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Literature
Philosophy

Good Question!

Updated 27 days ago

Literature
Philosophy
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A podcast by John Farrell and Alex Rajczi

Read more

A podcast by John Farrell and Alex Rajczi

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Cover image of Good Question!

Good Question!

Updated 27 days ago

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A podcast by John Farrell and Alex Rajczi

Rank #1: EPISODE 11: Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize (11/12/16)

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Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Did he deserve it?  Along the way we talk about Adam Kirsch’s article “The Meaning of Bob Dylan’s Silence.”  Minor Correction: Sigmund Freud didn’t win the Nobel Prize, though he was nominated many times.  Sorry for the slip!  (Intro: Cold Funk (edited) by Kevin MacLeod, from Incompetech.com, CC BY 3.0 license. […]

Nov 01 2018
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Rank #2: EPISODE 07: Taylor Swift Again (4/17/16)

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On our second try, can we actually manage to discuss Taylor Swift’s 1989?   We get a little help from Nathaniel Rich’s article “Hit Charade.“   (Intro: AcidJazz by Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: Moon Child by Karissa Hobbs, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.) Download the episode by right-clicking here or stream it online: […]

Oct 27 2018
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Rank #3: EPISODE 14: Is There Something Profound About Cosmic Horror? (3/25/17)

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Our previous discussion of H.P. Lovecraft leads to bigger questions:  Is there something terrifying about modern science?  Should we fear superior alien life?  Does fiction require us to paint some people as evil?  (Intro: Cold Funk (edited) by Kevin MacLeod, from Incompetech.com, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: The Face of God (edited) by The Agrarians, from The Free Music Archive, CC BY-NC-SA […]

Nov 02 2018
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Rank #4: EPISODE 08: A Cultural Mount Rushmore (5/23/16)

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Together with our special guest Seth Lobis, we ask: which four artists should be on a new monument to American culture?  We got the idea from a segment on the Slate Culture Gabfest.  (Intro: AcidJazz by Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: RSPN by Blank & Kytt, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.) […]

Oct 27 2018
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Rank #5: EPISODE 09: Did Harper Lee Kill Her Mockingbird? (7/14/16)

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Harper Lee’s second novel Go Set A Watchman has caused a literary uproar.  In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus’s defense of Tom Robinson looks like a model of racial justice. However, in the new novel, Atticus seems to be a racist.  Is he?  And if so, can we still admire the Atticus that we knew in Mockingbird?  (Intro: AcidJazz by Kevin MacLeod, from […]

Oct 30 2018
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Rank #6: EPISODE 10: Politics and the English Language (8/26/16)

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George Orwell said that politicians use vague language to cover up policies that are “too brutal for most people to face,” and that political language infects all of us and makes us have “foolish thoughts.”  Was he right?  (Intro: AcidJazz by Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: Dance of the Stargazer (edited) by US Army […]

Oct 31 2018
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Rank #7: EPISODE 06: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms (3/29/16)

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Does the Constitution guarantee an individual right to own guns?  We discuss the interpretive methods used by Justices Scalia and Stevens in District of Columbia v. Heller.  (Intro: AcidJazz by Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: White Flag by Karissa Hobbs, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.) Download the episode by right-clicking […]

Oct 25 2018
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Rank #8: EPISODE 05: James Patterson Inc. (3/11/16)

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Why is James Patterson the world’s most successful novelist?  Are we snobs for not liking him? Our discussion is inspired by a great New York Times article by Jonathan Mahler.  (Intro: AcidJazz by Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: In the Dark by BrokeMC, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.) Download the episode […]

Oct 25 2018
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Rank #9: EPISODE 04: Taylor Swift, 1989 (8/27/15)

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Is Taylor Swift’s new album as great as people say?  Is taste in art entirely subjective anyway? (Intro: AcidJazz by Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: Scott Joplin’s Ragtime Dance, anonymous piano roll, from the Free Music Archive, Public Domain Mark 1.0 license.) Download the episode by right-clicking here or stream it online:      

Oct 23 2018
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Rank #10: EPISODE 03: This is Water (8/18/15)

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Is there wisdom in David Foster Wallace’s famous commencement address to Kenyon College?  (Intro: AcidJazz by Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: Little Black Balloon by Fog Lake, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 4.0 license.) Download the episode by right-clicking here or stream it online:    

Oct 23 2018
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Rank #11: EPISODE 02: Heart of Darkness (8/11/15)

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Was Chinua Achebe right that Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a racist book? (Intro: AcidJazz by Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: Views of the Holy & Divine by The Agrarians, from the Free Music Archive, CC BY-NC 3.0 US license.) Download the episode by right-clicking here or stream it online:      

Oct 22 2018
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Rank #12: EPISODE 01: The Cannibal of Ajax (7/31/15)

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Was Luis Suarez’s handball in the 2010 World Cup contest between Uruguay and Ghana just part of the game, or was it something more?  We discuss the ethics of sports.  This was our first try at podcasting, so the audio quality isn’t great. Hang in there — the sound gets better over the next few […]

Oct 22 2018
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Rank #13: EPISODE 20: Hemingway, McCarthy, and Moral Criticism (4/24/18)

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Critics disagree sharply about whether The Old Man and the Sea is a good book. Is that because they evaluate books based on their own moral outlooks? And should they? Along the way we discuss an essay by Katherine Jobes and the works of Cormac McCarthy. (Intro: Cold Funk (edited) by Kevin MacLeod, from Incompetech.com, […]

Nov 03 2018
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Rank #14: EPISODE 19: What Does Ishiguro Think of Ishiguro? (2/20/18)

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Earlier this year, Kazuo Ishiguro was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.  The critics have their opinion of Ishiguro’s work, but what does Ishiguro say is the point of his work?  Why does he think it has significance?  (Intro: Cold Funk (edited) by Kevin MacLeod, from Incompetech.com, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: Love (edited) by PC-ONE, from The Free Music Archive, CC BY […]

Nov 03 2018
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Rank #15: EPISODE 18: What Was Freud All About? (9/4/17)

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Sigmund Freud’s work had a vast influence on psychology, art, and popular culture.  But what did Freud’s theory say?  Is it backed by the evidence?  Why does Freudian theory continue to fascinate people?  (Intro: Cold Funk (edited) by Kevin MacLeod, from Incompetech.com, CC BY 3.0 license.  Outro: Haul Away Joe by Howie Mitchell, from The Free Music Archive, CC BY 3.0 […]

Nov 03 2018
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