July 14, 2015 Whether or not they involve genuine abstraction, words offer a way to reason and communicate — a respite from the tyranny of the specific, says commentator Tania Lombrozo.
June 22, 2015 Recent encounters we've had with issues of race, identity and moral responsibility are precisely the kind that benefit from the careful analysis of contemporary philosophers, says Tania Lombrozo.
February 16, 2015 Beyond the roses, hearts and generic declarations of devotion, do you know what love is? Commentator Tania Lombrozo turns to an expert on the metaphysics of love.
Eric Kaplan has written for various shows, including The Big Bang Theory, Futurama and Flight of the Concords.
October 18, 2014 Eric Kaplan's son had a zoo trip canceled because one mom worried about reindeer-induced questions. So Kaplan, a comedy writer and philosophy grad student, started pondering the puzzle of St. Nick.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/356425162/357233556" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
July 28, 2014 Do you feel like you wander aimlessly through life, or is there a reason you're here? Psychologists say people with a sense of purpose may stress out less. Or they may lead healthier lives.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/334447274/335986201" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Buddhist monks release a lantern into the air at Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. Where does their tradition fit into the science vs. religion debate?
Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images
July 13, 2014 The endless debate over the relationship between science and religion in the United States ignores the thinking of much of the rest of the world, says commentator Adam Frank.
Detached admiration for sporting achievement? Not on your life. It's all about allegiance and, even, love.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
January 31, 2014 Can you choose to be a fan? Not really. Not if you're honest with yourself. As the philosopher David Papineau notes, choosing a team isn't like choosing a washing machine. With the Super Bowl looming, and his family taking sides, commentator Alva Noë tries to define what it means to be support a team.
September 6, 2013 If we had enough time, enough brain power, the right computers, the occasional genius, is there any limit to what we can know about the universe? Or is nature designed to keep its own secrets, no matter how hard we try to crack the code? What can we never know?
June 18, 2013 Is it really possible that the civilizations that grew up in the "other" hemisphere have nothing useful to say about value, the categories of experience or the nature of mind? No. Luckily, we may be on the cusp of a new global era for philosophy.
A rare moment of gender parity in philosophy: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre at a Paris cafe in May 1970.
June 17, 2013 Academic philosophy is an outlier within the humanities, with fewer than 20 percent of full-time faculty positions occupied by women. Commentator Tania Lombrozo discusses some recent findings that might help us understand why.
March 11, 2013 Commentator Tania Lombrozo considers a controversial new paper which argues that decisions about whether to have a child of your own are rarely rational.
Do we really understand what's happening here?
Ian Waldie/Getty Images
October 12, 2012 Can natural science find a place for us in its vision of the cosmos? Thomas Nagel, in a new book, demands we take this question seriously. He is right to do so.
May 1, 2012 There are those in the physics community who have no room for philosophy. At stake in their stance is a critical question living deep in the foundations of modern physics: What are the limits of science?
March 2, 2012 Is the scientific world view in conflict with science itself, as philosopher Alvin Plantinga argues in a recent book? No, says Alva Noë.
January 30, 2012 The empiricist tradition of philosophy needs a rethink, according to commentator Stuart Kauffman.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor