Twitter: @AMLGpodcast (followed by 4 philosophers)
2015 to present
Average episode: 42 minutes
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Categories: Interview-Style • Two Hosts
Podcaster's summary: a podcast on the consolation of uncertainty
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|2022-Nov-25 • 31 minutes|
Special Episode: Thanksgiving Childlore
It’s Thanksgiving. My heart is just a little more conspicuously on my sleeve at this time of the year, and childhood is somehow always on my mind. In that vain, I have something old and something new: First, a reflection from Book 1, Episode 3 on letting your kids be themselves—whatever a self even is.Second, I’m joined by my colleague Natalie Roxburgh to discuss Julie Beck’s recent article in the Atlantic, “Why Did We All Have the Same Childhood?”Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Get full access to A Million L...
|2022-Oct-06 • 53 minutes|
Special Episode: Stephen Metcalf
Steve Metcalf seems to shed urbanity and passion like I shed dandruff. His off-the-cuff manner of speech is as trenchant as his writing, and he is able to say wise things about any subject.Here he discusses with me the topic that launched an episode of this podcast and my three-part essay “Best Behavior” (part three coming soon): the weird fact that we all changed our entire outlook on Woody Allen’s film Manhattan to fit our changing moral priorities—how we cannot just bracket out the lechery on display and...
|2022-Sep-22 • 93 minutes|
Special Episode: Ayah Nuriddin and Nathaniel Comfort
In order to entice more people to become subscribers, here is our full interview (complimenting my three-part essay “The Razor Blade in the Apple,” which I released last month and you can read here) with two scholars who have much to say about the formation of the scientific consensus on race:* Nathaniel Comfort, historian of genetics and the relationship between modern genomics and 19th-century eugenics* Ayah Nuriddin, historian of the lived experience of black Americans over the past 100 years and how the...
|2022-Sep-06 • 13 minutes|
Preview: Nathaniel Comfort and Ayah Nuriddin
To coincide with the three-part essay “The Razor Blade in the Apple” (Part 3 hits inboxes Thursday), here is an excerpt of our interview with two scholars who have much to say about the formation of the scientific consensus on race: * Nathaniel Comfort, historian of genetics and the relationship between modern genomics and 19th-century eugenics* Ayah Nuriddin, historian of the lived experience of black Americans over the past 100 years and how they’ve navigated questions of racial science, eugenics, and he...
|2020-Dec-11 • 62 minutes|
Book 2 Episode 11: "Don't Call It Race"
We've reached the heart of the part of our series "Race: Is That a Thing?" devoted to statistics and data. Having laid the groundwork for understanding Bayesian techniques and machine learning—as well as the limits and discontents of those...
|2020-Nov-27 • 7 minutes|
An AMLG Thanksgiving Message
Ben and Aaron, their families, and their colleagues and students at the University of Hamburg wish everyone in America a Happy Thanksgiving. Here's a little tone poem, so to speak, for the holiday. Stay safe everyone.
|2020-Nov-19 • 59 minutes|
Special Episode - Polling: We're Determined (But Nothing Else Is)
Is the margin of error the same thing as the percentage of certainty you can have in that margin of error? Can a prediction ever happen in a vacuum without affecting the thing it's making a prediction about? Can we even distinguish between a...
|2020-Oct-23 • 123 minutes|
Book 2 - Episode 10: "Ballpark Figures Part II"
Continuing the theme from Episode 9, we closely examine: how machine learning works, how our subconsciouses—both individual and collective—learn from the past, making ad hoc categories based on contingencies, how those categories are the origin...
|2020-Oct-17 • 42 minutes|
Book 2 - Episode 9: "Ballpark Figures Part I"
We flip to the B-Side of Season 2, as we enter a section of the season devoted to statistics and mathematical modeling. In this episode we examine the life and career of baseball great Ted Williams and consider how adding new variables to a model can...
|2020-Oct-16 • 61 minutes|
Book 2 Episode 8: "The Holy Family in a Pane of Frosted Glass" (encore)
Today we begin part two—or, as we're calling it, the B Side—of season two, "Race: Is That a Thing?" To kick things off we're re-releasing the last episode of part one, Episode 8: "The Holy Family in a Pane of Frosted Glass" together with Episode...
|2019-Apr-02 • 61 minutes|
Book 2 - Episode 8: "The Holy Family in a Pane of Frosted Glass"
To set the stage for part two of our series, “Race: Is That a Thing?", we take a deep look at a recurring metaphor that has permeated our entire series.
|2019-Mar-04 • 14 minutes|
Book 2 - Ep 7 Footcast Appendix
Once again, this is a set of material that we couldn’t fit into Episode Seven: “Categorical Declarative” proper. Consider the contents of the appendix the audio footnote podcasts—or “footcasts”—to that episode. We will be releasing...
|2019-Feb-18 • 83 minutes|
Book 2 - Episode 7: "Categorical Declarative"
According to the , he “is the central figure in modern philosophy. He synthesized early modern rationalism and empiricism, set the terms for much of nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, and continues to exercise a significant influence today...
|2019-Feb-04 • 77 minutes|
Book 2 - Episode 6: "What the What?"
When people talk about things as social constructs, should we understand that as derision or dismissal? Do socially constructed human kinds, like races, get realer over time, the more those who supposedly fit a construct begin to behave as if they...
|2019-Jan-18 • 41 minutes|
Book 2 - Episode 5: "Deflation Part II"
Can there be a plurality of concepts of race floating in the social air? If so, are we okay with that? Are there pragmatic uses for one or more of those concepts in the areas of medicine or public policy? In this episode we speak with
Book 2- Episode 4: "Deflation Part I"
If race has no essence, then is it an irrational social contrivance? Or is it somewhere in-between? We speak with Michael Hardimon, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, and author of , who argues we must come to terms...
|2018-Dec-07 • 59 minutes|
Book 2 - Episode 3: "Kinds"
As our guest this episode, philosopher Stewart Umphrey, writes, “Our everyday understanding of natural things presupposes that their reality does not depend on how we regard them, and that the way we ordinarily regard them is heuristically if not...
|2018-Nov-21 • 35 minutes|
Book 2 - Episode 2: "Things"
Our season is called "Race: Is That a Thing?" What does it mean for a thing to be a thing? What is a thing? We consult Oxford English Dictionary editor and authorized OED historian Peter Gilliver, who updated the entry on "Thing."
|2018-Nov-05 • 39 minutes|
Book 2 Episode 1: "Differences"
How deep do the categories we use to navigate the world go? Are they more transient than we normally think? In episode one of the new season, Ben and Aaron lay the groundwork for the series "Race: Is That a Thing?" In this episode we meet Armand Marie...
|2018-Oct-30 • 46 minutes|
Book 2 Preview: "Linguistic Typological Smackdown"
Are there types of languages that are unique from other types of languages? Are there newer languages that are formed from other languages, but have less vocabulary, less grammar, less stuff? Is that what we mean by “creoles”? John McWhorter...
|2018-Oct-29 • 4 minutes|
A Million Little Gods Book 2 Trailer
Now produced at the University of Hamburg, A Million Little Gods is relaunching with the second season, a series called "Race: Is That a Thing?" The new season launches November 5. But watch out for a sneak peak of the new season tomorrow with a...
|2015-Dec-31 • 52 minutes|
Book 1 Episode 5: I Am What I Am That I Am - Part 3
In this final part of a three-part series on what it means to be a self—and the final episode of the first season—Aaron discusses with the analytic philosopher Galen Strawson whether you can know your own character, thinking of yourself as the same person over time, and telling a narrative about your life.And with Fr. James Martin, Aaron discusses knowing yourself in communion with other people and with God.Related Links:America Magazine: The National Catholic Review (Fr. James Martin, SJ, Editor-at-Large)T...
|2015-Dec-14 • 56 minutes|
Book 1 Episode 4: "I Am What I Am That I Am – Part 2"
In this second episode of a three-part series on what it means to be a self, we tour a cognitive neuroscience research laboratory, examine "qualia"—instances of subjective perception or experience—and discuss with Prof. Galen Strawson the counterintuitive view of "panpsychism"—the idea that consciousness is a primordial feature of all things.Related Links:Professor Andreas KeilKevin Gray in Paste MagazineQualia (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)Daniel Dennett: "Why and How Does Consciousness Seem the Way...
Book 1 Ep.3 Footcast 3
Aristotle on primary premises Get full access to A Million Little Thoughts at amillionlittlethoughts.substack.com/subs...
Book 1 Ep.3 Footcast 2
On the supervenience of the mind on the brain Get full access to A Million Little Thoughts at amillionlittlethoughts.substack.com/subs...
|2015-Nov-23 • 1 minutes|
Book 1 Ep.3 Footcast 1
On believing in natural selection and being a believer Get full access to A Million Little Thoughts at amillionlittlethoughts.substack.com/subs...
|2015-Nov-23 • 36 minutes|
Book 1 Episode 3: "I Am What I Am That I Am – Part 1"
What does it mean to be a self? Do you emerge from your brain? Is a self just a human being? Is it something more? Something less? Something altogether different?We'll try to wrap our minds--so to speak--around these intractable questions in this, the first in a series of three episodes featuring philosopher Galen Strawson and Fr. James Martin, SJ. Get full access to A Million Little Thoughts at amillionlittlethoughts.substack.com/subs...
|2015-Oct-06 • 2 minutes|
Book 1 Ep.2 Footcast 1
On the “phantasmagorical wall” Get full access to A Million Little Thoughts at amillionlittlethoughts.substack.com/subs...
|2015-Oct-06 • 85 minutes|
Book 1 Episode 2: "Party and Science and Bullsh*t"
What is science? Is everything, in the end, explainable by science? What makes a practice scientific? What makes one nonscientific? Do rhetoric and debate have a place in science? Do values?In our second episode, “Party and Science and Bullsh*t,” we try our hands at answering these questions, along with philosopher of science John Dupré, astrophysicist and author Marcelo Gleiser, New York Times science columnist Carl Zimmer, and Katherine Carpenter of the Cultural Cognition project at Yale.This episode is d...
Book 1 Ep. 1 Footcast 2
On the connection between “allusion” and “play” Get full access to A Million Little Thoughts at amillionlittlethoughts.substack.com/subs...
|2015-Jul-15 • 1 minutes|
Book 1 Ep.1 Footcast 1
On the podcast’s title Get full access to A Million Little Thoughts at amillionlittlethoughts.substack.com/subs...
|2015-Jul-15 • 56 minutes|
Book 1 Episode 1: "The Anxiety of Influence"
In the premiere episode of A Million Little Gods, we explore the supposedly “literary theoretical” method conceived by Harold Bloom for critiquing the work of poets and other artists over and against their predecessors. As a literary theory, Bloom’s idea was pretty insipid, but as a (somewhat jaundiced) way of looking at the human condition, it was actually profound. We speak to esteemed professor and critic Christopher Ricks, Poetry Magazine Editor in Chief Don Share, and Stephen Metcalf of the Slate Cultu...