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Related Readings
  • Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life
    Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life
    by Massimo Pigliucci
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    Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
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  • Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science
    Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science
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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 is recorded in the heart of New York City's Greenwich Village.

Current Episodes


Saturday
Jan242015

RS126 - Preston Bost on Crazy Beliefs, Sane Believers

Release date: January 25, 2015

Preston BostCan it be rational to believe conspiracy theories? On this episode of Rationally Speaking, Julia and Massimo welcome Prof. Preston Bost, a professor of psychology at Wabash College who investigates what kinds of people latch onto conspiracy theories, and why. The three discuss evolutionary reasons for conspiracy theories' appeal, and ask: how do you determine whether a belief is "rational," anyway?

Preston's picks:  http://conspiracypsychology.com/ and "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey"

Saturday
Jan102015

RS125 - The Quantified Self

Release date: January 11, 2015

"Quantimetric Self-Sensing" apparatusPeople have been keeping track of their moods, sleeping, dietary habits and more for hundreds of years -- Benjamin Franklin famously recorded instances of his virtues and vices. But only in the last decade has the rise of smartphones and fast computing created the new "Quantified Self" movement in which some people are trying to mine their own data for insights about how to be happier and more effective. In this episode, Massimo and Julia discuss self tracking -- what you can learn from it, and what its pitfalls might be.

Julia's pick: "Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation"

Massimo's pick: "Free Will: The Basics"

Saturday
Dec272014

RS124 - Stoicism

Release date: December 28, 2014

The Stoic EggDid you miss International Stoic Week this year? Well, it's not too late to catch Massimo and Julia's analysis of the ancient philosophy of stoicism, which advocates (among other things) practicing mindfulness, accepting the things you can't change, and regulating negative emotions. Come hear the results of Massimo's experimentation with stoicism and listen to him and Julia debate several potential problems with the philosophy.

Julia's pick: "Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science"

Massimo's pick: "Companions in Misery"