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"Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" may not look like grist for the philosopher's mill, but philosopher Bill Irwin says they have a few things to teach us. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, philosophy from Socrates to Wittgenstein, with a short detour through pop culture. Also, philosophy's next great frontier: the brain.
William Irwin tells Steve Paulson how philosophical questions echo throughout popular culture with several examples from Seinfeld and The Simpsons. Irwin edited "Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing," and (with Mark T. Conard and Aeon J. Skoble,) "The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'Oh! Of Homer." Also Dave Edmonds talks with Steve Paulson about an incident in the life of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and explains why Wittgenstein's views have been supplanted. Edmonds and John Eidinow wrote "Wittgenstein's Poker: The Story of a Ten Minute Argument between Two Great Philosophers."SEGMENT 2:
Christopher Phillips is the author of "Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy." He tells Jim Fleming what happens at Socrates Café, and explains how he reveals the deep philosophical implications of everyday events. He remembers one session at a nursing home where the residents discussed the meaning of "home."SEGMENT 3:
Philosopher Susan Brison faced a personal and professional crisis after she was attacked and raped in France. She tells Anne Strainchamps how traditional philosophy failed to comfort her and how hard it was to have her experience as a woman taken seriously in her field. Brison's book is "Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of A Self." Also, philosopher John Searle talks with Steve Paulson about the most exciting problem in modern philosophy: explaining human consciousness. Searle says the barrier between philosophers and neuro-biologists disappears at the most advanced level of research.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 02-03-17-A.
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