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Rank #114 in Philosophy category

Society & Culture
Philosophy
Documentary

Hi-Phi Nation

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #114 in Philosophy category

Society & Culture
Philosophy
Documentary
Read more

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story-form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

Read more

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story-form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

iTunes Ratings

333 Ratings
Average Ratings
311
8
7
3
4

wonderfully produced

By Dawg14 - Jul 18 2019
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Great for the culture: Extremely well produced, with both the pro credentials behind it and the audience-friendly hook. Yay Barry! Yay public philosophy!

Relevant philosophy

By Dave Hamilton - Jun 13 2019
Read more
What a great way they’ve found to make philosophy relatable. Kudos!

iTunes Ratings

333 Ratings
Average Ratings
311
8
7
3
4

wonderfully produced

By Dawg14 - Jul 18 2019
Read more
Great for the culture: Extremely well produced, with both the pro credentials behind it and the audience-friendly hook. Yay Barry! Yay public philosophy!

Relevant philosophy

By Dave Hamilton - Jun 13 2019
Read more
What a great way they’ve found to make philosophy relatable. Kudos!
Cover image of Hi-Phi Nation

Hi-Phi Nation

Updated 5 days ago

Read more

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story-form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

Rank #1: Soldier Philosophers Part 1: Moral Exploitation

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When one Army soldier discovered the propagation of torture tactics during the Iraq war, he engaged in a one-man mission inside the organization to learn about their origins, and the effect they had on lower-level soldiers who were implementing them. From there, he took on the Bush administration. Years later, he is training to be a philosopher.

As a new U.S. administration takes hold, with talk of military action against ISIS and the reinstatement of Bush-era torture policies, we embark on a two-week exploration of the philosophy of war. We follow the story of soldier philosophers, the first generation who served in a large-scale American war since Vietnam, returning to bring new thinking about the morality of warfare. On this episode, we look at the side-effects of moral decision-making on the soldiers who are asked to carry-out a President's orders. Guest voices include Michael Robillard and Ian Fishback.

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Jan 31 2017

48mins

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Rank #2: Chamber of Facts

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Do people of opposing political parties believe in different facts? The mantra at the moment is that they do, because of media echo chambers, motivated reasoning, and ideological blindspots. But a more careful look reveals a different answer, with perhaps even more startling consequences. This week we follow two conservative Republicans who consumed a liberal newsfeed for two weeks, and we look at the empirical and philosophical problem of the way partisanship affects belief in facts. Guest voices include Janalee Tobias, Trent Loos, philosophers Daniel Wodak and Eric Schwitzgebel, and political scientist John G. Bullock. The episode is brought to you by the Great Courses Plus. Sign up for one month free at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/hiphi.

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Jul 23 2018

46mins

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Rank #3: Be a Man

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Our ideas of manhood and womanhood determine the ways in which we raise and socialize our children, but how much does gender in a particular society depend on that society's relationship with violence? What happens when, all of a sudden, women are allowed to participate in a form of violence once reserved for men? This week, we investigate the effects and side effects of gender norms arising from militarism. Guest voices include two lieutenants in the US Army, LTC Naomi Mercer, Joshua Goldstein, Tom Digby, and Graham Parsons.

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Mar 21 2017

36mins

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Rank #4: Creed and Credences

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Dave has been hunting for the one decisive piece of scientific evidence that will settle one of Christianity's most challenging questions. On this episode we look at two stories of people trying to reconcile their religious and empirical beliefs about the world, and hear from a philosopher whose theory says that their attempts may be futile. Guest voices include Dave Woetzel, Laura Jean Truman, and philosopher Neil Van Leeuwen. This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Visit http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/hiphi to sign up for one month free.

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May 01 2018

44mins

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Rank #5: A Better Love

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On our season finale, we follow a mother's love through the stages of life to seek wisdom about what love is, what love does, and why love happens. We follow five mothers at five different stages of motherhood, from the joys and anxieties of birth, letting go, coming back, being proud, and saying goodbye. We then turn to the philosophy of love and life, to figure out the role of love in the shape of a human life, and the significance of death in revealing the true value of our loved ones. Guest voices include Yael Goldstein Love, Tiffany Ward, Randy Scott Carroll, Diana Carroll, The J Family, Rachel Matlow, Elaine Mitchell, philosopher Susan Wolf, and philosopher Kieran Setiya. Special thanks to CBC radio's The Sunday Edition. 

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May 03 2017

49mins

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Rank #6: The Ashes of Truth

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Documentary film and science do not appear to have much in common, except that, philosophically, they have everything in common. Two men met in 1971 and had a disagreement, which turned into an assault, and then 45 years of disdain. One of them was the most cited philosopher of the 20th century, the other is one of the most influential documentary filmmakers of his generation. It was a disagreement that ran deep, right down to the nature of truth, history, reference, and the objects and limits of human inquiry.

Guest voices include Errol Morris, Lydia Patton, Thomas Rankin, James Challey, and Dan Epstein.

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Apr 18 2017

50mins

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Rank #7: Hackademics I: The Control

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After years of unusual episodes dating back to her childhood, Anita went to the doctor and was told there was nothing medically wrong with her. "She had a gift," she was told, and she was sent down the street to an ESP lab. Parapsychology is the scientific study of telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, precognition, and spirits. Or is it? The field has been pushed to the fringes of science for decades now. In two episodes, I first follow the study of psychics, and then the mainstream sciences of human nature, to see if they differ enough to make one worthy of belief, and the other scorn. Guest voices include Anita Woodley, John Kruth and Sally Rhine Feather of the Rhine Research Center, and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci.

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Mar 07 2017

45mins

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Rank #8: Willful Acts

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Army veteran Jim McKelvey applied for his VA benefits and was denied for willful misconduct. Thirty years later, Julie Eldred was sent to prison for a willful violation of probation. Both challenged, both got to a Supreme Court with the promise to change the law of the land. The disease model of addiction has been litigated a handful of times in the history of American law. Every time the same issue has come up; free will. We examine this week how the issues of free will and moral responsibility for addiction play out in the U.S. legal system. Guest voices include Sue McKelvey, Deborah Pearman, James McKelvey, Lisa Newman-Polk, and philosopher Hanna Pickard.

This episode was brought you by the Great Courses Plus, where you can learn more philosophy. Visit to get one month free. http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/hiphi

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May 30 2018

57mins

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Rank #9: The Self and Survival

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In ordinary life, it is usually not hard to know who you are and who you used to be. For a small group of children around the world, their knowledge seems to conflict with what modern science believes is possible. On this episode, we tell stories of unusual childhood memories to examine the nature of the self, and what needs to survive in order for a person to survive. We delve into the strange philosophy and science of personal identity, quantum physics, and belief in the afterlife. Guest voices include Barbro Karlen, Dr. Jim Tucker, and philosophers Alyssa Ney and Yuval Avnur. This episode is sponsored by Warby Parker. Visit warbyparker.com/hiphi to support the show.

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Mar 27 2018

46mins

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Rank #10: The Name of God

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With a small gesture of good will toward Syrian refugees, one woman incurred the wrath of evangelical Christians on social media. The resulting chaos helped write the next chapter in a thousand year-old controversy concerning Christianity, Islam, their shared origins, and the nature of God. Guest voices include Larycia Hawkins, Michael Mangis, Karly Bothman, Paul Griffiths, and Amir Hussain.

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Feb 14 2017

50mins

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Rank #11: Soldier Philosophers Part 2: The Morality of War

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For some reason, when people kill others in wars, we do not judge them morally and legally in the same way as we judge them when they kill in civilian life. Is there a justification for this difference, or is it only a convenient myth? We go to West Point to see what soldiers themselves think and teach about the morality of killing in war. Just as the US winds down two major unconventional wars, philosophers, including many soldier philosophers, are trying to revise hundreds of years of thinking about the morality of warfare. Guest voices include Ian Fishback, Jeff McMahan, Helen Frowe, Steve Woodside, Graham Parsons, Scott Parsons, Courtney Morris, Timothy Leone, and Saythala Phonexyaphova.

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Feb 07 2017

48mins

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Rank #12: Hackademics II: The Hackers

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One scientist decided to put the entire field of psychology to test to see how many of its findings hold up to scrutiny. At the same time, he had scientists bet on the success-rate of their own field. We look at the surprising paradoxes of humans being human, trying to learn about humans, and the elusive knowledge of human nature. Guest voices include Brian Nosek of the Center for Open Science, Andrew Gelman of Columbia University, Deborah Mayo of Virginia Tech, and Matthew Makel of Duke TiP. A philosophical take on the replication crisis in the sciences.

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Mar 14 2017

44mins

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Rank #13: Risky Business

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How many innocent people should we be allowed to arrest and jail in order to prevent a single dangerous person from being free? The Supreme Court has refused to answer this question, but algorithms have, and many courts across the country are going with the algorithm. 

At different stages of the criminal justice system, computerized risk-assessment algorithms are slowly replacing bail hearings in determining who goes to jail and who goes free. This is widely seen as progressive reform, but may in fact be leading to more incarceration, not less. While many are warning that these algorithms are biased, racist, or based on bad data, the real problems are in fact much deeper, and even harder to solve.

Guest voices include Megan Stevenson, John Raphling, Renee Bolinger, Georgi Gardiner, and Seth Lazar.

Please help the show by taking a listener survey to give us feedback. slate.com/podcastsurvey

To sign up for Slate Plus to get bonus content for this and every episode, and every episode ad-free, go to slate.com/hiphiplus

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Feb 16 2019

49mins

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Rank #14: The Cops of Pop

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Two records from 1983 achieved minor novelty fame, and then faded away, only to emerge 20 years later as the originators of a curious genre of pop music in the age of social media. This peculiar genre raises questions about how we should think about genre, musical aesthetics, and artistry in the time of industrially-produced music and digital reproduction. Guest voices include Jordan Roseman, aka DJ Earworm, Steve Stein, aka Steinski, philosopher Chris Bartel, and musicologist Christine Boone.

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Feb 21 2017

47mins

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Rank #15: Demons of Democracy

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Preschool kids get their first taste of democratic participation when they vote on their class name, and democratic private schools try to display the value of democracy by making kids vote on everything, even the school budget. Does it work or do kids make terrible decisions?

One diagnosis of our modern-day political problems is that too many stupid people are voting for stupid things. There are two proposed fixes; mandate that everyone vote, so as to diminish the power of ignorant and irrational voters, or find ways to disenfranchise all and only the misinformed people. This week we examine both proposals, examining whether compulsory voting is a solution to the problems of democracy, or whether getting rid of democracy altogether can be wise or just.  We look at Sudbury Valley and Brooklyn Free School, democratic schools where the people who are thought too ignorant and irrational to vote are given democratic power. Are there are any lessons to be drawn for our democratic problems from these democratic schools?

Guest voices include Jill Sheppard, Jason Brennan, Noleca Radway, Jonathan Ho, and alums of democratic schools.

Dave's Killer Bread gives second chances to people with criminal histories by hiring them at their Oregon bakery. Go to http://www.daveskillerbread.com/nation to get a free offer from them and support second chances.

To get an ad-free and bonus content for this and every other Slate podcast, join Slate Plus at www.slate.com/hiphiplus

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Apr 13 2019

53mins

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