action undermine the achievements of those who are supposed to benefit from it?

Philosophy Talk: One Child Too Many

Jan 11, 2019

In a world that's rapidly becoming overpopulated, can we at least talk about population control?

Science can explain what happens. But can it explain why anything happens at all?  

Philosophy Talk: 2018 – The Examined Year

Dec 27, 2018

What happened over the past twelve months that challenged our assumptions and made us think about things in new ways?

Philosophy Talk: Foreign Aid – or Injury?

Dec 14, 2018

What's the right way for developed nations to fight global poverty?