Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Newsletter: Announcing Why? Radio's new schedule and the return of the Senior Citizens' Philosophy Discussion Group

IPPL newsletter, September 6, 2017

The Public Philosopher
The latest news from The Institute for Philosophy in Public Life and Why? Radio.


Welcome to another season of Why? Radio. We are so pleased that you are here. We don't yet have the calendar finalized, but here are some episodes to be excited about:

September 10: “Is a Universal Basic Income too Utopian to Work?” with Rutger Bregman.

October 8: “Is Aging a Disease that Can be Cured?" with Aubrey de Grey

November 12: "What is the best science policy for a democracy?" with Heather Douglas

And some of our unscheduled guests and topics include:

- Daniel Dennett on consciousness.
- Peter Singer on moral decision-making about animals and humans.
- Beth Ritchie investigating the special vulnerability of Black women in prison.
- Cathy O'Neil on how algorithms rule our lives.

and so much more to come!

We will keep you posted, but visit our
Upcoming Episodes page for the latest schedule.

Live events                                                   

The Senior Citizens’ Philosophy Discussion Group is back and we have a new location!

New location!

Monday, September 11
5:00-6:30 pm
Campbell Library, East Grand Forks
422 4th St. NW
East Grand Forks, MN 56721
(218) 773 - 9121

Click here to see the location on Google Maps

This month's topic: “What do we owe victims of tragedies and natural disasters?"

Each month, an engaging group of philosophy enthusiasts get together to consider how philosophical assumptions have changed during their lifetimes. In the two years since this group began, it has expanded to include people of all ages. Come join us, share your thoughts, and make new friends. Snacks and drinks are on us!

The library in East Grand Forks is wheelchair accessible, has plenty of convenient (and handicapped) parking, and has all the amenities necessary for a welcoming, comfortable, and stress-free social gathering. 

Radio & Podcast                                                               

On the next Why? Radio:
Sunday, September 10, 5 pm central

“Is universal basic income too Utopian to work??”
with guest Rutger Bregman
Politicians agree that there is something wrong with the welfare system; they all suggest that we should give less public assistance with stricter rules. But what if they have it backwards? What if the solution is not to limit entitlements, but expand them? This is the solution offered by those who advocate for a Universal Basic Income, the government program that gives the poor the money they need to rise above the poverty level, every year, no strings attached. Our guest today is one of the most compelling advocates for this position.

This episode will be prerecorded, but we welcome your questions in advance via Twitter:
@whyradiohsow, Facebook:, email:,,or in our chat room at

Listen on Prairie Public radio or
stream at our

The most recent Why? Radio
is now online. 

"Why did homo sapiens evolve into artists?"
with guest Valerius Geist

Many people regard art as a luxury. They think of it as fancy paintings, abstract installations, or the fashion that changes every few months. What few of us ever attend to is that fact that art is as old as humanity itself. It started with homo sapiens and developed alongside every other human ability. This episode of Why? Radio looks at art from an evolutionary perspective and ask what necessary purpose it served.

Valerius Geist is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. He is the author of more than a dozen books, a specialist on the biology, behavior, and social dynamics of North American large mammals. He is also a champion of ethical hunting and a wildlife artist.

Have you heard this one?
Revisit a previous episode of Why? Radio. 

“The Urbanization of Happiness”
with guests Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman.
Originally broadcast: February, 2014.

Think about the cities you love and the cities you hate. Think about those that work and those that are falling apart. What influences their character, and, perhaps, more importantly, why do some succeed and others fail? This episode of Why? asks these questions and takes a special look at how design creates urban problems, and how what and where we build encourages violence, poverty, and unhappiness.


“Philosophy Is a Great Major!”
A powerful new online resource for students.

They told you that philosophy majors don’t get jobs. They told you that you should practice asking “do you want fries with that?” They told you philosophy wasn’t about real-world skills. They were wrong.

Explore the incredible employment- and salary-statistics of philosophy degree holders. Share a site designed to persuade everyone that philosophy is a great, employable, and lucrative major. Submit your own story to help show the world that philosophy is not frivolous, but is a useful tool for whatever profession its students choose.

This new website has hit a nerve. In its first two weeks alone, PIAGM received 25,000 views and has more than a hundred backlinks. See what the fuss is about. Visit 


Donate to Why? Radio and receive the gift of music.

All the changes we are announcing and all of the events we create cost money, yet it's all free to anyone who wants to participate. We never charge for entry, but we are still on a very limited budget. IPPL and Why? Radio exist almost entirely on private donations. So, we need you to help us continue our work. Your contribution is tax deductible and because all of Why? Radio’s guest volunteer their time (we have never paid for an interview), you donation goes a long way.

As a gift, we’d like to offer you CDs from our favorite musician, world-jazz flutist Mark Weinstein. You hear him every time you listen to our show; his music is our soundtrack. He has donated a wide range of albums; they are yours for free.
To see what gifts you get and our budget details,
click here.

To go directly to our secure donations site,
click here.

Thank you for your donation and thank you for supporting IPPL and Why/ Radio.

Copyright © Jack Russell Weinstein. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Institute for Philosophy in Public Life
276 Centennial Drive, stop 7128
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7128

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