Is There Something Uncanny About Machines That Can Think?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Commentator Tania Lombrozo says her sense is that thinking machines elicit an existential response — perhaps because we're threatened by the idea that maybe human thinking isn't so special.


The Ethics Of The 'Singularity'

Friday, January 23, 2015

When machines, smarter than us, make machines smarter than them, futurists argue, the 'singularity' will have arrived. Commentator Alva Noë, a skeptic, wonders about imparting values — and control.


The Brian Lehrer Show

One Universe at a Time

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin and the philosopher, social legal theorist and politician Roberto Mangabeira Unger argue that the laws governing the universe must evolve. 

Comments [21]

As 2015 Begins, Some Ruminations On Science And Life

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

At this time of introspection and self-analysis, commentator Marcelo Gleiser shares some thoughts that have come to him in the course of writing books and essays over the years.


In Search Of A Science Of Consciousness

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Philosopher Alva Noë explores ideas in a new book that suggests consciousness and self is best looked at by combining insight from Western science, Indian philosophy and contemplative practices.


Do People Like To Think?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Commentator Alva Noë considers a widely discussed study — and debate that has ensued — showing that we'd rather get shocked with electricity than spend time alone with our own thoughts.


A Quest For The Unattainable Unification Of Knowledge

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

There is no reason to expect that we can get to the ultimate nature of reality, says physicist Marcelo Gleiser. We must learn to live with the mystery, with the fact that we cannot know everything.


The Leonard Lopate Show

The Peaceful Philosophy of Leo Strauss, Who Inspired Iraq War Neocons

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Leo Strauss inspired Neocon champions of the Iraq War, but Robert Howse argues that he was actually a man of peace. 

Comments [4]

What An Advertising Challenge Illustrates About The Mind

Monday, October 27, 2014

Commentator Tania Lombrozo uses Apple's new Retina 5K display offering to illustrate a deep point about the limits of human learning.


What Art, And The Game Telephone, Teach Us About Copying

Friday, October 17, 2014

The basic phenomenon of speaking, expressing meaning in words — and also that of copying or recording what we hear — is laid bare before our eyes by artist Alvin Lucier, says commentator Alva Noë.


Superintelligence: Triumph Or Threat?

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

If we are able to create intelligent machines, how can we guarantee they will keep us alive and well, as opposed to wiping us out? Nick Bostrom explores the question in Superintelligence.


A Reflection On Random Acts of Kindness

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Commentator Alva Noë considers a surprise payment a stranger made for him. He says the best part was that his gift was free: If he had incurred a debt, it wasn't to anyone — it was to everyone.



Geeking Out About David Bowie, And The Book He Inspired

Monday, September 22, 2014

Simon Critchley's new book, Bowie, is part memoir, part philosophical musing. He and fellow David Bowie superfan John Schaefer geek out about their musical hero.


Finding Answers In Our Stories

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Theists believe in God. Atheists do not. What kind of disagreement is this anyway? Commentator Alva Noë suggests that what's at stake is our stories.


On The Media

Staring into the Abyss

Friday, September 19, 2014

Brooke explores our long fascination with nihilism: why it's popular today, and whether that's always been the case.

Comments [37]


Glenn Gould In Rapture

Thursday, September 04, 2014

You don't get to see this too often: a man (in this case, a very talented man) totally possessed by his muse. Watch pianist Glenn Gould deep in what psychologists call "a flow state."
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Comments [7]

Soft Immortality: Would You Do It?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Is immortality something desirable, or a many-headed monster? Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says that as medical science extends our lifespan, the question becomes more real all the time.


The Leonard Lopate Show

The 'Infidels' and 'Atheists' Who Founded America

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A look at the the ancient and pagan influences on the Founding Fathers—from Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Young, who kicked off the Boston Tea Party.

Comments [12]

No End In Sight? No Problem!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Our quest for knowledge will never end because we just can't know everything, no matter how hard we try, says commentator Marcelo Gleiser. But that's a good thing. Here's why.


Without Conflict There Is No Growth

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Conflict is the force that drives change. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser asks: What are the values that we should champion as we fight for a better future?