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Meaningoflife.tv

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Conversations about philosophy, science, religion and spirituality
115 Episodes
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Bruce’s new book, Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age ... Debunking the idea of the “predictable crises of adult life” ... Two kinds of life changes: “disruptors” and “lifequakes” ... Does Bob need a lifequake? ... Bruce: “The linear model of life transitions is just wrong” ... Millennials zigging and zagging ... The ABCs of meaning: agency, belonging, cause ... How to write your own life story ... Are the stories we tell about ourselves just BS? And is that okay? ... How to change the meaning of your life ...
Russell’s book, The Tyranny of Opinion: Conformity and the Future of Liberalism ... Preserving the liberal tradition ... Can the genie of stakes-inflation be put back in the bottle? ... Dan: Woke illiberalism is a kind of luxury ... Russell’s recommendations for keeping the liberal tradition alive ... The role of legislation and institutions in tamping down illiberalism ...
David's new book, On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It ... The tension at the heart of dehumanization ... David: Genocides are moralistic ... The essential role of psychological essentialism ... Dehumanization in American politics ... When David received death threats after critiquing Jordan Peterson ... The "Great Chain of Being" and our complex conception of monsters ... Why David doesn't like the term "the banality of evil" ... How to resist dehumanization ...
Philip’s 2019 book, Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness ... What’s the difference between panpsychism and philosophical idealism? ... John: Solipsism is “an absolute impediment to a truly scientific theory of consciousness” ... Does panpsychism “cheat” when it comes to philosophy’s fundamental problems? ... The moral dimension of panpsychism ... Hallucinogens and mystical experience ...
What are persons? ... Why don't we say "my legs went to the store"? ... Actions and intentions ... The case of the robot who voted ... Are addicts in control of their actions? ... The moral culpability of a naughty dog ...
Rutger's new book, Humankind: A Hopeful History ... Debunking the "veneer theory" of human nature ... Are violence and war intrinsic to human nature? ... The human self-domestication thesis ... Why Bob doesn't like the idea of people "deserving punishment" ... Is it bad to emphasize the dark side of human nature? ... What the debunking of the Stanford Prison Experiment can teach us ... Giving money to rich people: Why the U in UBI? ... Would UBI turn us all into couch potatoes (or worse)? ...
Doug's new book, Philosophy Smackdown ... Plato's Cave and the three layers of wrestling reality ... What it means when wrestlers break the fourth wall ... Real life can be "just as scripted as wrestling, if not more so" ... How and why moral virtue changed in wrestling ... The only performance where people say "you know it's fake, right?" ... What philosophers could learn from professional wrestling ...
Abby's research on "death anxiety" ... Demoralization, purpose, and meaning ... Death anxiety and the quality of life of health care providers ... Abby's experience contracting the coronavirus ... Is religious belief a cure for death anxiety? ... Is life without death worth living? ...
A Scientology ship commander calls the pandemic "suppressive and anti-social" ... Turning to L. Ron Hubbard during the pandemic: radiation as a state of mind ... The appeal of groups like Scientology in a crisis ... The pandemic is the rare mainstream event that got Scientologists' attention ... Hubbard and Trump, Scientology and post-truth ... Nikita’s experience with an exercise similar to "past lives auditing" ... We thought the Internet was a threat to Scientology. Were we wrong? ...
John’s new book, Mood and Trope ... From the "linguistic turn" to the "affective turn" ... Kant vs. Nietzsche vs. Heidegger vs. Deleuze ... In praise of unsystematic criticism ... Clarifying some Heideggerian terminology ... From the sublime to the Anthropocene ...
Are we really as social as the Stoics believed? ... Distinguishing between the “objective” and the “real”... ... ...and between the “real” and representations of the “real” ... Dan: It makes no difference whether or not values are objective ... Massimo’s solution to the omnivore’s dilemma ... Massimo: “Values are never separate from facts” ...
Spoiler alert! Critiquing Star Trek: Discovery and Picard ... Serial vs. episodic storytelling ... Why Dan hated Discovery's main character ... Is the show too woke? ... Debating the big twist in Picard ... Dan: Two things screw up Picard as a Star Trek show ... Throwing science out the window ... Milton: Audiences don't know what they want ... Have younger viewers turned away from science fiction? ...
Paul describes the view from Toronto ... Zero- and non-zero-sum aspects of the pandemic ... Paul: Canada's multiparty system helps defuse polarization ... A disaster without solidarity ... How our emotions caused us to underreact to the pandemic ... Masks and mobs ... Trump's fragile feelings ... Why has the external threat of the disease not united humanity? ... A deep dive into the meaning of statistical significance ...
Remembering Andrew’s recently deceased dog Eddy ... Can we explain the bond between dogs and people? ... The many disgusting things that dogs love ... Andrew angers the cat lovers in the audience ... Are there actually "cat people" and "dog people"? ... Dogs' use of affection as a tool ... What can we learn from dogs about how to be present? ... Andrew: "I do think that after death I will be with my dogs" ... Andrew wants the economy to open up—a little ...
Jacqueline's new book, Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World ... Female saints as childhood role models ... How Jacqueline helped start Rwanda's first microfinance bank ... Jacqueline's "patient capital" investment nonprofit, Acumen ... The four steps toward building moral imagination ... Toilet entrepreneurship in Nairobi ... Changing the market for coffee and chocolate farmers ... Can identity connect as well as it divides? ... Jacqueline: A moral revolution must come from inside us ...
Dan's in-progress book, Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics ... Avoiding the "crazy positions" ... A stereoscopic view of the "scientific" and "manifest" images ... Dan: A world with people in it is only explainable in fragmentary terms ... Crispin sees the leading edge of the new dualism ... On the ontological status of coming-of-age stories ... Previewing future fights ...
John fails the coronavirus antibody test; Bob consoles him ... Science fiction, free will, and robot sex ... The Devs interpretation of quantum mechanics ... The Wright-Horgan interpretation of Devs, part 1 (spoilers) ... The Wright-Horgan interpretation of Devs, part 2 (lots of spoilers) ... John: we need the concept of free will more than we need God ... Is the many worlds interpretation consoling or terrifying? ...
The continuing battle over gender in philosophy ... Harm avoidance vs. competing interests ... Jesse: There's disagreement within the trans community over what it means to be trans ... Dan: "This is madness to everyone other than the people inside the tent" ... The social dynamics of philosophy ... Ordinary language and "they" ... Will the trans movement moderate? ... Dan: Philosophy is in trouble and the pandemic is making it worse ...
Evan's new book, Why I Am Not a Buddhist ... Evan's critique of "Buddhist modernism" and "Buddhist exceptionalism" ... Which of Buddhism’s major claims are naturalistic? ... Is Buddhism fundamentally different than other religions? ... Bob defends Buddhist insights into human psychology ... Evan's case against "neural Buddhism" ... Does a clearer view of reality make you more equanimous? ... All about nirvana ... Debating evolutionary psychology ... Evan: This book is friendly criticism ...
How to model an epidemic ... The costs and benefits of cost-benefit analysis ... Turning coronavirus models into coronavirus policy ... Eric: Your intuitions about the virus’s spread are "useless" ... The use and abuse of epidemiological models ... Pandemic models and failures of political leadership ... Our scandalous lack of infection-rate data ... Why suppressing the virus “is a marathon, not a sprint” ...
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