#9: In Defense of Snobs

Are snobs just obnoxious, self-righteous jerks, or do they contribute something of value to society? José argues that snobs are the protectors of culture and ought to be defended. Snobs save us from the faceless demands of a watered down marketplace and set a standard for the human experience. Danielle is skeptical, and wonders if snobbery is an expression of classist myopia, confusing personal preferences for objective standards.

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EpisodesJosé Muñiz
#35: Freeloaders & Fascists

In this episode, special guest Charlie Gilkey—philosopher and founder of Productive Flourishing and author of the forthcoming Start Finishing and The Small Business Life Cycleargues that all American citizens should serve three years in the military. He claims that such an experience engenders courage and fulfills a moral obligation of all citizens to meaningfully participate in the national defense. Although José seems persuaded by this idea, Danielle is not so sure.

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#34: 1000 Islands, 1000 Lives

Why do we get paralyzed in the face of freedom? Why are we left spinning our wheels, unable to make a decision, when faced with too many options? Danielle and José suggest that freedom paralysis happens when we are unclear about our values and priorities. Choosing one option means killing off the others. We make some suggestions for how to get unstuck.

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#8: Where is the Pain?

Danielle and José talk about perception and meditation. Danielle claims that meditation is the key to seeing, feeling, and perceiving the world in a radically new way. Can meditation change the brain so much that we can cease to feel pain? Where is sensation: in the nerves or in the mind’s response? And what happens if, indeed, we do have responsibility for how we interpret sense data?

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EpisodesJosé Muñiz
#32: Anger is a Hasty Servant

When is anger a justified or appropriate response to a situation? Guest Greg Sadler, founder of ReasonIO which puts philosophy into practice, is on the show to talk about when, how, and with whom we should be angry. We consider anger’s role in political movements, its relationship to clear and rational thinking, and how to cope with anger so that it doesn’t swallow us up.

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#31: Hitler's Flowers

Do morally bad artists always make bad art? Should knowing that an artist drugged and raped women (Cosby), married his semi-teenage step-daughter (Allen), or killed several million Jews (Hitler) change how judge their art? José claims that the artist can never be separated from the art, while Danielle wonders if the art and artist should be judged independently.

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#29: The “I” in Us

Danielle suggests that identity politics—organizing and motivating political action through features of your identity such as race, gender, class, nationality, religion, etc.—is insufficient for the type of collective action needed to solve some important global problems. How do we, as a society, tackle issues like climate change or global poverty when we see ourselves as fractured groups, each with its own concerns? José believes that all political action must necessarily begin with the interests, needs, and perspectives of identity.

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#28: Our Patron Saint

We welcome guest Dr. Jack Russell Weinstein, Director of the Institute for Philosophy in Public Life at the University of North Dakota and host of the public radio show and podcast Why? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life, to talk about public philosophy. How is talking to a public audience about philosophy different than speaking to those in traditional academic settings? What do philosophers have to offer the public? What exactly are we doing here on Think Hard?

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#23: Hope in a Godless World

For those who don’t believe in a benevolent, higher power, where do we look for hope and guidance when things are looking grim? This episode, we bring you the audio from a public lecture that Danielle gave to Sunday Assembly Portland. Afterward, we do a Q and A, and José gets a chance to ask questions and challenge some ideas.

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#21: Borrowing Worry

So many people deal with everyday anxiety. Danielle suggests that all anxiety—whether it be about social gatherings, sexual performance, job stress, or choosing restaurants—can be understood as one or more of three basic fears, all of which are fundamental features of the human condition. If we can understand these fears and how they operate within us—through talk therapy and/or philosophical reflection—we can go a long way in managing our anxiety.

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#19: Feminist Friendship

In this episode, we welcome special guest Dr. Cori Wong, a feminist philosopher who chats with us about feminist friendship. Cori considers the current tensions that exist between white women and women of color in the “feminist movement” and considers how we can do better in bridging the gaps between ourselves and people who are different from us, to stand in solidarity and in friendship with them.

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#18: You, Me, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones

In this first episode of 2018, Danielle and José take this opportunity to look back at the first year of Think Hard. We reflect on the process of podcasting, give some updates on our favorite episodes, and imagine what we’d like to achieve in the year ahead. As always, we end by talking about What We’ve Been Thinking About and give some recommendations.

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EpisodesDanielle LaSusa