Welcome to the Self in Society Podcast, hosted by Ari Armstrong, where we explore what it means to flourish as an individual and a community. Find episodes in reverse order below, see the Self in Society tag for the roundup of show pages, or check out the show via iTunes.
Michael Huemer on Rationality and Objectivity
Philosopher Michael Huemer, author of Knowledge, Reality, and Value (paid link), discusses the meaning of rationality and objectivity, explains why the distinction between fact and opinion is more complex than many people presume, and promotes intellectual virtues. This is the Self in Society Podcast #24.
Steve Spangler on Engaging Science
Steve Spangler, host of DIY Sci, discusses how parents and teachers can foster kids’ love of science and help children discover their “spark” in life. He also shares his thoughts on the development and future of online education and recounts his experiences as a pioneer in the field. This is the Self in Society Podcast #23.
Jason Stotts on Erotic Love
Jason Stotts, psychotherapist and author of Eros & Ethos (paid link), discusses sexuality as an expression of our ethical lives, analyzes the false choice of repression versus hedonism, and addresses gender identity and other aspects of our sexuality. This is the Self in Society Podcast #22.
Christina Sandefur on the Defense of Property Rights
Christina Sandefur of the free-market Goldwater Institute in Arizona discusses her coauthored book, Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America, and related issues. This is the Self in Society Podcast #21.
Robert Alan Goldberg on American Conspiracy Theories
Historian Robert Alan Goldberg discusses the history of conspiracy thinking in the U.S. and explains how “new” conspiracy theories such as that involving QAnon recycle and embellish old themes. This is the Self in Society Podcast #20.
Timothy Sandefur on Frederick Douglass: Self in Society Podcast #19
Timothy Sandefur, author of Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man, discusses Douglass’s life, political philosophy, and influence in his day and up to the present.
Michael Donnelly on Homeschooling and the Law: Self in Society Podcast #18
Michael Donnelly, Senior Counsel and Director of Global Outreach with the Home School Legal Defense Association, discusses the motivations for homeschooling and the legal aspects of it, with a special focus on Colorado.
Robert Alan Goldberg on the Klan in Colorado: Self in Society Podcast #17
Historian Robert Alan Goldberg discusses his book, Hooded Empire: The Klu Klux Klan in Colorado, and its lessons for today.
Mark Silverstein on Your Rights when Interacting with Police: Self in Society #16
Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado, discusses your rights when interacting with police, troubling police actions during protests, and Colorado police reforms.
Robin Hanson on Variolation as a Response to COVID-19: Self in Society #15
Economist and iconoclast Robin Hanson suggests that variolation—controlled, intentional infection of the virus that causes COVID-19—could be an important “Plan B” if the test-trace-isolate strategy fails and especially if eventual herd immunity seems likely. Note that this involves a controlled test first, doctor supervision, and careful screening.
Kevin Currie-Knight on Crisis Schooling Versus Homeschooling: Self in Society #14
Kevin Currie-Knight, professor of education at East Carolina University and president of the board of New Pathfinder Community School, warns against equating the home “crisis schooling” curing the COVID-19 epidemic with homeschooling as families practice it in normal times. He offers some qualified suggestions for families in which students who usually attend a traditional school now must learn at home.
Bryan Alvarez on the COVID-19 Crisis: Self in Society #13
Dr. Bryan Alvarez, now in private practice after serving as the Public Health Director of the United States Northern Command from 2016–2019, discusses the problems and promise of testing our way out of the coronavirus crisis. He also talks about the process of bringing antiviral drugs and vaccines online, as well as the broader problem of emergency preparedness.
Steven Horwitz on Hayek and the Family: Self in Society #12
Economist Steven Horwitz, author of Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions, offers a vision of the family as a dynamic and evolving social institution that plays a crucial role in people’s lives.
Pamela Clare on Romance Fiction: Self in Society #11
Pamela Clare is a gun-toting Rush fan—and Boulder Progressive Democrat—who writes romantic fiction. She discussws her writing, the genre, problems within Romance Writers of America, the business side of fiction, her experiences as a journalist, the allure of Colorado’s wilderness, her views on firearms, and the music that inspires her.
Melvin Konner on Religious Belief: Self in Society #10
Anthropologist Melvin Konner explains the persistence of religious belief in the face of atheistic criticisms. He challenges the New Atheists’ insistence that humanity can and should do away with religion.
Kevin Currie-Knight on Self-Directed Education: Self in Society #9
Kevin Currie-Knight—professor of education at East Carolina University, author of Education in the Marketplace, and president of the board of New Pathfinder Community School—discusses self-directed education and answers various objections to it.
Jason Crawford on the Roots of Progress: Self in Society #8
Jason Crawford, entrepreneur and author of the Roots of Progress blog, discusses what progress is, where it comes from, and how it vastly betters our lives.
John Coffey on Religious Toleration: Self in Society #7
Historian John Coffey discusses his book, Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England 1558–1689, and its lessons for today.
Lawrence Goldstone on the Death and Legacy of Michael Servetus: Self in Society #6
Lawrence Goldstone discusses Michael Servetus—theologian, editor, physician, and heretic—who was burned at the stake for his views in 1553.
Timothy Sandefur on the Ascent of Jacob Bronowski: Self in Society #5
Timothy Sandefur discusses the remarkable life and thought of science educator Jacob Bronowski, creator of the landmark documentary series The Ascent of Man.
James Valliant on Rome and Christianity: Self in Society #4
James Valliant discusses his book, Creating Christ, in which he and his coauthor Warren Fahy argue that the Roman emperors Nero, Vespasian, and Titus played an active role in the development of early Christianity.
Michael Huemer on Animal Welfare: Self in Society #3
Philosopher Michael Huemer discusses his book, Dialogues on Ethical Vegetarianism, focusing on the problem of the severe suffering of most animals currently raised for their flesh, skin, milk, or eggs.
Robert Anthony Peters on Tank Man, Hollywood, Liberty, and Stoicism: Self in Society #2
Writer and Director Robert Anthony Peters discusses his short film, Tank Man, in the context of Chinese politics.
Robert Zubrin on the Case for Space: Self in Society #1
June 4, 2019: Robert Zubrin, head of the Mars Society and of Pioneer Astronautics, discusses his new book, The Case for Space.