Monday, February 9, 2015

Today's Twitter Chat on Adam Smith: A live feed

I've never done a Twitter chat before, but the good folks at Palgrave MacMillan asked me to join them for a discussion on Adam Smith. The occasion is the publication of the new book Propriety and Prosperity: New Studies on the Philosophy of Adam Smith edited by David Hardwick and Leslie Marsh. I wrote a chapter in it called: "What My Dog Can Do: On the Effect of The Wealth of Nations I.ii.2." In it, I argue that Adam Smith was wrong when he argued that animals were not capable of exchange, but that it doesn't matter. His work is affected by his mistake.

So, in honor of the chat, I'm going to try to have a live feed here, so people can follow it if they don't have a Twitter account. If you do have one, please follow me at @whyradioshow. If not, you should be able to read the posts here.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why do people hate teachers...and what is a school anyway?

This is the monologue for the latest episode of Why? Radio. The topic was “Equality and Dialogue in American High Schools” To listen, click here.

Everyone in America has an opinion on education policy; we all have the ways in which we want schools to change and improve. This is democracy at work and a good thing. But in the midst of all the debate and politics, one simple fact has been ignored. Almost all of us have only experienced school from one perspective: the student.

Think about what you remember from your schooldays, the friends, the teachers, a handful of meaningful, sometimes traumatic events, but how many of the individual hours do you recall and how many of the lessons? Very little for twelve years’ worth of schooling.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Monday, a special event: A live twitter chat about Adam Smith with Why? Radio host Jack Russell Weinstein.

 Special event: A live twitter chat about Adam Smith with Why? Radio host Jack Russell Weinstein.
Monday, February 9.
10:30 a.m. Central (11:30 Eastern and 8:30am Pacific)

In honor of the new book “Propriety and Prosperity: New Studies on the Philosophy of Adam Smith” (
Palgrave Macmillan is hosting a live Twitter chat with book editor Leslie Marsh and contributor Jack Russell Weinstein.

Join the discussion by following @whyradioshow on Twitter and including the phrase #palgravechat in your questions.

Feel free to send you questions in advance!

More information can be found here:

And don’t forget, Why? Radio is live this Sunday at 5 p.m. central.
For details, visit:

Why? Radio is live this Sunday! "Equality and Dialogue in American High Schools” with guest Nel Noddings

Why? Radio is live this Sunday. Send us your comments now or during the show!

Why? Philosophical Discussions about Everyday Life presents

“Equality and Dialogue in American High Schools”
Guest: Nel Noddings

Sunday, February 8 at 5 p.m. central.
Listen live from anywhere in the world at and in North Dakota at 89.3 (Grand Forks), 91.9 (Fargo), 90.5 (Bismarck), and on Prairie Public radio stations across the state.

Send your comments to

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Should we care if people marry animals?

As candidates vie for the Republican nomination, we are no doubt about to see an upswing in anti-gay-marriage rhetoric. Mike Hukabee has already started us off and it will get worse. It is only a matter of time before people start claiming, once again, that if we let same-sex couples marry, we might as well let people marry animals.

For the record, this is a stupid argument. It misunderstands that modern marriage is built on the ability of people to both want and consent to marry. Modern marriage also assumes the moral personhood of its partners. It wasn’t always like this. The history of marriage is complex and involves a huge variety of traditions including polygamy and polyandry, same-sex marriages, slave-marriages, temporary marriages, and even marriages to ghosts!