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Related Readings
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Rationally Speaking is the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join hosts Massimo Pigliucci and Julia Galef as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, science and pseudoscience.

Rationally Speaking is produced by Benny Pollak and recorded in the heart of New York City's Greenwich Village.

Don't forget to follow us on twitter and become fan of the RS Podcast on Facebook. You can also support Rationally Speaking by joining New York City Skeptics today.

 

Current Episodes

Saturday
Jul142012

RS65 - Philosophical Shock Tactics

Release date: July 15, 2012


Why do philosophers sometimes argue for conclusions that are disturbing, even shocking? Some recent examples include the claim that it's morally acceptable to kill babies; that there's nothing wrong with bestiality; and that having children is unethical. In this episode of Rationally Speaking, Massimo and Julia discuss what we can learn from these "Philosophical shock tactics," the public reaction to them, and what role emotion should play in philosophy.

Julia's pick: "What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought"
Massimo's pick: "Graphing the history of philosophy"

References:
http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2012/06/philosophical-shock-tactics-2/
Be a Communications Consequentialist

Wednesday
Jun272012

RS64 - Jesse Prinz on Looking Beyond Human Nature

Release date: July 1, 2012


Nature vs. Nurture? Massimo and Julia revive the age-old debate in this episode of Rationally Speaking, with special guest Jesse Prinz. Jesse is a professor of philosophy at CUNY and the author of several books, most recently "Beyond Human Nature." The trio debate Jesse's argument that human behavior is far more culturally determined than evolutionary psychologists would have you believe, and in the process explore the question of where morality comes from and how to distinguish between nature and nurture.

Jesse's pick: "Black God, White Devil"

 

References:
When Is Film Art

Saturday
Jun162012

RS63 - Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

Release date: June 17, 2012


Will all knowledge eventually be united? And what does that even mean, anyway? In this episode of Rationally Speaking, Massimo and Julia explore the topic of consilience, or the "unity of knowledge," a concept popularized by biologist and theorizer E. O. Wilson. Along the way they discuss whether all phenomena can be explained in terms of physics, the importance of precise language, and the seductive dangers of the "deepity."

Julia's picks: MeasureOfDoubt videos and Predictions from Philosophy? 
Massimo's pick: 10 Facts about Portable Electronics and Airplanes

References:
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
Report from the Consilience conference