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Rationally Speaking is the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join Julia Galef and guests as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, science and pseudoscience. Rationally Speaking was co-created with Massimo Pigliucci, is produced by Benny Pollak and recorded in the heart of Greenwich Village.

Current Episodes


Saturday
Dec072013

RS98 - Jerome Wakefield on Psychiatric Diagnoses: Science or Pseudoscience?

Release date: December 8, 2013

Jerome WakefieldWhat qualifies someone as mentally ill? The standard for diagnosis is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which just released a 5th edition in 2013 -- but just how objective is it? This episode of Rationally Speaking features Dr. Jerome Wakefield, psychiatrist, PhD in philosophy, and author of "The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder." Julia, Massimo and Jerome talk about the arbitrariness of the DSM and the controversies around the boundaries of various mental disorders, including depression and sexual fetishes.

Jerome's pick: Bertrand Russell's Autobiography

 

Saturday
Nov232013

RS97 - Peter Singer on Being a Utilitarian in the Real World

Release date: November 24, 2013

Peter SingerFew philosophers have as wide of an impact on the general public as ethicist Peter Singer, this week's guest on Rationally Speaking podcast. Singer's utilitarian arguments about how we should treat animals, why we have a moral obligation to give to charity, whether infants should count as "people," and more have won him widespread fame -- and notoriety -- over the last few decades, and launched multiple movements. Tune in to hear his discussion with Massimo and Julia about why he's a utilitarian, and how his views of utilitarianism have recently changed (and find out how he influenced Massimo's life years ago).

Peter's pick: "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined"

Links:

"The why and how of effective altruism"

Saturday
Nov092013

RS96 - Sally Satel and Scott Lilienfeld on the Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience 

Release date: November 10, 2013

Scott O. Lilienfeld

Sally Satel

It seems like a week can't go by without a news story about how neuroscience has discovered the neurological basis of love, morality, addiction, you name it. Yet how much explanatory power does neuroscience really have -- and are we putting too much trust in its findings? On this episode of Rationally Speaking, Massimo and Julia explore these questions with psychiatrist Sally Satel and professor of psychology Scott O. Lilienfeld, the authors of "Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience."

Scott's pick: "The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us"

Sally's pick: "Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious"