Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sunday: Why? Radio: “"How to Think Philosophically About Aging" with guest Sharona Hoffman

Why? Radio is live this Sunday at 5 p.m. central.
Send us your comments now or during the show.

"How to Think Philosophically About Aging"

Guest: Sharona Hoffman
Sunday, April 10 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.

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Everyone gets older, but not everyone plans for it. Even fewer people think about that planning philosophically. On the next episode of Why?, we are going to look closely at one author’s practical guidebook for elder care and consider it, not as practical exercise, but as a philosophical inquiry into getting older.

Sharona Hoffman is the Edgar A. Hahn Professor of Law, a Professor of Bioethics and the Co-Director of the Law-Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve University. In 2013, Sharona was selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a scholar-in-residence fellowship in public health law. She has also twice spent a sabbatical semester as a Visiting Scholar at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007 and 2014) and was a Visiting Scholar at Emory University in 2014 as well. She has published over sixty articles and book chapters on health law and civil rights issues. She is also the author of the book Aging with a Plan: How a Little Thought Today Can Vastly Improve Your Tomorrow (Praeger 2015).

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Dear Why? Radio listeners,

A few weeks ago, we put out the call for donations and explained that Why? Radio has to raise $5000. We have put on hold all other projects that require money and are focusing on Why? Radio’s production costs before anything else.

About 30 people have answered the call and we raised $3250 (roughly). Some gave as little as $20. Two people gave $500. These are wonderful gifts and help us on our way. We thank everyone who donated and they’ll all be getting personal notes from our me as well as the gifts we discussed.

But unfortunately, these donations are simply not enough. We need another $1750 to meet our goal.

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Dear Why? Radio listener:

I will be blunt. Why? Radio needs to raise $5000 and we need your help to do it.
At this point, we exist entirely on listener donations and $5000 is the minimum amount we need for one year of the show. There are fewer places to turn than there were last year. Budget cuts are likely to cause layoffs at the University of North Dakota and small humanities grants are few and far between. Ironically, if we wanted $600,000 from the National Endowment of the Humanities, they’d have grants we could apply for, but they don’t offer anything for just the $5,000 we need to survive. We’re just too cost-effective. (We’re working on a $600,000 proposal, but we’re not holding our breath.)

In the end, all there is is you.

For eight seasons, Why? Radio has brought you interviews with some of the most important living thinkers and made them available for your questions. All of our guests have donated their time; none of them have asked us for a single cent.

We have brought you:

Nobel Laureate and Humanities Medal Award winner Amartya Sen.
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Macarthur Fellow Rebecca Goldstein (who just won her own Humanities Medal and who will be our guest again, in March).

Pulitzer Prize winners Tony Kushner and Taylor Branch.
National Book Critic’s Circle Award winner, poet Mary Jo Bang.

Bestselling authors Daniel Goldhagen, Ross King, Stephen Pinker, and James Loewen.

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The list goes on and you can access our complete archives at for free at

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One quarter of our almost 6,000 Facebook fans are high-school students, a diverse audience in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and religion. We are experimenting with video simulcasting because the internet is essential for reaching a younger audience. Generally, high school and college students don’t own radios!

And in Humanities Magazine, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities:

And please also connect us with some of your friends, both as listeners and as donors. We don’t have enough money to advertise. We exist almost entirely on word of mouth.

By the way, we have gifts!

For gifts of $25 or more, donors will receive the world jazz CD Lua e Sol from Mark Weinstein (while supplies last). This is the album that contains all of the wonderful music that makes up the show¹s soundtrack.

For gifts of $100 or more, donors will receive a handful of his CDs, remarkable music from Brazil, Cuba, and some straight-ahead jazz. You can visit Mark¹s website and listen to his other music at 

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Because really, if you won¹t support philosophy, who will?

Thank you in advance. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. And thank you for listening to Why? Radio. It is an honor to do philosophy with you.
Jack Russell Weinstein
Host of Why? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life
Director, Institute for Philosophy in Public Life
Professor of Philosophy, University of North Dakota.
Questions? write me at:

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