Thinking Out Loud Podcasts

Obstacles to Wisdom

Where does wisdom come from? Is it a given or is it acquired? What is the role of literature? How does one recognize wisdom literature? Is it necessary to have a teacher? How can the unwise distinguish between a wise teacher and the false prophet? How does the company you keep facilitate or obstruct the path to wisdom? Is it more conducive to engage or to withdraw? What about age and experience as teachers? Is there a hierarchy of wisdom corresponding to different levels of development or enlightenment? How do fear, complacency, and arrogance affect the cultivation of wisdom? Join citizen philosophers Billie Lagerwerff, John Tytus, Mike Grosso, Uriah J. Fields and myself in this stimulating and insightful discussion. Music provided by David Rood.


Listen to the podcast:{mp3}070606_obstacles2wisdom{/mp3}

Limits to Knowledge

Are there any limits to knowledge? What is knowledge? Must you be able to prove something in order to know it? What is the role of experience? What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? What role does environment play in limiting knowledge? How does reason interact with knowledge? How can we evaluated knowledge for its validity? What are the different ways of knowing? Is secondhand knowledge really knowledge? What about mystical experiences? How does public knowledge differ from private knowledge? Do the different kinds of knowledge have different limits? How much knowledge do we really need? Join citizen philosophers Derek Breen, John Tytus, Ken Thompson and myself in this stimulating and insightful discussion. Music provided by David Rood.


Listen to the podcast:{mp3}070502_knowledgelimits{/mp3}

How do we fool ourselves?

What do we mean when we say someone is fooling oneself? Is one part of the self fooling another part of the self? Is our self really multiple selves? Who is is the fooler and who is the fooled? Is it necessarily a bad thing to fool oneself? How universal is self-deception? Can it ever be avoided? What are the harmful effects of fooling oneself? What are the benefits? What is the relationship between disillusionment and personal growth? What factors tend to prolong illusions? What factors help one see past the veil of illusions? What is the difference between being deluded and being creatively optimistic? Does disillusionment stifle creativity and productivity? Does it open one up to a deeper truth? Join citizen philosophers Billie Lagerwerff, David Rood, George Garrett, John Tytus, Mike Grosso and myself in this stimulating and insightful discussion. Music provided by David Rood.


Listen to the podcast:{mp3}070411_foolingselves{/mp3}

Has Science Hit a Wall?

Modern physics introduced the concepts of the Uncertainty Principle, Probability Waves, and Black Hole Horizons beyond which we cannot see. Do these findings signify permanent, insurmountable limits to further progress in physics? If physics is the most fundamental of the sciences, are the other sciences equally limited as a consequence? What does this do to our faith in science as our institution of truth and understanding? Are there ways around these limitations? Are there other, more troubling limitations built into the structure of the institution of science itself? Does the present nature of the institution of science itself need to change to break the impasse? What role does culture play in the rise and fall of our faith in science? What role does politics play in the integrity of science? Are our current practices of science education conducive to producing the next Einstein? Have we passed our peak, or are we on the verge of a monumental breakthrough? Join citizen philosophers Billie Lagerwerff, John Tytus and myself in this stimulating and insightful discussion. Music provided by David Rood.


Listen to the podcast:{mp3}070301_sciencewall{/mp3}

Power, Justice, and Morality

This is a special edition of Thinking Out Loud, which you might call Thinking Out Loud - One on One. Due to the threat of a winter storm, only one brave citizen philosopher showed up at the scheduled meeting time. I decided to postpone the scheduled topic, "How do we fool ourselves?", for next time when more could attend. While waiting to see if anyone else would show up this time, U.J. Fields and I just happened to start talking about power and justice. It sounded promising, so I turned on the microphone. Here is that conversation. Music provided by David Rood.


Listen to the podcast:{mp3}070201_mightjustice{/mp3}

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TOL Mission Statement


We engage together in, and record for broadcast, our earnest philosophical dialogues, so that we may:


  1. Enhance our understanding of life and the world in which we live.
  2. Stimulate intellectual curiosity and philosophical exploration in ourselves and others.
  3. Strengthen our intellectual skills of critical thinking and sound reasoning.
  4. Provide a forum for a diversity of thought from a broad spectrum of independent thinkers.
  5. Connect with and form a network among thoughtful and caring individuals, everywhere.
  6. Enjoy the pleasures of intellectually stimulating and philosophically insightful company.
  7. Promote the pursuit of wisdom in everyone.


TOL Guiding Principles


Civility - Treat everyone with respect. Use helpful, not hurtful language. Listen carefully and patiently when someone else is speaking.

Sincerity - Honest opinions and innocent questions are more valuable than "scoring points" or "looking smart". Strive for intellectual honesty.

Soundness - Favor sound reasoning over emotional rhetoric or sophomoric obfuscation.

Succinctness - Strive to be brief and to the point using understandable language. Speak loud and clear so others can hear.


TOL Rules of Discourse


Wait to be called on before speaking: Please don't just jump in. Restrain your enthusiasm. Hold that thought. Wait your turn.

One speaker at a time: No side conversations, comments, or noises please. They will be picked up by the recorder.

Address ideas, not individuals: Refrain from one-on-one debates, exchanges, or cross-examination. Focus on the message not the messenger.

Limit your time: Avoid the temptation to preach, teach, or lecture. Remember, others are waiting for their turn as well.

Yield to the moderator: - Always gracefully return the microphone back to moderator. Let the moderator determine who speaks next.


TOL Tips & Techniques


Listen carefully to what is being said and look for:


Assumptions that need to be examined.

Terms that need to be defined.

Inconsistencies that need to be resolved.

Distinctions that need to be made.

Patterns and relationships that emerge.


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