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Podcast Profile: Robinson's Podcast

podcast imageTwitter: @RobinsonErhardt
Site: linktr.ee/robinsonerhardt
202 episodes
2022 to present
Average episode: 97 minutes
Open in Apple PodcastsRSS

Categories: Interview-Style

Podcaster's summary: Robinson Erhardt researches symbolic logic and the foundations of mathematics at Stanford University. Join him in conversations with philosophers, scientists, weightlifters, artists, and everyone in-between. | | | https://linktr.ee/robinsonerhardt Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:08 UTC. Episodes: 202. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2024-Apr-07 • 50 minutes
202 - Jeffrey Sachs: JFK, Conspiracy Theories, Israel-Palestine, and Ending the War in Gaza
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Jeffrey Sachs is University Professor at Columbia University, where he serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development. Before that, he taught at Harvard University for twenty years. Jeff is the author of numerous books, including three New York Times bestsellers. His latest is The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (Columbia, 2020). In addition to his work as an economist on the cutting edge of sustainable development—includi...
2024-Mar-31 • 66 minutes
201 - Benny Morris: Israel-Palestine, Genocide, Apartheid, Hamas, Muscular Judaism, and the Nakba
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Benny Morris is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Middle East Studies at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. He is among the most respected and influential historians on Israel and Palestine. Benny is perhaps best known for his work on the 1947-1948 civil war in Palestine and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and for his book The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1948 (Cambridge, 1989). In this episode, Robinson and Benny discuss the Israel-Pale...
2024-Mar-24 • 120 minutes
200 - Sean Carroll, Daniel Dennett, & Steven Pinker: AI, Parapsychology, Panpsychism, & Physics Violations
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Sean Carroll is Homewood Professor of Natural Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University and fractal faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. He is also host of Sean Carroll’s Mindscape, a terrific show (that influenced the birth of Robinson’s Podcast) about science, society, philosophy, culture, arts, and ideas. Daniel Dennett is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Tufts University, where he was co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies and the Austin B. Fletcher Professor ...
2024-Mar-17 • 84 minutes
199 - Lawrence Krauss: God, String Theory, and the State of Physics
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Lawrence Krauss is a theoretical physicist who has taught at Yale, Arizona State University, and Case Western, and is the founder of ASU’s Origins Project. He is a prominent public intellectual and best-selling author, and has written about the origins of the universe, atheism, and many other topics. He is also the host of the Origins Podcast. In this episode, Robinson and Lawrence have a wide-ranging conversation about the current state of physics—and whether or not the...
2024-Mar-10 • 90 minutes
198 - Michael Hudson: Marxism, Economic Parasites, and Debt Cancellation
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Michael Hudson is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends. He researches domestic and international finance, the history of economics, and the role of debt in shaping class stratification, among many other topics. Michael was also a guest on episode 180, where he and Robinson discussed neoliberalism, industrial capitalism, and the rentier economy. In...
2024-Mar-03 • 87 minutes
197 - Martha Nussbaum: Justice for Animals
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Martha Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, with appointments in the Department of Philosophy and the Law School. Martha is among the most recognized philosophers today. Over the course of her career, she has made numerous major contributions to ancient philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, the philosophy of law, and other areas. Martha’s most recent book is Justice for Animals: Our Collective Re...
2024-Feb-26 • 113 minutes
196 - Stephen Wolfram: The Fundamental Theory of the Universe
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Stephen Wolfram is the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, and the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language. He received his PhD in theoretical physics from Caltech when he was twenty years old. In addition to his work at the helm of Wolfram Research, he writes and researches widely across computer science, physics, mathematics, and more. This is Stephen’s second appearance on the show. In episode 102, he and Robinson discussed artificial intellig...
2024-Feb-19 • 100 minutes
195 - Brian Keating: Cosmological Inflation and the Universe’s First Light
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | Brian Keating is the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Physics at the Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences at UC San Diego, host of the Into the Impossible Podcast, an expert on the cosmic microwave background, and the author of a number of books. Robinson and Brian discuss the expansion and inflation of the universe, the relationship between theory and experiment in cosmology, gravitational waves, Brian’s brainchild the BICEP experiment, and a lot more. Bria...
2024-Feb-12 • 111 minutes
194 - Daniel Dennett: Consciousness, Free Will, and the Evolution of Minds
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Daniel Dennett is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Tufts University, where he was co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies and the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy. He is one of the most recognized philosophers today, and has made major contributions to the philosophy of mind and biology, among other areas, and is known as one of the Four Horsemen of Atheism. Dan’s latest book is I’ve Been Thinking (W. W. Norton, 2023), though much of what he and Robi...
2024-Feb-07 • 114 minutes
193 - Robert Sapolsky: Determinism, Free Will, & The End of Moral Responsibility
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Robert Sapolsky is John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor and Professor of Biology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at Stanford University. He’s also a best-selling author and one of the leading voices in the current—and enduring—debate over free will. In this conversation, Robinson and Robert discuss his latest book, Determined (Penguin, 2023), and the many arguments it contains against free will, and how, if we don’t have it, we ought to change many of our social instituti...
2024-Jan-28 • 85 minutes
192 - Norman Finkelstein: Hamas, Hezbollah, and Justice in the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Norman Finkelstein received his PhD from the Princeton University Politics Department, and is best known for his indefatigable research on Israel and Palestine, which is what he and Robinson discuss in this episode of the show, marking the culmination of a three-installment mini-series on Israel and Palestine. In particular, they discuss the importance—or distraction—of ideology, whether Israel is ethnically cleansing Palestine, the message that October 7th sent to the A...
2024-Jan-21 • 63 minutes
191 - Victor Davis Hanson: An American’s Case For Israel
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Victor Davis Hanson is a renowned classicist, military historian, and political commentator. He is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Among numerous other awards, Victor was presented the National Humanities Medal in 2007. In this episode, which is the second in an installment of three considering different perspectives on the Israel-Palestine conflict, Robinson and Vic...
2024-Jan-17 • 99 minutes
190 - Richard Wolff: A Marxist’s Case For Palestine
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Richard Wolff is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a visiting professor at The New School, where he works on economics in the Marxist tradition. This is Richard’s third appearance on Robinson’s Podcast. In episode #127, he and Robinson discussed some of the most profound criticisms of capitalism, and in #154 installment, they focused on the myths surrounding Marxism and Marx himself. In this episode, Richard and Robinson talk ...
2024-Jan-12 • 115 minutes
189 - David Albert & Barry Loewer: The Mentaculus (Or, a Probability Map of the Universe)
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | David Albert is the Frederick E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, director of the Philosophical Foundations of Physics program at Columbia, and a faculty member of the John Bell Institute for the Foundations of Physics, as is the second guest. Barry Loewer is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers. Before that he did his PhD in philosophy at Stanford (!). Barry works largely in the philosophy of physics, the philosophy of science, and ...
2024-Jan-10 • 107 minutes
188 - Tim Maudlin & Sheldon Goldstein: The Copenhagen Interpretation and Bohmian Mechanics
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Tim Maudlin is Professor of Philosophy at NYU and Founder and Director of the John Bell Institute for the Foundations of Physics. Sheldon Goldstein is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University, where he researches mathematical physics, the foundations of quantum mechanics, and Bohmian Mechanics. He is also Board Member of the John Bell Institute for the Foundations of Physics, and this is his second appearance on the show. In episode 170, he and Robins...
2024-Jan-08 • 81 minutes
187 - Michael Levin: The New Era of Cognitive Biorobotics
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Michael Levin is a Distinguished Professor in the Biology Department at Tufts University, where he holds the Vannevar Bush endowed Chair, and he is also associate faculty at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. Michael and the Levin Lab work at the intersection of biology, artificial life, bioengineering, synthetic morphology, and cognitive science. Michael also appeared on the show in episode #151, which was all about synthetic life and collective intelligence. In ...
2024-Jan-06 • 99 minutes
186 - Jenann Ismael: Determinism and Self-Reference in Classical and Quantum Physics
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Jenann Ismael is the William H. Miller III Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, where she researches the philosophy of physics, science, mind, and metaphysics. In this episode, Robinson and Jenann discuss the role of self-reference in physics, the arrows of time, interpretations of quantum mechanics, and free will. Jenann’s latest book is Time: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2021). | | Jenann’s Website: https://www.jenanni.com | | T...
2024-Jan-04 • 59 minutes
185 - Jim Al-Khalili: The Fundamentals of Quantum Biology
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Jim Al-Khalili holds a University of Surrey Distinguished Chair in physics and a university chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey, where he is a theoretical physicist, author, and broadcaster. In this episode, Robinson and Jim talk about the fundamentals of quantum biology, including what it is, how some animals—like Robinson’s namesake, the Robin—take advantage of quantum mechanics, how exotic phenomena like quantum tunneling fit into the...
2024-Jan-02 • 81 minutes
184 - Brian Leiter: Friedrich Nietzsche’s Critique of Morality
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Brian Leiter is Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School, founder and Director of Chicago’s Center for Law, Philosophy & Human Values, and is best known in the philosophical world for his work on Nietzsche and legal philosophy. He is the founding editor of the Routledge Philosophers book series, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law, and Philosophical Gourmet Report, which is the canonical—as well as extremely helpful and ill...
2023-Dec-31 • 62 minutes
183 - Neil Shubin: Fins, Limbs, and the Evolutionary Journey from Fish to Human
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Neil Shubin is Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. In addition to actively leading research expeditions across the globe, Neil runs the Shubin Lab, where genetic, kinematic, and paleontologic work combine to investigate some of the major transitions in evolution. In this episode, Robinson and Neil discuss some of these transitions, including the importance of the Devonian and Triassic Periods, how fish...
2023-Dec-29 • 96 minutes
182 - Larry Keith: Conserving Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance Masters’ Artwork
Patreon: https://bit.ly/3v8OhY7 | | Larry Keith is the Head of Conservation and Keeper of the National Gallery of London, where he preserves and maintains some of the world’s most precious works of art, including paintings by Leonardo, Caravaggio, and Rubens. In this episode, Robinson and Larry discuss what goes into a conservator’s appraisal of an artwork, some of the tools and techniques of the job, and how Larry has treated a number of famous paintings, such as Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks and Caravag...
2023-Dec-27 • 85 minutes
181 - Jon Butterworth: The Higgs Boson and the Standard Model of Particle Physics
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/robinsonerhardt | | Jon Butterworth is Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at University College London, where he works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. In this episode, Robinson and Jon discuss his work on the standard model of particle physics, it’s connection to quantum theory, life at the LHC, the search for the Higgs Boson, and its role in physics as we know it and going forward. Jon’s book on ...
2023-Dec-24 • 81 minutes
180 - Michael Hudson: Neoliberalism, Industrial Capitalism, and the Rise of Debt
Patreon: ⁠https://www.patreon.com/robinsonerhardt... | | Michael Hudson is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends. He researches domestic and international finance, the history of economics, and the role of debt in shaping class stratification, among many other topics. In this episode, Robinson and Michael discuss this last subject. They begin broadly, with how as an economist Michael...
2023-Dec-22 • 110 minutes
179 - Adam Gazzaley: Neuroscience, Therapeutic Video Games, and the Cognition Crisis
Adam Gazzaley is David Dolby Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Adam works on developing new approaches to both assess and optimize human cognition, with particular attention to underutilized but high-potential tools like video games. In this episode, Robinson and Adam discuss the cognition crisis—why our brains seem to ...
2023-Dec-20 • 97 minutes
178 - Chike Jeffers & Lucius Outlaw: African & Africana Philosophy
Chike Jeffers is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Dalhousie University, where he researches Africana philosophy, the philosophy of race, social and political philosophy, and ethics. Lucius Outlaw is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and W. Alton Jones Chair Emeritus in the Philosophy Department at Vanderbilt University, where he researches African, Africana, continental, social, and political philosophy. Both Chike and Lou have written widely on African and Africana philosophy, which fo...
2023-Dec-17 • 122 minutes
177 - Juan Maldacena: Quantum Gravity, String Theory, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence
Juan Maldacena is Carl P. Feinberg Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study, where his work focuses on quantum gravity, string theory, and quantum field theories. In this episode, Robinson and Juan discuss the relationship between string theory and black holes, the holographic principle, and Juan’s groundbreaking paper on the AdS/CFT Correspondence. | | OUTLINE | 00:00 In This Episode… | 00:48 Introduction | 04:04 What Is the Purpose of String Theory? | 16:35 Working ...
2023-Dec-13 • 108 minutes
176 - Brian Little: Personality Psychology and the Big Five Traits
Brian Little is Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at Carleton, and a Senior Fellow at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is well known for his work on personality psychology and his development of personal project analysis. In this episode, Brian and Robinson discuss the Big Five personality traits, how psychologists measure them, what their predictive power is, and how personal projects give us a new d...
2023-Dec-12 • 124 minutes
175 - Robert Plomin: Behavioral Genetics and the Blueprint of Human Behavior
Robert Plomin is MRC Research Professor of Behavioral Genetics at King’s College London. He has published over 800 papers, is among the hundred most cited psychologists of the twentieth century, and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his research, the best known of which is on twin studies and behavioral genetics. In this episode, Robinson and Robert discuss the distinction between molecular and quantitative genetics, how one researches the question of nature vs nurture, the exte...
2023-Dec-06 • 85 minutes
174 - Rebecca Goldstein: Spinoza, Atheism, and the Philosophy of Literature
Rebecca Goldstein is a philosopher and novelist. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and studied with Thomas Nagel. She is a MacArthur Follow and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by Barack Obama. Rebecca is also an expert on Spinoza and Gödel, and has a whole bevy of other wide-ranging interests. In this episode, Robinson and Rebecca discuss her novel the Mind-Body Problem, atheism, Spinoza, and what makes life meaningful in a godless world. Rebecca’s most recent book is ...
2023-Dec-02 • 64 minutes
173 - Ken Olum: What Are Cosmic Strings?
Ken Olum is Research Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Tufts University, where he works on exotic physics and topics in cosmology like cosmic strings, gravitational waves, anthropic reasoning, and inflation. In this episode, Robinson and Ken talk all about cosmic strings, which are spindly, hypothesized astronomical objects of intense mass and energy that may have been created in the earliest periods of the universe. | | OUTLINE | 00:00 In This Episode… | 00:27 Introduction | 03:00 E...
2023-Nov-29 • 92 minutes
172 - Joseph LeDoux: Neuroscience and The Four Realms of Human Existence
Joseph LeDoux is Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science, University Professor, Professor of Neural Science, Professor of Psychiatry, and Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at New York University, where he works in neuroscience and related areas. Though his career is expansive, one major focus of his research has been emotions in humans and other animals. He is also the frontman of The Amygdaloids. Joseph’s most recent book is The Four Realms of Existence: A New Theory of Being Human (Harvard, 2...
2023-Nov-26 • 112 minutes
171 - Richard Haier: What Is Human Intelligence?
Richard Haier is Professor Emeritus in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, where he uses brain imagining and the tools of neuroscience to study learning, memory, and intelligence, and how they relate to brain function and structure. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal Intelligence. In this episode, Robinson and Rich discuss all things human intelligence, ranging from its controversies, the origin and current status of psychometric testing, the relationship between intelligen...
2023-Nov-24 • 91 minutes
170 - Sheldon Goldstein: Pilot Wave Theory and Bohmian Mechanics
| Sheldon Goldstein is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University, where he researches mathematical physics, the foundations of quantum mechanics, and Bohmian Mechanics. He is also Board Member of the John Bell Institute for the Foundations of Physics, founded by fellow Robinson’s Podcast multiverse denizen, Tim Maudlin. In this episode, Robinson and Shelly discuss all things Bohmian mechanics, from the origins of pilot wave theory with de Broglie to its chief theoretical innovations and ...
2023-Nov-19 • 116 minutes
169 - Michael Graziano: The Attention Schema Theory of Consciousness
Michael Graziano is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University, where he and his lab research the brain basis of consciousness. Naturally, this is precisely what Michael and Robinson discuss in this episode. More particularly, they get into the philosophical question of what consciousness is, the roles of philosophy and science in answering the same, and whether or not there are deep, intractable issues here. Then they turn to Michael’s theory of consciousness—the Attention Schema Theo...
2023-Nov-17 • 73 minutes
168 - Una Stojnić: Slurs, Linguistic Conventions, and the Philosophy of Language
Una Stojnić is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Princeton University, where she works in the philosophy of language, formal semantics and pragmatics of natural language, and philosophical logic. In this episode, Robinson and Una discuss three of her projects. First, they talk about linguistic conventions, and how language consists of more than just the words we might find in a dictionary. Second, they talk abut slurs and pejoratives, and how philosophers have attempted to determine ...
2023-Nov-15 • 112 minutes
167 - David Wallace: The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
David Wallace is Mellon Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Before that, he obtained PhDs in both physics and philosophy at Oxford. David works mainly in the philosophy of physics, and is best known for his development and defense of the Everett—or Many-Worlds—interpretation of quantum mechanics. In this episode, Robinson and David talk all about Many-Worlds, including its history, how it relates to the broader question of realism in the philosop...
2023-Nov-12 • 145 minutes
166 - Robert Stickgold: Dreams and the Role of Sleep in Memory and Emotional Processing
Robert Stickgold is Professor of Pyschiatry at Harvard Medical School, where he researches sleep and dreams from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. In this episode, Bob and Robinson discuss the role of sleep in memory processing and emotional regulation, how sleep deprivation affects performance, and the evolutionary purpose and function of dreams. | | OUTLINE | 00:00 In This Episode… | 00:17 Introduction | 03:06 Why Study Sleep? | 12:04 How Does the Brain Process Different Types of Memories? | 20:45 Ho...
2023-Nov-10 • 105 minutes
165 - Anubav Vasudevan: The Metaphysics of Charles Sanders Peirce
Anubav Vasudevan is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, where he works in formal epistemology and the history of logic, though he has published in a number of other areas. This is Anubav’s second appearance on the show. In episode #81, he and Robinson discussed mathematics, physics, and the history of logic. In this episode, they talk about the wonderfully bizarre metaphysics of the renowned pragmatist and logician Charles Sanders Peirce. | | OUTLINE | 00:00 I...
2023-Nov-08 • 129 minutes
164 - Geoffrey West: Complexity Theory and The Scaling Laws of Biology
Geoffrey West is Shannan Distinguished Professor and Past President at the Santa Fe Institute. He is a theoretical physicist who has worked broadly on topics related to elementary particles and their cosmological implications. Among other topics, he has also worked on complexity theory, scaling laws in biology, and how they can be applied in other areas, such as cities and problems involving global sustainability. This is precisely what Robinson and Geoffrey discuss in this episode, with particular referenc...
2023-Nov-05 • 69 minutes
163 - Daniel Levitin: Songwriting and the Neuroscience of Music
Daniel Levitin is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience at McGill University and Founding Dean of Arts & Humanities at Minerva University. He is also a record producer, musician, and writer. In this episode, Robinson and Daniel discuss one of his best-selling books, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession (Penguin, 2006), as well as some of the songs on his two albums, Turnaround (2020) and Sex & Math (2021). More particularly, they talk about whether a neurological...
2023-Nov-03 • 117 minutes
162 - Tim Palmer: Chaos Theory, Probabilistic Forecasting, and Climate Change
Tim Palmer is Royal Society Research Professor in Climate Physics at the University of Oxford, where he is a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin Institute and a Professorial Fellow at Jesus College. Tim works on the predictability and dynamics of weather and climate, including extreme events, and is well known within the field for developing probabilistic ensemble forecasting techniques. In this episode, Robinson and Tim discuss his recent book, The Primacy of Doubt: From Quantum Physics to Climate Change, H...
2023-Nov-01 • 88 minutes
161 - James Owen Weatherall: Nothingness and the Physics of the Void
James Owen Weatherall is Professor of Logic and the Philosophy of Science and Department Chair at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also a member of the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Science, the Center for Cosmology, and the Jack W. Peltason Center for the Study of Democracy. Jim is a physicist, mathematician, and philosopher, and works broadly on the mathematical and conceptual foundations of classical and quantum field theories, as well as the philosophy of science more generally...
2023-Oct-29 • 119 minutes
160 - David Friedman: What is Anarcho-Capitalism?
David Friedman is Professor Emeritus at the Santa Clara University School of Law. While he was trained as a physicist, David is best known for his work in economics, and particularly his defense of anarcho-capitalism, a political philosophy that advocates for a free-market system unhampered by government. In this episode, Robinson and David discuss some criticisms of current economic systems, the varieties of anarchism, David’s arguments for anarcho-capitalism, and one of his fascinating hobbies, anachronis...
2023-Oct-27 • 112 minutes
159 - Erik Verlinde: Entropic Gravity, Black Holes, and the Holographic Principle
Erik Verlinde is Professor of Physics in the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam, where he specializes in quantum gravity and string theory, black holes, and cosmology. In this episode, Erik and Robinson discuss his studies with the Nobel laureate Gerard ’t Hooft, black holes, the holographic principle, string theory, entropic gravity, and dark matter. | | OUTLINE | 00:00 In This Episode… | 00:51 Introduction | 02:16 Studying with Gerard ‘t Hooft | 13:33 How Do Black Holes Connect Quantum The...
2023-Oct-25 • 83 minutes
158 - Sheldon Solomon: Terror Management Theory and the Denial of Death
Sheldon Solomon is Professor of Psychology at Skidmore College. He is best known for developing terror management theory with Tom Pyszczynski and Jeff Greenberg, which explores human psychology and mortality. In this episode, Robinson and Sheldon discuss Ernest Becker’s groundbreaking book The Denial of Death, how it influenced him and his collaborators, and how they have studied—with the tools of contemporary social psychology—how humans are affected by their sense of mortality. | | The Worm at the Core: ...
2023-Oct-22 • 115 minutes
157 - David Albert: The Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics
David Albert is the Frederick E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and one of the world’s most respected philosophers of physics. He is also the director of the Philosophical Foundations of Physics program at Columbia and a faculty member of the John Bell Institute for the Foundations of Physics. This is David’s fifth (!) appearance on Robinson’s Podcast. He appeared on episode #23 with Justin Clarke-Doane on metaethics and absolute space, episode #30 on the philosophy of time, episo...
2023-Oct-20 • 100 minutes
156 - Fay Dowker: Wormholes, Quantum Gravity, and Causal Set Theory
Fay Dowker is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London, where she works broadly on quantum gravity, and more particularly on an approach called causal set theory that takes the most basic pieces of the universe to be atoms of spacetime. In this episode, Robinson and Fay begin by discussing her studies with Stephen Hawking and their work on wormholes before turning to quantum gravity and causal set theory. Fay is also a faculty member at the John Bell Institute for the Foundations of Physi...
2023-Oct-18 • 73 minutes
155 - Tony Padilla: Mathematical Platonism, Intergalactic Doppelgängers, and Gigantic Numbers
Tony Padilla is Professor of Physics in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Nottingham, where he is the Associate Director of the new Nottingham Centre of Gravity. Tony works in cosmology, quantum gravity, and related areas. He is also a host of the YouTube channel Numberphile, and the author of Fantastic Numbers and Where to Find Them: A Cosmic Quest from Zero to Infinity (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2022). In this episode, Robinson and Tony discuss some of these fantastic numbers. T...
2023-Oct-15 • 102 minutes
154 - Richard Wolff: Karl Marx and the Myths of Marxism
Richard Wolff is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a visiting professor at The New School, where he works on economics in the Marxist tradition. This is Richard’s second appearance on Robinson’s Podcast. In episode #127, he and Robinson discussed some of the most profound criticisms of capitalism. In this installment, they focus on Marx himself, including Karl Marx’s background, his most important views, what he wrote and didn’t write, and some of the common—and ...
2023-Oct-13 • 62 minutes
153 - Alan Stern: New Horizons and Mankind’s First Mission to Pluto
Alan Stern is a planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant, and author. He leads NASA’s 880 million dollar New Horizons mission, which explored Pluto and its moons before heading deeper into the Kuiper Belt that surrounds the solar system. In 2007 and 2008, Alan was also NASA’s chief of space and Earth science programs. In this episode, Robinson and Alan talk all about Pluto and how Earth got there through New Horizons. They begin by discussing whether or not Pluto should be classifi...
2023-Oct-11 • 113 minutes
152 - Geraint F. Lewis: Is The Universe Fine-Tuned For Life?
Geraint F. Lewis is Professor of Astrophysics at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy in the University of Sydney’s School of Physics. While the focus of his research is on dark matter and energy, Geraint has written about and worked on many topics in cosmology and astrophysics more generally. In this episode, Robinson and Geraint discuss the question of fine-tuning: Our universe seems extremely well-suited for life, and with just the slightest variations in physics life as we know it would not exist. In what...
2023-Oct-08 • 93 minutes
151 - Michael Levin: Synthetic Life, Collective Intelligence, and Morphogenesis
Michael Levin is a Distinguished Professor in the Biology Department at Tufts University, where he holds the Vannevar Bush endowed Chair, and he is also associate faculty at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. Michael and the Levin Lab work at the intersection of biology, artificial life, bioengineering, synthetic morphology, and cognitive science. In this episode, Michael and Robinson discuss what it means—if anything determinate—to be intelligent and to be alive before turning to the various fascina...
2023-Oct-06 • 107 minutes
150 - John Mather: The Big Bang and the Cosmic Microwave Background
John Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He was the recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for his role as Principle Investigator for the Far IR Absolute Spectrophotometer on COBE, which observed the cosmic microwave background and helped support the big bang theory of the origin of the universe. John has also worked on many other projects for NASA, including the James Webb Space Telescope. In this episode, Robinson and Joh...
2023-Oct-04 • 122 minutes
149 - Jonathan Lear: Free Association and the Fundamental Rule of Psychoanalysis
Jonathan Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Philosophy and at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He is also a practicing psychoanalyst. Jonathan’s work focuses on understanding the human psyche both through philosophy—with an emphasis on Aristotle and the ancients—and psychoanalysis. In this episode, Jonathan and Robinson discuss three pinnacles of psychoanalysis: free association, the unconscious, and transference. Jonathan’s most recent ...
2023-Oct-01 • 76 minutes
148 - Lee Smolin: Presentism, Foundations of Mathematics, and Realism in Quantum Mechanics
Lee Smolin is a founding and senior faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is best known for contributions to quantum gravity as a co-inventor of loop quantum gravity and deformed special relativity. Beyond his work in other areas of physics, Lee has written a number of best-selling books, the most recent of which is Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum (Penguin, 2019). In this episode, Robinson and Lee discuss one of the main tenets th...
2023-Sep-29 • 79 minutes
147 - Yascha Mounk: Liberalism, Identity Politics, and the History of Equality
Yascha Mounk is a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University. He is also a Contributing Editor at the Atlantic, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the host of The Good Fight podcast. Yascha has written five books, the most recent of which is The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time (Penguin, 2023). In this episode, Robinson and Yascha talk about this latest work. They begin by discussing the interrelationship between political theory...
2023-Sep-27 • 57 minutes
146 - Christopher E. Mason & Igor Tulchinsky: Smart Weapons, Genetics, and Predictive Algorithms
Christopher E. Mason is Professor of Computational Genomics in Computational Biomedicine in the Institute for Computational Biomedicine and Professor of Neuroscience in the Brain and Mind Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. Igor Tulchinsky is the founder, chairman, and CEO of WorldQuant, a global quantitative asset management firm. Together, they lead a joint project between Cornell Medicine and WorldQuant, the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction, which seeks to marry the expertise of financi...
2023-Sep-24 • 117 minutes
145 - Deirdre McCloskey: What Is Classical Liberalism?
Deirdre McCloskey is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics and of History and Professor Emerita of English and of Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also Isaiah Berlin Chair in Liberal Thought at the Cato Institute. Over the span of her career, Deirdre has written on economic theory, history, rhetoric, feminism, ethics, law, and more. In this episode, she and Robinson discuss her political philosophy—classical liberalism. They begin by discussing her training before delvin...
2023-Sep-22 • 119 minutes
144 - Carl Wieman: Winning the Nobel Prize, Bose-Einstein Condensates, & Science Education
Carl Wieman is Cheriton Family Professor, Professor of Physics, and Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University and winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics for the production and observation of the first Bose-Einstein condensate. In addition to his extensive work in atomic and optical physics, Carl has pioneered the use of experimental techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of various teaching strategies for physics and other sciences. He also served as Associate Director for Science in the W...
2023-Sep-20 • 114 minutes
143 - Andrew Knoll: The Origins of Life on Earth
Andrew Knoll is the Fisher Professor of Natural History in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. Andy’s work straddles the line between the early evolution of life on Earth and our planet’s environmental history. He has written numerous books on these subjects, most recently A Brief History of Earth: Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters (Custom House). In this episode, Robinson and Andy discuss when and how life arose on earth—and, just as importantly, what and how we know ab...
2023-Sep-17 • 121 minutes
142 - Tim Maudlin: Carnap, Kuhn, Bell’s Inequality, & The Philosophy of Science
Tim Maudlin is Professor of Philosophy at NYU and Founder and Director of the John Bell Institute for the Foundations of Physics. Tim is renowned as one of the leading philosophers of physics, and he also works in the philosophy of science and metaphysics. This is Tim’s fourth appearance on the show. Tim was also a guest on episode 46 (laws of nature, space, and free will), episode 67 with David Albert (the foundations of quantum mechanics), and episode 115 with Craig Callender (the philosophy of time). In ...
2023-Sep-15 • 134 minutes
141 - Norman Naimark: The History of Genocide
Norman Naimark is Robert & Florence McDonnell Professor of East European History at Stanford University. He is also Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution and the Institute of International Studies. He has worked on a wide array of topics related to the Cold War, genocide, communism, Hitler, Stalin, and more. In this episode, Robinson and Norman talk about the world history of genocide. After discussing just what constitutes genocide, they begin with the most distant reaches of prehistory—neanderthals ...
2023-Sep-13 • 94 minutes
140 - John Burgess: Realism in the Philosophy of Mathematics
John Burgess is John N. Woodhull Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, where he works in mathematical and philosophical logic and the philosophy of mathematics. In this episode, Robinson and John discuss realism in the philosophy of mathematics, and while the nature of this question is itself disputed, it can be roughly described as concerning the extent to which we should be committed to the mind-independent truth of mathematical theorems, or to the existence of the objects they apparently descr...
2023-Sep-10 • 59 minutes
139 - Lawrence Summers: Economic Policy, Free Speech, and The Pursuit of Truth
Lawrence Summers is the President Emeritus and Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University. He also served as the 71st Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration, as Director of the White House National Economic Council in the Obama Administration, and as the Chief Economist of the World Bank. In this episode, Robinson and Larry discuss two topics close to his heart and work. First, they talk about the relationship between economic research and economic policy, both at a broad, ...
2023-Sep-08 • 120 minutes
138 - Konstantin Batygin: Planet Nine, Oumuamua, and the Death of Pluto
Konstantin Batygin is Professor of Planetary Science in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology, where he works on a wide variety of problems related to the formation and evolution of the solar system, the dynamical evolution of exoplanets, and physical processes that occur in planetary interiors and atmospheres. In this episode, Robinson and Konstantin discuss interstellar interlopers in our solar system, planet and satellite formation, the death of Pluto...
2023-Sep-06 • 93 minutes
137 - Joyce Carol Oates: Craft in Fiction and Poetry
Joyce Carol Oates is the Rogers S. Berlind ’52 Professor Emerita in the Humanities at Princeton University with the Program in Creative Writing. She is among the most widely-recognized and respected writers of our time, and has written in a wide variety of media and genres, from poetry and fiction in the former category to horror and Gothic in the latter. Her work has also been adapted into various other media, from plays to film. Joyce is the recipient of two O. Henry Awards and the National Book Award, am...
2023-Sep-03 • 137 minutes
136 - Andrew Strominger: String Theory, Black Holes, and Extra Dimensions
Andrew Strominger is Gwill E. York Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature at Harvard University, where he works on some of the deepest questions in physics, including black holes and the unification of quantum field theory and general relativity in the form of string theory. In this episode, Robinson and Andy discuss the basics of string theory, including its unifying role in physics, its application to outstanding and once-intractable problems of black holes, and...
2023-Sep-01 • 84 minutes
135 - Thomas Hertog: Stephen Hawking, Cosmology, and the Origin of Time
Thomas Hertog is Professor and Head of Theoretical Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at KU Leuven in Belgium. He was a doctoral student and close collaborator of Stephen Hawking. In this episode, Robinson and Thomas discuss his recent book, On the Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory. More particularly they discuss his collaboration with Stephen Hawking Hawking’s work on black holes, and the three stages of his cosmological research, which culminated in his final theory, which Tho...
2023-Aug-30 • 89 minutes
134 - Christopher Capozzola: Uncle Sam, the Draft, and Vigilantes in World War I
Christopher Capozzola is Professor of History and MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT, where he works on the history of citizenship, war, and the military in modern American history. In this episode, Robinson and Chris discuss his first book, Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen (Oxford, 2008). More particularly, they talk about the background of the famous Uncle Sam “I Want You!” image and its status as a piece of propaganda, how it functioned in the United States durin...
2023-Aug-27 • 133 minutes
133 - Ian Hutchinson: Plasma Physics & The Compatibility of Science and Religion
Ian Hutchinson is Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering in he Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering and the Plasma Science and Fusion Center at MIT. He works in both plasma physics and nuclear physics and also writes on the philosophy of science and the compatibility of Christianity and science. In this episode, Ian and Robinson begin by discussing his work in plasma and nuclear physics, touching on space exploration, nuclear fusion, and the containment of superheated plasma. Then they turn t...
2023-Aug-25 • 85 minutes
132 - Jonathan Shedler: Freud, Psychoanalysis, and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Jonathan Shedler is Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco and a faculty member at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. He is a psychologist and psychotherapist. In this episode, Robinson and Jonathan discuss the clinical side of psychoanalytic theory. They begin by describing just how different contemporary practice is from its beginnings with Freud a hundred years ago, before detailing how psychodynamic therapy comp...
2023-Aug-23 • 66 minutes
131 - Tal Ben-Shahar: What Is Happiness?
Tal Ben-Shahar did his undergraduate and graduate work at Harvard, where he later lectured on positive psychology and taught the most popular course in the university’s history. He is now a speaker and writer who focuses on happiness. In this episode, Robinson and Tal discuss the field of Happiness Studies, which Tal has been developing for half a decade. They discuss the origin of happiness studies with Aristotle before moving on to how various academic disciplines like philosophy, neuroscience, psychology...
2023-Aug-20 • 118 minutes
130 - Donald Hoffman: The Illusion of Reality
Donald Hoffman is Professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, where he also has joint appointments in the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, and the School of Computer Science. Don has worked on a number of problems in his career, including human facial attractiveness, the mind-body problem, the evolution of perception, and even vehicle lighting. In this episode, Robinson and Don discuss his latest book, The Case Agains...
2023-Aug-18 • 118 minutes
129 - Jeremi Suri: The Impossibility of the American Presidency
Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is Professor of History in the Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Jeremi’s selection of topics in his work is sprawling, but he writes largely on modern and contemporary politics and foreign policy. In this episode, Robinson and Jeremi discuss the American presidency and how it has shifted over the past two hundred and fifty years to become an impossib...
2023-Aug-16 • 87 minutes
128 - Clara Sousa-Silva: Exoplanets, Astrobiology, and the Search For Alien Life
Clara Sousa-Silva is a professor of physics at Bard College, where she is a quantum astrochemist and molecular astrophysicist. The focus of Clara’s work is on investigating the interaction of particular molecules with light so that they can be detected on exoplanets, where, in addition to giving us atmospheric information, these chemicals may indicate the existence of life. In this episode, Robinson and Clara discuss her research on a specific molecule—phosphine—which may play a key role in identifying plan...
2023-Aug-13 • 92 minutes
127 - Richard Wolff: What’s Wrong with Capitalism?
Richard Wolff is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a visiting professor at The New School, where he works on economics in the Marxist tradition. In this episode, Robinson and Richard discuss his criticisms of capitalism. They begin with why mainstream economists dismiss Marx and then move on to the basics of economics, the problems of our capitalist system, and the myriad social issues we face today. | | Richard’s Website: https://www.rdwolff.com | | Economic U...
2023-Aug-11 • 81 minutes
126 - Michael Strevens: Scientific Explanation & Methodology and The Knowledge Machine
Michael Strevens is Professor of Philosophy at New York University, where he works across the philosophy of science and the philosophical applications of cognitive science. In this episode, Robinson and Michael talk about his recent book, The Knowledge Machine, which explores how irrationality shaped the Scientific Revolution. Along the way, they discuss the great debate over the nature of the scientific method—including appearances from Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn—how explanations function in science, and ...
2023-Aug-09 • 86 minutes
125 - Bas van Fraassen: Realism, Thomas Kuhn, and the Semantic Approach in Philosophy of Science
Bas van Fraassen is the McCosh Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton University and a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University. In addition to being one of the most recognized philosophers of science working today—he received the Philosophy of Science Association’s inaugural Hempel Award—he has also worked in epistemology and logic. In this episode, Bas and Robinson discuss a major shift in the philosophy of science in the second half of the twentieth century from the ...
2023-Aug-06 • 108 minutes
124 - Jay McClelland: Deep Learning, Neural Networks, and Artificial Intelligence
Jay McClelland is Lucie Stern Professor in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University, where he is also Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology. Along with other towering figures like Geoffrey Hinton, Jay is considered one of the fathers of artificial intelligence. In this episode, Robinson and Jay discuss some of his main interests in and contributions to the field, including his work on parallel distributed processing with David Rumelhart, the relationship between neura...
2023-Aug-04 • 79 minutes
123 - Paul Boghossian: The Sokal Hoax, The A Priori, and Moral Facts
Paul Boghossian is Silver Professor of Philosophy at New York University, where he is also Chair of the Philosophy Department. Paul has worked in a wide variety of areas within philosophy, including epistemology and the philosophy of language, mind, and logic respectively. Robinson and Paul discuss the sociological relationship between physics and philosophy, the Sokal Hoax, philosophy in public life, the role of the a priori and a posteriori distinction in metaphysics, logic, and epistemology, and the natu...
2023-Aug-02 • 109 minutes
122 - David Pizarro: Moral Psychology, Praise & Blame, Disgust & Politics
David Pizarro is Professor of Psychology at Cornell University. While he teaches and publicly discusses a wide variety of material in the discipline, his primary research interest is in moral judgment. In this episode, Robinson and David discuss some of the conceptual underpinnings of moral psychology before turning to the research on praise, blame, social cognition, and the relationship between disgust and political affiliation. David is also the co-host of two podcasts, Very Bad Wizards with Tamler Sommer...
2023-Jul-30 • 117 minutes
121 - Julian Barbour: Thermodynamics, Boltzmann Brains, and a New Theory of Time
Julian Barbour is a physicist working in the foundations of physics and quantum gravity, with a special interest in time and the history of science. In this episode, Julian and Robinson discuss thermodynamics and the arrows of time, including a new theory of time developed by Julian and his collaborators, which is laid out in his book, The Janus Point: A New Theory of Time. If you’re interested in the foundations of physics—which you absolutely should be—then please check out the John Bell Institute (Julian...
2023-Jul-28 • 63 minutes
120 - Simon Blackburn: Vanity, Narcissism, Lust, and Pride
Simon Blackburn was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This is Simon’s second appearance on the show. In episode 68, Simon and Robinson discussed metaethics and moral realism. In this episode, they talk about his latest books, Lust and Mirror, Mirror, with special attention to toxic vanity, the tale of Narcissus, and pride. | | Lust: https://a.co/d/9dcOem9 | | Mirror, Mirror: http...
2023-Jul-26 • 92 minutes
119 - Mark Solms: Neuropsychoanalysis and the Source of Consciousness
Mark Solms is professor of Neuropsychology at the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cape Town. He is also a psychoanalyst, and while Mark’s early research focused on the brain mechanisms of sleep and dreaming, he is currently working on the neural correlates of consciousness and affect. In this episode, Robinson and Mark talk about his new book The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness. More particularly, they discuss the hard problem of consciousness and how recent advances in n...
2023-Jul-23 • 109 minutes
118 - Slavoj Žižek & Sean Carroll: Quantum Physics, the Multiverse, and Time Travel
Slavoj Žižek is international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London, visiting professor at New York University, and a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana’s Department of Philosophy. He was also the guest for Robinson’s Podcast #109 on psychoanalysis, wokeness, racism, and a hundred other topics. Sean Carroll is Homewood Professor of Natural Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University and fractal faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. He is also host of Sean Ca...
2023-Jul-21 • 88 minutes
117 - Anna Lembke: Dopamine, Drug Addiction, and Recovery
Dr. Anna Lembke received her undergraduate degree in Humanities from Yale University and and her medical degree from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Medical Director of Addiction Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is also Program Director of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Fellowship, and Chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. In this episode, Robinson and Anna discuss her latest, New York Times bestselling book Dopamine Nation: Finding B...
2023-Jul-19 • 67 minutes
116 - Massimo Pigliucci: Pseudoscience, Conspiracy Theories, and the Public Intellectual
Massimo Pigliucci is K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York, where he specializes in both ancient philosophy and the philosophy of science. In addition to a doctorate in philosophy, Massimo has a PhD in evolutionary biology. In this episode, Robinson and Massimo discuss the vast landscape between science on the one hand and pseudoscience on the other, covering how they should be distinguished, examples galore, and the role of the public intellectual in science education. Check...
2023-Jul-16 • 125 minutes
115 - Craig Callender & Tim Maudlin: Time Travel, Time’s Arrow, and The Block Universe
Craig Callender is Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Institute for Practical Ethics at UC San Diego. Tim Maudlin is Professor of Philosophy at NYU and Founder and Director of the John Bell Institute for the Foundations of Physics. Craig and Tim are leading philosophers of science and physics. Craig also appeared on episode 73, in which he and Robinson discussed pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. Tim was a guest on episode 46, which covered laws of nature, space, and free will, and episode 6...
2023-Jul-14 • 118 minutes
114 - Eric Helms: Nutrition, Bodybuilding, & Supplementation for Strength and Aesthetics
Eric Helms is an AUT Research Fellow at the Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (Auckland University of Technology) in the Strength & Conditioning and Sports Physiology and Nutrition research groups. He is also the Director and Chief Science Officer of 3DMJ, an organization devoted to strength training and education centered around the same, a competitive bodybuilder, co-host of the Iron Culture podcast—which comes highly, highly recommended by Robinson—and a founding editor and reviewer f...
2023-Jul-11 • 93 minutes
113 - David Spiegel: Hypnosis and Mental Illness
David Spiegel is Willson Professor of Medicine and Associate Chair of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. He did his undergraduate work at Yale and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. David is highly regarded as one of the most creative psychiatrists in the field, and has worked on a wide array of topics within the discipline. In this episode, Robinson and David discuss his pioneering work in hypnotherapy, as David is the world’s leading hypnotherapist and hypnotherapy researche...
2023-Jul-09 • 61 minutes
112 - Victor Davis Hanson: Revisionist History and the Dying Citizen
Victor Davis Hanson is a renowned classicist, military historian, and political commentator. He is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Among numerous other awards, Victor was presented the National Humanities Medal in 2007. In this episode, Robinson and Victor discuss his latest book, The Dying Citizen. More particularly, they talk about the Ancient Greek origin of a flourishing egalitarian society centered...
2023-Jul-07 • 110 minutes
111 - Avi Loeb: Alien Life, Extraterrestrial Spacecraft, and Oumuamua
Avi Loeb is Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science in the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University, and former chair of the department. Before joining Harvard he spent fifteen years working in theoretical astrophysics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is also the Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation, the Founding Director of the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard, and Head of the Galileo Project. In this episode, Avi and Robinson discuss his controversial and compellin...
2023-Jul-04 • 67 minutes
110 - Daniel Kahneman: Biases and Flaws in Human Judgment
Daniel Kahneman is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Public Policy at Princeton University. He won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for joint work with Amos Tversky in which they revealed the biases and heuristics with which humans operate, thereby deviating from the rationality presumed by economic theory at the time. Among this and many other awards, Danny was also given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barrack Obama. While Danny is likely best known outside of psychology for his book T...
2023-Jul-02 • 96 minutes
109 - Slavoj Žižek: Wokeness, Psychoanalysis, and Quantum Mechanics
Slavoj Žižek is international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London, visiting professor at New York University, and a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana’s Department of Philosophy. He and Robinson discuss a great many things, including the role of psychoanalysis in the cultural criticism of wokeness, the relationship between truth, science, and philosophy, and what quantum theory might tell us about the nature of reality. | | OUTLINE | 00:00 In This...
2023-Jun-29 • 92 minutes
108 - Chiara Mingarelli: Supermassive Black Holes & the Gravitational Wave Background
Chiara Mingarelli is a gravitational-wave astrophysicist and a professor in the Department of Physics at Yale University. She studies supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies and their mergers using data about gravitational waves that are detected by pulsar timing array experiments. In this episode, Robinson and Chiara discuss PTAs, gravitational waves, black holes, how and why they merge, and the fresh release of NANOgrav’s fifteen-year data set, which gives the first ever evidence of a gravitat...
2023-Jun-27 • 106 minutes
107 - Kevin Dorst: Bayesian Reasoning, Irrationality, and Political Polarization
Kevin Dorst is a professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT. He works at the intersection between philosophy and social science, focusing on rationality. In this episode Kevin and Robinson discuss just this: They begin with classical theories of rationality and where they fall short before discussing instances where the empirical literature shows that humans do not reason rationally at all, touching on the gambler’s fallacy, sunk-cost reasoning, and the hindsight bias. They then move o...
2023-Jun-25 • 130 minutes
106 - David Albert & Sean Carroll: Quantum Theory, Boltzmann Brains, & The Fine-Tuned Universe
David Albert is the Frederick E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and Director of the Philosophical Foundations of Physics program at Columbia. David is a prior guest of the Robinson’s Podcast multiverse, having appeared on episodes #23 (with Justin Clarke-Doane), #30, and #67 (with Tim Maudlin). Sean Carroll is Homewood Professor of Natural Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University and fractal faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. He is also host of Sean Carroll’s Mindscape, a terrific s...
2023-Jun-23 • 61 minutes
105 - Luciano Floridi: The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
Luciano Floridi is the Oxford Internet Institute’s Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, Distinguished Research Fellow of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics of the Faculty of Philosophy, and Research Associate and Fellow in Information Policy of the Department of Computer Science. Beginning in the fall, he will be the Founding Director of the Digital Ethics Center and Professor of Cognitive Science at Yale University. For much of the past twenty-five years Lucian...
2023-Jun-21 • 85 minutes
104 - Nicholas Christakis: Evolutionary Biology & Society’s Genetic Underpinning
Nicholas Christakis is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University, where he is also Director of the Human Nature Lab and Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. Nicholas is both a sociologist and a physician; after completing his undergraduate at Yale in biology, he received an M.D. and M.P.H. from Harvard and then a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Nicholas has written numerous books, including Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impa...
2023-Jun-18 • 66 minutes
103 - Brad Schoenfeld: Muscular Hypertrophy and Maximizing Muscle Growth
Brad Schoenfeld is Professor of Exercise Science in the Department of Heath Promotion and Nutrition Sciences at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, where he serves as the graduate director the Human Performance and Fitness Program. Brad is one of the foremost—if not the foremost—authorities on human muscular development, and author of the textbook Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy. In this episode, Robinson and Brad talk first about the foundations of hypertrophy on a theoretical level (what ...
2023-Jun-16 • 118 minutes
102 - Stephen Wolfram: Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT, and Philosophy of Math
Stephen Wolfram is the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, and the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language. He received his PhD in theoretical physics from Caltech when he was twenty years old. In addition to his work at the helm of Wolfram Research, he writes and researches widely across computer science, physics, mathematics, and more. Most recently, Stephen is the author of What Is ChatGPT Doing…and Why Does It Work? (2023). Robinson and Stephen begin by discussing just this, bef...
2023-Jun-13 • 117 minutes
101 - Paul Bloom: Freud, Mental Illness, Psychoanalysis, and Cognitive Biases
Paul Bloom is Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University and Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. He works quite broadly in psychology, and studies how children and adults make sense of the world, with special focus on pleasure, morality, religion, fiction, and art. Paul is the author of seven books, most recently Psych: The Story of the Human Mind, some of the topics of which constitute the subject of this episode. More particularly, Paul and Robinson disc...
2023-Jun-11 • 68 minutes
100 - Steven Pinker: Rationality, Enlightenment, and Free Speech
Steven Pinker is Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He is an experimental cognitive psychologist who writes on language, mind, and human nature. In this episode—the hundredth of Robinson’s Podcast (!)—Robinson and Steve talk about his recent book Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters (Penguin, 2022), which is linked below. More particularly, they discuss rationality’s evolutionary basis, how it is subverted by conspiratorial thinking and other dimensions o...
2023-Jun-09 • 73 minutes
99 - Nancy Sherman: Stoicism, Military Ethics, and War
Nancy Sherman is Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. Before that, she taught at Yale and did her graduate work in ancient philosophy at Harvard University. Nancy has worked broadly across value theory and ancient philosophy, writing on such varied topics as military ethics, moral psychology, the emotions, and Stoicism. The occasion for this episode is Nancy’s recent book, Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience (Oxford, 2021), which is now ava...
2023-Jun-07 • 65 minutes
98 - Dani S. Bassett & Perry Zurn: Curiosity, Philosophy, and Network Theory
Dani S. Bassett is the J. Peter Skirkanich Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Perry Zurn is Provost Associate Professor of Philosophy at American University. Dani and Perry both do a great deal of interdisciplinary work within their fields, but Dani is best known for her work in systems neuroscience, while Perry’s research is primarily in political philosophy. The subject of this episode, however—though systems neuroscience and political philosophy both make their appearances—is ...
2023-Jun-04 • 78 minutes
97 - Brian Leiter: Karl Marx, Ideology, and Historical Materialism
Brian Leiter is Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School, founder and Director of Chicago’s Center for Law, Philosophy & Human Values, and is best known in the philosophical world for his work on Nietzsche and legal philosophy. He is the founding editor of the Routledge Philosophers book series, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law, and Philosophical Gourmet Report, which is the canonical—as well as extremely helpful and illuminating—ranking of philosophy depar...
2023-May-31 • 94 minutes
96 - Jody Azzouni: Knowledge and Skepticism
Jody Azzouni is Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. While Jody is best known for his nominalist stance in the philosophy of mathematics, he is also an author of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. This is Jody’s third appearance on the show. On his first appearance, episode #45, he and Robinson spoke about the debate between nominalists and platonists in the philosophy of mathematics, Jody’s own deflationary stance, and some adjacent concerns about ontological commitment in both formal and informal l...
2023-May-28 • 225 minutes
95 - Achille Varzi: What Is Mereology?
Achille Varzi is the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and Bruno Kessler Honorary Professor at the University of Trento. He is a renowned metaphysicist and logician, and widely regarded as the world’s leading mereologist. Achille—or Varzi, as he is affectionately known around the halls of Columbia’s philosophy department—is also an immensely important philosophical figure for Robinson, and a prior denizen of this podcast multiverse (see episode 47 for Achille’s introduction to metaph...
2023-May-26 • 93 minutes
94 - Alva Noë: Art, Philosophy, and The Entanglement
Alva Noë is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he researches the philosophy of mind—primarily focusing on perception and consciousness—and the philosophy of art. In this episode, Robinson and Alva discuss the latter, for while Alva is already the author of two books in the area—Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature (Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 2015) and Look: Dispatches from the Art World (Oxford, 2021)—June 23, 2023 will mark the ...
2023-May-23 • 71 minutes
93 - Havi Carel: The Phenomenology of Illness
Havi Carel is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bristol, where she studies illness and its relationship to philosophy. Her research draws largely on phenomenology, a philosophical approach most closely associated with the Continental tradition of philosophy, and that relies heavily on perception and experience. In this episode Robinson and Havi discuss her own illness, LAM, and how it affects her own work, along with many other topics related to illness, such as Freud, mental health, and breathle...
2023-May-21 • 126 minutes
92 - Joan Bagaria: What Is Set Theory?
Joan Bagaria is ICREA Research Professor in the Department of Experimental Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Barcelona. He is a mathematical logician who works in set theory, which is the branch of mathematics that not only specializes in the investigation of infinity but serves as the foundation for the rest of mathematics—what this means, and its implications, are explored in the episode. Joan and Robinson discuss all things set theory, beginning with its origins in the mind of Georg Cantor, i...
2023-May-19 • 121 minutes
91 - John Perry: Procrastination, Personal Identity, and the Self
John Perry is Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Stanford University. He was also the co-host with Ken Taylor of the nationally syndicated radio show Philosophy Talk. John has worked in the philosophy of language, mind, and metaphysics, and is well-known for his famous Slingshot Argument with John Barwise. Robinson and John first talk about his book The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing. They then turn to some of his work on identity, ...
2023-May-16 • 92 minutes
90 - David Papineau: The Metaphysics of Sensory Experience
David Papineau is Professor of Philosophy of Science at King’s College London. He also teaches at the City University of New York Graduate Center, and before that he lectured in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge. David’s last appearance on the podcast was episode 62, where he and Robinson spoke about realism, antirealism, and the philosophy of science. This time, however, they discuss the content of his most recent book, The Metaphysics of Sensory Experience (OUP 2021), which ...
2023-May-14 • 125 minutes
89 - Graham Harman: Speculative Realism & Philosophy of Art and Architecture
Graham Harman is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Sci-Arc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. He is one of the leading metaphysicians in the continental tradition of philosophy and an influential philosopher of art. Robinson and Graham discuss his work at the forefront of the speculative realist trend in the contemporary continental world, where he is known for his object-oriented ontology, or OOO. They also talk about the philosophy of art and architecture, touching o...
2023-May-12 • 97 minutes
88 - Graham Oppy: Ontological Arguments and the Existence of God
Graham Oppy is Professor of Philosophy at Monash University. Before that, he did his undergraduate work in Melbourne and his graduate work at Princeton. Though Graham is best known as a philosopher of religion, he has also published on the philosophy of math, language, aesthetics, and more. In this episode, Robinson and Graham begin by discussing the nature of argument: What makes an argument successful? What’s a good argument? How should we think about arguments in areas of deep disagreement? They then mov...
2023-May-09 • 119 minutes
87 - Frank Jackson & Graham Priest: The Philosophy of David Lewis
Frank Jackson is Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. He is best known for the knowledge argument and Mary’s Room—its accompanying thought experiment—but has published widely in the philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of language. Graham Priest is a Distinguished Professor in the philosophy department at the CUNY Graduate Center. Like Frank, he is one of the most influential philosophers of the past fifty years, and has done important work on a wide range o...
2023-May-07 • 95 minutes
86 - Frances Egan: Mental Representation and Psychological Explanation
Frances Egan is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers, where she works on the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of psychology, and the foundations of cognitive science. Recently she has been researching computational models of cognition and how they relate to representation. Robinson and Frankie talk about the foundations of cognitive science and the nature of mental representations before discussing psychological explanation, different ways of conceiving the mind’s boundaries, and how it interf...
2023-May-04 • 106 minutes
85 - Ernest Lepore: Linguistic Conventions, Slurs, and Philosophy of Language
Ernest Lepore is a Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers. Though Ernie is best known for his work in the philosophy of language, he has also published on philosophical logic, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind. Though Robinson and Ernie largely discuss the former, their conversation begins with a bevy of wonderful stories from the profession, as Ernie worked and studied with many of the greatest thinkers—and characters—of twentieth century philosophy, including Ed Gettier, Jerry Fodor, ...
2023-May-02 • 81 minutes
84 - Chris Potts: Semantics, Pragmatics, and ChatGPT
Chris Potts is Professor and Chair of the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University, and also Professor by courtesy in the Department of Computer Science at the same. Chris has worked on a wide variety of topics in linguistics throughout his career, but has published on conventional implicature—check out his book, Logic of Conventional Implicatures (Oxford, 2003)—large language models, and compositional reasoning, among many other subjects. Robinson and Chris begin by discussing the relationship betw...
2023-Apr-30 • 88 minutes
83 - Barry Loewer: Probability, Laws of Nature, and Statistical Mechanics
Barry Loewer is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers. Before that he did his PhD in philosophy at Stanford (!). Barry works largely in the philosophy of physics, the philosophy of science, and metaphysics, and is a good friend of and frequent collaborator with another denizen of the Robinson’s Podcast universe, David Albert. It is their joint work on the “Mentaculus,” something approximating a “probability map of the universe,” that occupies much of the discussion in this episode. Robinson and B...
2023-Apr-27 • 114 minutes
82 - Jonathan Wolff: Cities, States, and Political Philosophy
Jonathan Wolff is Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy at the University of Oxford. He works in numerous areas of political philosophy. Some topics he has researched include equality and poverty, and he has worked in applied areas like Covid policy and gambling. In this episode, Jonathan and Robinson begin with a discussion of the nature of political philosophy before turning to some modern historical perspectives on the state, starting with Hobbes and traveling up through Marx and Rawls. ...
2023-Apr-25 • 117 minutes
81 - Anubav Vasudevan: Mathematics, Physics, and History of Logic
Anubav Vasudevan is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, where he works in formal epistemology and the history of logic, though he has published in a number of other areas. Anubav and Robinson talk about his time at Columbia University studying with the mathematician, probability theorist, and philosopher Haim Gaifman before discussing some of Anubav’s thoughts on mathematics, physics, logic, and how they relate to philosophy. In the second half of the conversati...
2023-Apr-23 • 77 minutes
80 - Pamela Hieronymi: Free Will and Moral Responsibility
Pamela Hieronymi is Professor of Philosophy at UCLA. Before that, she did her undergraduate studies at Princeton and received her PhD from Harvard. Her work extends in a variety of directions, but some areas she works in include moral psychology, the philosophy of mind, ethics, and the philosophy of action. In this episode, she and Robinson discuss free will and moral responsibility, the topic of an upcoming book entitled Minds that Matter. Pamela begins by introducing moral psychology and the role of analy...
2023-Apr-22 • 94 minutes
79 - Rachel Barney: Ancient Philosophy and the Sophists
Rachel Barney is Professor of Classics and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD at Princeton and has taught at the University of Ottawa, Harvard, and the University of Chicago. She has worked widely across ancient philosophy, from the sophists to the Neoplatonists, though her primary focus is on Plato. In this episode, Robinson and Rachel discuss the sophists, beginning with just who they were and why they have been so maligned in contemporary discourse—even the word so...
2023-Apr-20 • 77 minutes
78 - Paul Horwich: Truth, Realism, and Moral Facts
Paul Horwich is Professor Philosophy at NYU. He has worked in a number of areas of philosophy, but is especially well-known for his writing on the philosophy of language, particularly with regard to truth and meaning—naturally, he has books by the same names, Truth (Oxford, 1990) and Meaning (Oxford, 1998). Robinson and Paul discuss the relationship between his work on these topics and the philosophy he started off researching—science and physics—before moving on to the question of philosophical realism acr...
2023-Apr-18 • 116 minutes
77 - Stephen Yablo: Non-Existence Claims, Jokes, and Defining Philosophy
Stephen Yablo is David W. Skinner Professor of Philosophy at MIT. Before MIT, he taught at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Steve works in metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of mind and language, though his work extends into other areas of philosophy as well. In this conversation, for instance, Robinson and Steve discuss the nature of philosophy and what distinguishes it from other fields, as well as the philosophy of jokes and humor. They also speak about the philosophy of lan...
2023-Apr-15 • 116 minutes
76 - Nora Boyd, Siska de Baerdemaeker, & Vera Matarese: The Philosophy of Astrophysics
Robinson’s Podcast #76 - Nora Boyd, Siska de Baerdemaeker, & Vera Matarese: The Philosophy of Astrophysics | | Nora Boyd is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Siena College. Siska de Baerdemaeker is a Researcher at Stockholm University. Vera Matarese is Assistant Professor in Philosophy of Science at the University of Perugia. Both Nora and Siska received their PhDs in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh, while Vera received hers in the Philosophy of Science at the Uni...
2023-Apr-13 • 115 minutes
75 - Jody Azzouni: Formal Languages, Proof, and the Foundations of Mathematics
Jody Azzouni is Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. While Jody is best known for his nominalist stance in the philosophy of mathematics, he is also an author of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Robinson and Jody discuss one of Jody’s poems in detail before moving on to the philosophy of mathematics and logic. They go over the distinction between natural and formal languages, the roles and varieties of proof in mathematics, and whether mathematics can have foundations. This is Jody’s second appeara...
2023-Apr-10 • 133 minutes
74 - Stephen Darwall: Violence, Second-Personal Ethics, Philosophy of the Heart
Stephen Darwall is Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. He is a world-renowned moral philosopher who has worked broadly across the ethical landscape, making important contributions to Kant scholarship, legal philosophy, deontology, and countless other areas. In this episode, Robinson and Steve talk about Steve’s strabismus (a visual impairment) and how it affects the way he sees the world, vi...
2023-Apr-08 • 99 minutes
73 - Craig Callender: Pseudoscience, Conspiracy Theories, and Philosophy
Craig Callender is Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Institute for Practical Ethics at UC San Diego. Craig works across the philosophy of science, and has published research on the philosophy of physics, applied ethics, the metaphysics of time, and other related areas. In this episode, Craig and Robinson discuss the content of a course he’s been teaching called Science vs Pseudoscience. More particularly, they talk about the boundary between science and pseudoscience, as well as case studies of...
2023-Apr-06 • 106 minutes
72 - Eric Trexler: Philosophy and Methodology in Sports Science
Eric Trexler received his PhD in Human Movement Science from the medical school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is a professional body builder and a sports nutrition researcher, and the co-owner of Stronger By Science, MASS Research Review, and the MacroFactor nutrition app, as well as the co-host of the terrific Stronger By Science podcast. Robinson and Eric discuss some philosophical concerns in sports science, including methodological limitations in study design and human error in sc...
2023-Apr-03 • 92 minutes
71 - Peter Adamson: Plotinus, Porphyry, and Neoplatonism
Peter Adamson is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King's College London. He’s also the host of the podcast History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps and the author of the book series by the same name. Robinson and Peter talk about Neoplatonism—a philosophical movement in late antiquity—and its great thinkers, including Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Proclus, as well as the many issues they thou...
2023-Apr-01 • 190 minutes
70 - Elisabeth Camp: Emily Dickinson, Figurative Language, and Representation
Elisabeth Camp is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers, where she works on the philosophy of language, mind, and aesthetics. As she puts it, her research “focuses on thoughts and utterances that don’t fit standard propositional models.” Liz and Robinson spend the first third of their conversation discussing the poetry of Emily Dickinson and its connections to philosophy. They then move on to the substantial corpus of Liz’s work, touching on frames—or representational devices—various difficult-to-analyze speec...
2023-Mar-30 • 123 minutes
69 - Frank Jackson: Conceptual Analysis, Physicalism, and Mary’s Room
Frank Jackson is Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. He is best known for the knowledge argument and Mary’s Room—its accompanying thought experiment—but has published widely in the philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of language. Frank and Robinson discuss conceptual analysis—or the philosophical technique of examining the meaning, content, or definition of a concept to resolve questions about it—as well as physicalism, reference in the philosophy of langu...
2023-Mar-27 • 69 minutes
68 - Simon Blackburn: Moral Realism, Antirealism, and Quasirealism
Simon Blackburn was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Though he has worked in many areas of philosophy, he is best known for his contributions to metaethics and the philosophy of language. Simon and Robinson discuss the distinction between ethics and metaethics before primarily focusing on the latter, where they explore the concept of realism. Simon’s latest books are Lust and Mirro...
2023-Mar-25 • 129 minutes
67 - David Albert & Tim Maudlin: The Philosophical Foundations of Quantum Theory
David Albert is the Frederick E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, where he directs the Philosophical Foundations of Physics program. Tim Maudlin is Professor of Philosophy at NYU. Both David and Tim are renowned as leading philosophers of physics, though their work extends beyond that to the philosophy of science and metaphysics. David is a prior guest (episodes 23 and 30) of Robinson’s Podcast, as is Tim (episode 46). David, Tim, and Robinson discuss the foundations of quantum the...
2023-Mar-23 • 64 minutes
66 - Noam Chomsky: History and Philosophy of Linguistics
Noam Chomsky is Professor of Linguistics Emeritus at MIT and Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. He not only counts as among the most influential linguists of all time, but he has played a major role in the development of twentieth and twenty-first century philosophy, cognitive science, and political theory. Noam and Robinson talk about some of the major topics in modern linguistics, ranging from generative and universal grammar to innateness hypotheses and the current limitation...
2023-Mar-20 • 85 minutes
65 - Tania Lombrozo: Explanation and Human Psychology
Tania Lombrozo is Arthur W. Marks ’19 Professor of Psychology at Princeton University, where she directs the Concepts & Cognition Lab. Before that, she did her undergraduate work at Stanford University (!), her graduate work at Harvard University, and then taught at the University of California, Berkeley. Robinson and Tania discuss her work on explanation. Among other things, they touch on our intuitions about what makes explanations good, what makes certain observations seem to demand explanation, some...
2023-Mar-18 • 152 minutes
64 - Sarah Moss: Probabilistic Knowledge
Sarah Moss is the William Wilhartz Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law by courtesy at the University of Michigan. She works primarily in epistemology and the philosophy of language, though in the case of this conversation her work has an important bearing on legal philosophy. Robinson and Sarah talk about her book Probabilistic Knowledge, which argues that you can know something that you believe even if you do not believe it fully, and as she quite aptly points out, “The central theses of the book ...
2023-Mar-16 • 100 minutes
63 - Thomas Ryckman & Mark Wilson: The State of Analytic Philosophy
Thomas Ryckman is Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, where he works on the philosophy of physics. Mark Wilson is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, where he works at the intersection of the philosophy of math and physics on the one side and metaphysics and the philosophy of language on the other. Tom, Mark, and Robinson discuss the present state of analytic philosophy, the dominant tradition in the United States, including some potential obstacles and importa...
2023-Mar-13 • 105 minutes
62 - David Papineau: Realism, Antirealism, and The Philosophy of Science
David Papineau is Professor of Philosophy of Science at King’s College London. He also teaches at the City University of New York Graduate Center, and before that he lectured in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge. Robinson and David speak broadly about the philosophy of science. Some topics they touch on include the distinction between realism and antirealism, the role of a philosopher of science in actual scientific practice, and the current replication crisis. They finish wit...
2023-Mar-11 • 130 minutes
61 - Keith Frankish: Illusionism and The Philosophy of Mind
Keith Frankish is an Honorary Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Sheffield, a Visiting Research Fellow with the Open University, an Adjunct Professor with the Brain and Mind Program at the University of Crete, and editor of the Cambridge University Press series Elements in Philosophy of Mind. He is best known for his “two-level” view of the human mind, covered in his book Mind and Supermind, and his defense of the philosophical thesis known as illusionism, which holds that phenomena...
2023-Mar-09 • 144 minutes
60 - Joel David Hamkins & Graham Priest: The Liar Paradox & The Set-Theoretic Multiverse
Joel David Hamkins is the O’Hara Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics at the University of Notre Dame, where he recently moved from the University of Oxford. Joel is one of the world’s leading set theorists and philosophers of mathematics. Graham Priest is a Distinguished Professor in the philosophy department at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is one of the most influential philosophers of the past fifty years, and has done important work on a wide range of topics, ranging from the philosophy of mathematic...
2023-Mar-06 • 92 minutes
59 - Tamar Schapiro: Inclination, Will, and The Animal Self
Tamar Schapiro is Professor of Philosophy at MIT. Her work centers on value theory, the history of ethics, and how this relates to human agency and reasoning. Robinson and Tamar’s discussion center around her latest book, Feeling Like It: A Theory of Inclination and Will, which explores the relationship between the two in a Kantian framework. They also talk about her experience teaching ethics at STEM-focused schools (Tamar taught at Stanford for fifteen years before moving to the east coast), Kant’s though...
2023-Mar-04 • 62 minutes
58 - Huw Price: Philosophy of Time, Boltzmann Brains, and Retrocausality
Huw Price is the former Bertrand Russell Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and was before that Challis Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Time at the University of Sydney, and then—even before that—was Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh. Huw is an expert across a wide variety of subdomains within the family of philosophy of science and physics, and in this episode he and Robinson discuss topics drawn from the philosophy ...
2023-Mar-02 • 165 minutes
57 - Richard Kimberly Heck: Reference, Names, and the Philosophy of Language
Richard Kimberly Heck has been a professor of philosophy at Brown University since 2005, at which time they left their post at Harvard, where they had taught for over a decade. On the way to receiving their PhD in philosophy and linguistics at MIT, they studied at Duke and Oxford. Riki has also been a guest on three prior episodes of Robinson’s Podcast—5, 17, and 41—that covered the philosophy of sex, pornography, and gender. In this episode, however, Robinson and Riki turn to the philosophy of language, an...
2023-Feb-27 • 78 minutes
56 - Kevin Heng: Exoplanetary Atmospheres and The Philosophy of Astrophysics
Kevin Heng is Chair Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics of Extrasolar Planets at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Before that, he was the director of the Center for Space and Habitability at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Robinson and Kevin discuss the search for planets outside our solar system and the importance of—as well as some problems surrounding—our investigations into their atmospheres, all before turning to his recent philosophical work. Kevin, along with three philosophers of...
2023-Feb-25 • 61 minutes
55 - Alison Fernandes: Time Travel and Causation
Alison Fernandes is a professor of philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. Prior to that, she did her graduate work at Columbia University, where she studied with two other denizens of the Robinson’s Podcast universe, David Albert and Achille Varzi. Alison is the author of the upcoming book with Cambridge University Press, The Temporal Asymmetry of Causation, some of the contents of which are the subject of this episode. After rehashing the dominant theories of causation, Alison and Robinson discussion backwa...
2023-Feb-24 • 90 minutes
54 - Luvell Anderson: Slurs, Hate Speech, and The Philosophy of Humor
Luvell Anderson is a professor of philosophy at Syracuse University, where he’s also an affiliate faculty member of Women’s and Gender Studies and African American Studies. He is the co-editor of The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race and the soon-to-be-released Oxford Handbook of Applied Philosophy of Language. He is also currently working on a book about the philosophy of humor—The Ethics of Racial Humor—which is the topic of this episode. After beginning with a discussion of just what humor is...
2023-Feb-21 • 78 minutes
53 - Christina Van Dyke: Medieval Bestiaries & The Philosophy of Food and Eating
Christina Van Dyke is an emerita professor of philosophy at Calvin College and a visiting professor of philosophy at Barnard College, where she specializes in the medieval period. She is the author of A Hidden Wisdom: Medieval Contemplatives on Self-Knowledge, Reason, Love, Persons, and Immortality. Christina and Robinson discuss the philosophy of food and eating—its gendered aspects, its religious history, some ethical concerns, and eating disorders—before turning to animals in medieval philosophy, where t...
2023-Feb-17 • 119 minutes
52 - Gabriel Greenberg: Semiotics, Representation, and Cognitive Science & Film
Gabriel Greenberg is a professor of philosophy at the University of California Los Angeles, and currently a visiting professor at Stanford University. He works widely across the philosophy of mind, but in particular studies iconic representation, modality, and computation. Gabe and Robinson talk about the rough divide between representation and consciousness studies in the philosophy of mind before going into the distinction between signs and symbols, and how the brain interprets them. They finish with a de...
2023-Feb-13 • 72 minutes
51 - Scott Shapiro: Hackers, Cybersecurity, and Legal Philosophy
Scott Shapiro is the Charles F. Southmayd Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at Yale Law School, where he is also the founding director of the Yale CyberSecurity Lab. Robinson and Scott talk about studying at Columbia University under the auspices of the legendary Isaac Levi, Sidney Morgenbesser, and Haim Gaifman before discussing the philosophy of law, one of Scott’s areas of expertise. Among the topics they touch on are the distinction between analytic and normative jurisprudence, the problem of...
2023-Feb-09 • 119 minutes
50 - Jonathan Schaffer: Monism, Grounding, and The Fundamental Level of Reality
Jonathan Schaffer is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He is an acclaimed metaphysician with a unique mind and approach to philosophy (and who has exquisite taste in epigraphs). Jonathan is best known for his work on monism, in which he contends that the cosmos is the lone fundamental object in reality, and on the grounding relation. He and Robinson begin by exploring monism, including its relationship to contemporary developments in physics, and then move on t...
2023-Feb-06 • 100 minutes
49 - Stephen Darwall: The History of Modern Ethics
Stephen Darwall is Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. He is a world-renowned moral philosopher who has worked broadly across the ethical landscape, making important contributions to Kant scholarship, legal philosophy, deontology, and countless other areas. Steve and Robinson discuss the history of modern ethics, beginning with Hugo Grotius and traveling up through Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Bentha...
2023-Feb-02 • 84 minutes
48 - Patricia Churchland: Neurophilosophy, Free Will, & Consciousness
Patricia Churchland is UC President’s Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of California, San Diego. She is among the most well-known and impactful figures working in the philosophy of mind, and a prominent early neurophilosopher who advocated the importance of neuroscience in the philosophy of mind. Pat and Robinson discuss three broad topics: neurophilosophy and ethics—particularly with reference to two of her recent books, Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality and Conscience:...
2023-Jan-30 • 104 minutes
47: Achille Varzi: Metaphysics, Ontology, & Nominalism
Achille Varzi is the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and Bruno Kessler Honorary Professor at the University of Trento. He is a world-renowned metaphysicist and logician, and widely regarded as the greatest living mereologist. Yet despite all this Robinson asks Achille about his sleep habits, though afterward they discuss some more important philosophical questions: What is ontology? What is metaphysics, and how is it different from physics? After some tangents on nominalism and tru...
2023-Jan-26 • 120 minutes
46 - Tim Maudlin: Laws of Nature, Absolute Space, & Free Will
Tim Maudlin is Professor of Philosophy at NYU. Before that, he did his undergraduate work in philosophy and physics at Yale and received his PHD from Pittsburgh in the History and Philosophy of Science. Tim is renowned as one of the leading philosophers of physics, and he also works in the philosophy of science and metaphysics. Among other things, Robinson and Tim talk about whether metaphysics should come prior to or after physics, the debates over absolute time and space, free will, the nature of physical...
2023-Jan-23 • 107 minutes
45 - Jody Azzouni: Nominalism in the Philosophy of Mathematics
Jody Azzouni is a professor of philosophy at Tufts University. While Jody is best known for his nominalist stance in the philosophy of mathematics, he is also an author of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. He and Robinson talk about his love of writing and how his interest in mathematics bloomed during in his time spent at NYU and CUNY. They then move on to the debate between nominalists and platonists in the philosophy of mathematics, Jody’s own deflationary stance, and some adjacent concerns about ontolog...
2023-Jan-19 • 95 minutes
44 - Sophie Grace Chappell: Epiphanies, Ethics, and the Philosophy of Literature
Sophie Grace Chappell is Professor of Philosophy at the Open University in the UK. Before that she taught at the University of Dundee and Oxford. Sophie has a wide variety of interests, including ancient philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of literature. She and Robinson speak about her latest book, Epiphanies: An Ethics of Experience. More particularly, their discussion centers around philosophy and literature—including a wonderful reading of Gerard Manley Hopkins—the relationship between ethics and aes...
2023-Jan-16 • 91 minutes
43 - Eric Schwitzgebel: The Philosophical Weirdness of the World
Eric Schwitzgebel is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California Riverside. Before that, he did his undergraduate work at Stanford, and then received his doctorate from the University of California Berkeley. Eric has worked on an extremely wide array of topics, ranging from Chinese philosophy to philosophy of mind, metaphilosophy, and metaphysics. In this conversation, however, Robinson and Eric talk about his upcoming book on philosophy and weirdness. In particular, they discuss why the Unite...
2023-Jan-12 • 191 minutes
42 - Joel David Hamkins: Paradox, Infinity, & The Foundations of Mathematics
Joel David Hamkins is the O’Hara Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics at the University of Notre Dame, where he recently moved from the University of Oxford. Joel is one of the leading set theorists and philosophers of mathematics in the world, and he and Robinson discuss a lot—Hilbert’s Hotel, the continuum hypothesis, the set-theoretic multiverse, and even Joel’s dapper hat collection—but the main subject is his upcoming book, The Book of the Infinite, which is an accessible text on paradoxes and infin...
2023-Jan-09 • 157 minutes
41 - Richard Kimberly Heck: Philosophy of Sex, Pornography, and Gender
Richard Kimberly Heck has been a professor of philosophy at Brown University since 2005, at which time they left their post at Harvard, where they had taught for over a decade. On the way to receiving their PhD in philosophy and linguistics at MIT, they studied at Duke and Oxford. While Professor Heck’s primary research focus has been logic and Frege, over the past few years they have shifted to the philosophy of sex and pornography. This is Robinson and Riki’s third conversation on the subjects. Their firs...
2023-Jan-05 • 81 minutes
40 - L.A. Paul: Cognitive Science, Metaphysics, & Transformative Experience
L.A. Paul is the Millstone Family Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Cognitive Science at Yale University. After doing her graduate work on causation and time at Princeton under the guidance of David Lewis, Laurie wrote her groundbreaking book Transformative Experience, and since then has been exploring the intersection of cognitive science and metaphysics (in addition to a myriad of other pursuits). Laurie and Robinson talk about how she went from her undergraduate studies in chemistry and biology to...
2023-Jan-02 • 142 minutes
39 - Peter Adamson: Islamic Philosophy, Mysticism, Dead Languages, & Eternity
Peter Adamson is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King's College London. He’s also the host of the podcast History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps and the author of the book series by the same name. Robinson and Peter talk about Islamic philosophy broadly conceived, as well as some of its great philosophers—Avicenna in particular—and its most fascinating debates.   | 00:00 Introduction | 04:4...
2022-Dec-26 • 176 minutes
38 - Graham Priest: The Metaphysics of Nothingness
Graham Priest is a Distinguished Professor in the philosophy department at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is one of the most influential living philosophers, and has done important work on a wide range of topics, ranging from the philosophy of mathematics (his doctorate is in mathematics from the London School of Economics) to logic and eastern philosophy. In this episode, Robinson and Graham discuss the metaphysics of nothingness and non-being, touching on—among other things—Zen Buddhism, Quine’s conception ...
2022-Dec-22 • 88 minutes
37 - Paul B Woodruff: Philosophy and War
Paul B Woodruff is a professor in the philosophy department at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the course of his extensive career he’s published numerous books, articles, and translations covering areas ranging from ancient philosophy and Greek tragedy to ethics and aesthetics. In the years between completing his undergraduate work in classics at Princeton and then getting his PhD in philosophy at the same university, he served in the Vietnam War, and it is largely this experience and the philosophi...
2022-Dec-19 • 130 minutes
36 - Justin Clarke-Doane: What is Mathematics?
Justin Clarke-Doane is a professor of philosophy at Columbia University, where he works on the philosophy of mathematics, physics, and metaethics. After a long-anticipated catch-up on recent ice cream-related activities, Justin and Robinson discuss the question: What is mathematics? | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | Twitter: @robinsonerhardt | Twitch (Robinson Eats): @robinsonerhardt | YouTube (Robinson Eats): youtube.com/@robinsoneats | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://po...
2022-Dec-15 • 71 minutes
35 - Barry Lam: Philosophical Zombies, Resurrecting Cannibals, & Dating Vampires
Barry Lam is the host of Hi-Phi Nation, which is a much better podcast than this one, and which is devoted to exploring pressing philosophical questions through narrative. He did his graduate work at Princeton, then taught at Vassar, and will soon be picking up a new professorial post at UC Riverside. In this episode Robinson and Barry discuss the philosophical problems posed by certain monsters that were the subject of a three-part series in Hi-Phi Nation (namely zombies, cannibals, and vampires), along wi...
2022-Dec-12 • 75 minutes
34 - C Thi Nguyen: Agency, Aesthetics, & The Philosophy of Games
C Thi Nguyen is a professor in the philosophy department at the University of Utah. Before that, he did his graduate work at UCLA, where he was also a food writer with the LA Times. Robinson and Thi talk about his book, Games: Agency as Art, along with why we call things porn, autonomy and aesthetic judgment, and the difficult epistemic situation of having to select which experts to rely on in fields where we can’t make our own informed decisions. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | T...
2022-Dec-08 • 81 minutes
33 - Quayshawn Spencer: The Biology of Race, Natural Kinds, & Craniometry
Quayshawn Spencer is the Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Before taking up his post in Philadelphia, he studied chemistry and philosophy at Cornell and then received his PhD in philosophy and a Masters in biology at Stanford. Quayshawn and Robinson discuss whether or not race in humans is a biological or social phenomenon, the extent and nature of Kant’s of racism, some of the difficulties of researching a sensitive topic in the public eye, an...
2022-Dec-05 • 65 minutes
32 - Ray Briggs: Transfeminism, Philosophy of Sex, & Queer Science Fiction
Ray Briggs is a professor in the philosophy department at Stanford University. They did their doctoral work at MIT, and have since been working primarily in decision theory, epistemology, and metaphysics. In the last few years Ray has been writing and thinking about sex, gender, and transfeminism, which is what they and Robinson discuss in this episode, along with queer science fiction and thought experiments galore. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | Twitch (Robinson Eats): @robinso...
2022-Nov-28 • 69 minutes
31 - Haim Gaifman: Richard’s Paradox, Infinity, & Set Theory
Haim Gaifman is a professor of philosophy at Columbia university in New York City. He is also a mathematician and probability theorist. In this episode (Haim’s fourth appearance), Robinson and Haim discuss the origins of set theory as the mathematical discipline developed to study the infinite, as well as its relation to Richard’s paradox. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | Twitch (Robinson Eats): @robinsonerhardt | YouTube (Robinson Eats): youtube.com/@robinsoneats | | --- | | Su...
2022-Nov-21 • 112 minutes
30 - David Albert: Foundations of Physics, Time’s Arrow, & Moral Expressivism
David Albert is the Frederick E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and one of the world’s most respected philosophers of physics. He is also the director of the Philosophical Foundations of Physics program at Columbia. David and Robinson talk about the relationship between ancient and contemporary physics, the continuum on which lie theoretical physics, the foundations of physics, the philosophy of physics, and metaphysics, scientific anti-realism, the direction of time, and how mora...
2022-Nov-14 • 63 minutes
29 - Christopher Bobonich: Etymology, Classics, & Ancient Ethics
Christopher Bobonich is the Clarence Irving Lewis Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. After studying government at Harvard, he went on to do his graduate work at Cambridge and Berkeley. He now works broadly across value theory in ancient philosophy, though he is currently writing about knowledge and action in Plato. Among other things, Chris and Robinson talk about ancient and modern languages, etymology, the relevance of ancient ethics to contemporary life, and how well ancient conceptions of m...
2022-Nov-07 • 68 minutes
28 - Nick C: Mystical Religious Experience & Moral Facts and Animal Suffering
Nick is a software engineer at a biotech company. He studied politics, philosophy, and economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He and Robinson talk about the events that led him to abandon his deeply-held religious beliefs after a lifetime of Christianity. They also talk about moral facts, whether there are any, and whether their absence should play a role in Robinson deciding to shift toward being a vegetarian. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | Twitch: @robinsonerhardt | YouTu...
2022-Oct-31 • 79 minutes
27 - Ronnie (Robinson's Dad): The Elgin Marbles
Ronnie is Robinson’s father. They talk about the Elgin Marbles and also a little bit about ice cream and donuts. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | Twitch: @robinsonerhardt | | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Oct-24 • 70 minutes
26 - Ezekiel Quittner-Strom: Perfect MCAT Scores & a Trader Joe’s Frozen Feast
Ezekiel Quittner-Strom is a physician doing his residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa. In this episode Robinson and Ezekiel eat a three-course feast of frozen food from Trader Joe’s and talk about it while they eat it, heated up and not frozen. Said talking concerned, in addition to said not-frozen frozen food, Ezekiel’s legendary perfect score on the MCAT and how he got it. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | Twitch: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this pod...
2022-Oct-17 • 71 minutes
25 - Ethan Hoppe: Medieval Music, Devil’s Interval, & Memorizing Game of Thrones
Ethan Hoppe is a violinist and technical sergeant in the United States Air Force. He studied violin at Northwestern and Yale before the pandemic changed the trajectory of his career. We talk about the history of classical music, the power of listening to the same in an ancient world, memorizing the Game of Thrones theme song for a White House performance, and how visualization can be used as a tool to combat stage fright. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | Twitch: @robinsonerhardt | ...
2022-Oct-13 • 95 minutes
24 - Caroline Hudson: Collagen Stimulation, Facial Plastic Surgery, Baked Goods
Caroline Hudson is a facial plastic surgeon completing her fellowship in Palo Alto, California. She and Robinson discuss why an ENT (ear, nose, and throat specialist) would become a plastic surgeon, the fine (or illusory?) distinction between “meh” and “tasty,” forehead lowering surgery, the nuances of rhinoplasty, and everything you might want to know about stimulating collagen to improve the quality of your skin. They also talk about baked goods and eat them while they talk about them. | Instagram: @robin...
2022-Oct-10 • 110 minutes
23 - David Albert & Justin Clarke-Doane: Absolute Space & Physicalism vs. Ethics
David Albert and Justin Clarke-Doane are both professors of philosophy at Columbia University. While David is one of the world’s most respected philosophers of physics, Justin has staked his own claim as the authority on the intersection between mathematics and ethics. Though this episode was unfortunately plagued by some audio problems, it proved an exciting glimpse into a debate between two leading thinkers. Before a heated discussion concerning the nature of moral facts in a physical world, David, Justin...
2022-Oct-06 • 70 minutes
22 - Graham Winn-Lee: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasies, Zombies, & Dragons
Graham Winn-Lee is Robinson’s best friend. Though that is how he likes to introduce himself, Graham is also an artist, graphic designer, and crocheting enthusiast with a lifelong passion for competitive dog grooming. This episode is exclusively about Robinson and Graham's respective post-apocalyptic fantasies and related feelings about zombies, dragons, and other pertinent creatures. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | Twitch: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: http...
2022-Oct-03 • 86 minutes
21 - Haim Gaifman: What is Philosophy? What is Mathematics?
Haim Gaifman is a philosopher and mathematician. He teaches at Columbia University in New York City. In this episode Haim answers two questions of Robinson’s: What is philosophy? What is mathematics? | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt   | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt  | Twitch: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Sep-29 • 96 minutes
20 - Philip Guison: Ice Cream Novelties
Philip studied neuroscience at the University of Michigan and is one of Robinson’s oldest friends. In this episode, Robinson forced Philip to eat ice cream novelties with him and talk about those novelties while eating them.   | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt   | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt   | Twitch: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Sep-26 • 76 minutes
19 - Nick Huggett: Paradoxes of Motion, Quantum Gravity, & String Theory
Nick Huggett is a philosopher of physics and science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before that, he studied physics and philosophy at Oxford and received his PhD at Rutgers. Despite not having taken a physics class since the eighth grade, this podcast marks the beginning of Robinson’s ambition to learn a bit more about the philosophy of physics. Nick and Robinson talk about Zeno of Elea’s paradoxes of motion and composition, as well as how they might be related to quantum gravity and string theor...
2022-Sep-22 • 83 minutes
18 - Demitrios Haldes: Ice Cream
Contrary to popular belief, Demitrios Haldes (@infinitemonkeybusiness) is neither the last scion of Herakles nor the superintendent of a crayon factory, but a comic illustrator and writer. He and Robinson eat ice cream and talk about it while they eat it. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | Twitch: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Sep-19 • 110 minutes
17 - Richard Kimberly Heck: Monstrous Female Sexuality, Porn Villains, Anal Sex, & the Ethics of Fantasies
Richard Kimberly Heck has been a professor of philosophy at Brown University since 2005, at which time they left their post at Harvard, where they had taught for over a decade. On the way to receiving their PhD in philosophy and linguistics at MIT, they studied at Duke and Oxford. While Professor Heck’s primary research focus has been logic and Frege, over the past few years they have shifted to the philosophy of sex and pornography. This is Robinson and Riki’s second conversation about pornography. The fir...
2022-Sep-15 • 71 minutes
16 - Ezekiel Quittner-Strom: Instant Noodles & Internal Medicine
Ezekiel Quittner-Strom is a physician doing his residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa. In this episode Robinson and Ezekiel eat instant noodles and talk about them while they eat them. Said talking concerned, in addition to said noodles, ramen, instant versus restaurant ramen, and Robinson’s failure to follow directions, as well as significantly less important things like internal medicine and the healthcare industry. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | TikTok: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | |...
2022-Sep-12 • 72 minutes
15 - Caroline Hudson: Snack Cakes, Facelifts, Botox, & Wrinkle Prevention
Caroline Hudson is a facial plastic surgeon completing her fellowship in Palo Alto, California. She and Robinson discuss *almost* all things facial, ranging from wrinkles and filler to sewing teeny tiny nerves back together. They get into the distinction between ease and simplicity in gauging surgeries, the future of facelifts, daily skincare routines, and, in a surprising twist, Caroline convinces Robinson to give Botox a try. They also talk about snack cakes (think Twinkies or Ding-Dongs) and eat them whi...
2022-Sep-08 • 75 minutes
14 - Michael Harris: Number Theory, Creativity in Mathematics, & Beauty
Michael Harris is a mathematician at Columbia University, where he primarily works on number theory. He did his undergraduate studies at Princeton and received his PhD from Harvard. Professor Harris and I discuss the tragic figure of Alexander Grothendieck, the allure of number theory, mathematics as an intrinsically human endeavor, creativity in mathematics, and the relationship between mathematicians and computers, including whether the former will ever replace the latter.   | Instagram: @robinsonerh...
2022-Sep-05 • 74 minutes
13 - Ethan Hoppe: Violin, Classical Music, & Stage Fright
Ethan Hoppe is a violinist and technical sergeant in the United States Air Force. He studied violin at Northwestern and Yale before the pandemic changed the trajectory of his career. Robinson and Ethan talk about the life of a military violinist and then delve into more conceptual matters, such as how a musician’s focuses change as they mature, viewing classical pieces as poems, training for blind auditions, and dealing with stage fright.   | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podc...
2022-Sep-01 • 72 minutes
12 - Philip Guison: Chicago Bakeries & Baked Goods
Philip studied neuroscience at the University of Michigan and is one of Robinson’s oldest friends. One time in high school he gave a presentation for French class in which he sat there without speaking for ten minutes while everyone stared in awe, and for that he is a hero. As part of Philip’s sacrifice for this episode, he and Robinson traveled throughout Chicago in search of tasty baked goods, which they subsequently ate and talked about while eating.  | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Sup...
2022-Aug-29 • 68 minutes
11 - Haim Gaifman: Alice in Wonderland & Paradoxes
Haim Gaifman is a philosopher and mathematician. He teaches at Columbia University in New York City. Haim and Robinson talk about Alice in Wonderland, Bertrand Russell, and paradoxes. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Aug-25 • 76 minutes
10 - Demitrios Haldes: Cookies
Contrary to popular belief, Demitrios Haldes (@infinitemonkeybusiness) is neither a male supermodel nor a basketball player in the Moldovian professional circuit, but a comic illustrator and writer. He and Robinson eat cookies and talk about them while they eat them. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Aug-22 • 83 minutes
9 - Patrick Davis: Steroids, PEDs, & Bodybuilding
Patrick Davis (@theillestpd) is a stupidly yoked unit of a bodybuilder training and coaching out of Austin, Texas. Among other things, he and Robinson talk about Patrick’s journey from military school to bodybuilding, his experience with performance-enhancing drugs, and how to best make use of partial reps. | Note One: This episode contains an extensive discussion of performance-enhancing drugs, some of which are illegal. This cannot be construed as an endorsement of PEDs. Any decision regarding the use of ...
2022-Aug-18 • 65 minutes
8 - Ezekiel Quittner-Strom: Sushi
Ezekiel Quittner-Strom is a physician doing his residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa. He and Robinson talk about sushi and almost nothing else. | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Aug-15 • 125 minutes
7 - Justin Clarke-Doane: Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaethics, & Ice Cream
Justin Clarke-Doane is a professor of philosophy at Columbia University, where he works on the philosophy of mathematics, physics, and metaethics. He and Robinson discuss ice cream and Justin’s fantastic hair, along with less important topics, like philosophy and mathematics.  Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Aug-11 • 67 minutes
6 - Uncle Perry: Ice Cream
Uncle Perry is Robinson’s uncle. They eat ice cream and talk about it while they eat it. | | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Aug-08 • 82 minutes
5 - Richard Kimberly Heck: Philosophy of Pornography, Aesthetics, & Feminism
Richard Kimberly Heck has been a professor of philosophy at Brown University since 2005, at which time they left their post at Harvard, where they had taught for over a decade. On the way to receiving their PhD in philosophy and linguistics at MIT, they studied at Duke and Oxford. While Professor Heck’s primary research focus has been logic and Frege, over the past few years they have shifted to the philosophy of sex and pornography. Among other topics, Robinson and Riki discuss this transition, along with ...
2022-Aug-04 • 80 minutes
4 - Abigail Biddle: Bodybuilding, Boulder Shoulders, & Air Fryer Hacks
Abigail Biddle is a bodybuilder and law student at Duke University. She and Robinson talk about the trials and tribulations of dieting, weightlifting qua treatment modality for sexual assault survivors, how Abigail got boulder shoulders, the dangers of eating Taco Bell before a cross-country flight, and air fryer hacks. | | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Aug-01 • 70 minutes
3 - Ronnie (Robinson's Dad): Collecting & Ketchup
Ronnie is Robinson’s father. They talk about ketchup and how collecting creates order in a chaotic life. | | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Jul-30 • 65 minutes
2 - Ethan Hoppe: Air Force Boot Camp & the Violin
Ethan Hoppe is a violinist and technical sergeant in the United States Air Force. He studied violin at Northwestern and Yale before the pandemic changed the trajectory of his career. Robinson and Ethan talk about the surprising experience that was air force boot camp, and how different it was from the hardcore fitness retreat they had both naively expected it to be. | | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/support...
2022-Jul-26 • 85 minutes
1 - Haim Gaifman: Vagueness & the Sorites Paradox
Haim Gaifman is a philosopher and mathematician. He teaches at Columbia University in New York City. Robinson and Haim talk about vagueness, a branch of philosophy that deals with borderline phenomena like heaps and baldness. (Note that this interview was conducted in May of 2022, before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which is used as an example in the discussion.) | | Instagram: @robinsonerhardt | | --- | | Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/robinson-erhardt/suppor...