#40: The Handmaid’s Fail?

José thinks all television shows are bad because they share in two fatal flaws: the problem of overlapping narrative arcs and the limitation of outsider influence. After going back-and-forth, Danielle argues that newer television shows successfully manage these limitations, and José agrees to watch suggested shows and report back in a future episode.

Read More
#12: Is it Morally Wrong to Believe in God?

Danielle is an atheist and José is a theist, but he feels bad about believing in something for which he does not have evidence. Given all of the warfare and destruction in the name of God, is it morally wrong to hold this belief without sufficient evidence? José outlines an argument by William James, which attempts to justify belief in God as a special and specific kind of belief that one can hold by pure will. Is it enough to convince Danielle?

Read More
#38: Does the truth matter? Did it ever?

Danielle and José wonder if the truth matters. Why do we (including your hosts!) often believe things in the face of contrary evidence? What separates us from those who endanger themselves (and the world) by refusing to acknowledge the truth, and acting out of what they want to be true. After considering how enmeshed our beliefs, desires, and wills are, they turn to some practical solutions for saving ourselves (and the world) from this danger.

Read More
#37: Vision Bored

Danielle and José assess whether or not the Law of Attraction is total bullshit. After careful consideration, we’ve determined that although there are lots of ways in which the Law of Attraction might be helpful, it also can be politically dangerous and, at times, utter nonsense.

Read More
#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.

Read More
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.

Read More
#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.

Read More
#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?

Read More
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.

Read More
#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.

Read More
#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.

Read More
#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?

Read More