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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.

Current Episodes


Saturday
Sep032011

RS43 - Women in Skepticism

Release date: September 11, 2011


No, this episode is not about "elevatorgate" or the Watson-Dawkins debacle, but we do use these recent (in)famous events as a springboard for a broader discussion of women in skepticism and science. Is there a misogyny problem in the skeptic and atheist communities? Why aren't there more more women involved in these communities? Also, Julia tells us about her own experience as a young woman skeptic.

Julia's pick:  "Paul Graham Essays"

Massimo's pick: "Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities"

References:
http://wwww.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/4978/does_atheism_have_a_misogyny_problem

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cocktail-party-physics/2011/08/02/teetering-on-the-edge-of-chaos/
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cocktail-party-physics/2011/07/20/is-it-cold-in-here/
http://www.blaghag.com/2010/07/women-and-feminism-at-tam8.html
http://www.phact.org/articles/misc/women.php
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/07/05/richard-dawkins-and-male-privilege/

 

Monday
Aug222011

RS42 - On the Limits of Reason

Release date: August 28, 2011


Following up on their interview with Robert Zaretsky on the dispute between David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rousseau about the limits of reason, Julia and Massimo expand the topic to include a discussion of the failure of “foundational” projects (e.g., the quest for the ultimate bases of scientific reasoning, or of logic and mathematics). Also, our take on a recent paper on the evolutionary psychology of reasoning that has made mainstream news.

Julia's pick:  "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy"

Massimo's pick: "From Technologist to Philosopher Why you should quit your technology job and get a Ph.D. in the humanities"

Thursday
Aug112011

RS41 - Robert Zaretsky on Rousseau, Hume, and the Limits of Human Understanding

Release date: August 14, 2011


Imagine a time when a dispute between two philosophers was the talk of high society. That is the time that our guest, Robert Zarertsky, describes in his book "The Philosophers' Quarrel: Rousseau, Hume, and the Limits of Human Understanding." He tells the story of the short and dramatic friendship between Hume and Rousseau. Hume, who championed the progress of the sciences and arts, and Rousseau, who questioned progress, wondering whether it was just another word for moral decay and despair. He also discusses the implications their friendship may have had on the Enlightenment's conceptions of reason and human understanding.

Robert Zaretsky is a professor of French history at the University of Houston Honors College and the Department of History. He has published several books about philosophy and history of philosophy.

Robert's pick: "How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer".