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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

Wednesday
Dec182013

RS99 - Judith Schlesinger Exposes the Myth of the Mad Genius

Release date: December 22, 2013

Judith SchlesingerCreative geniuses are always a little bit cuckoo, right? At least, that's the impression you'd get from TV, movies, and plenty of common wisdom. In this episode of Rationally Speaking, Massimo and Julia are joined by psychologist Judith Schlesinger, author of The Insanity Hoax: Exposing the Myth of the Mad Genius, who explains why she thinks the "mad genius" archetype is simply the result of folklore, misunderstanding, and bad research.

Judith's advice: Re-enjoy the geniuses that you have always loved, pull down a Beethoven Symphony and listen to it, go to the museum and look at Van Gogh's beautiful paintings, and if you focus more on the beauty and less on the rumor, we will all be better off.

 

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"