‘Philosophy Talk’ radio show to record two live episodes at Stanford Friday

Stanford philosophy Professors Ken Taylor and John Perry chatting in chairs with a little table with a bottle of water b

Each week on the radio show Philosophy Talk, co-hosts KEN TAYLOR and JOHN PERRY, both philosophy professors at Stanford, invite listeners to join them as they talk with guest experts about a wide range of issues.

Taylor and Perry have co-hosted the show since 2004, and their lively discussions explore topics from popular culture to deep-seated beliefs about science, ethics and the human condition.

Dubbed “the program that questions everything except your intelligence,” Philosophy Talk challenges listeners to identify and question their own assumptions and to think about things in new ways.

Although the program has aired regularly on San Francisco-based public radio station KALW 91.7 FM for the past 11 years, the show has been brought to campus only a handful of times.

On Friday, Feb. 6, Taylor and Perry will record two new episodes live in Annenberg Auditorium.

The first recording will feature renowned political scientist FRANCIS FUKUYAMA, a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. The title of that discussion, which begins at 4:30 p.m., is “Democracy in Crisis.”

Fukuyama, author of Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy (2014), will discuss how democracy is experiencing a “crisis of representation” in the United States, where millions are convinced that politicians don’t speak for them.

At 7:30 p.m., Taylor and Perry will engage in a conversation titled “Morality in a Godless World” with JOHN FIGDOR, Stanford’s Humanist chaplain.

Figdor, who is the professional adviser to Atheists, Humanists & Agnostics (AHA!), a Stanford Associated Religions student group, is co-author of Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-First Century (2014)with technology entrepreneur and Stanford graduate LEX BAYER. The book offers a set of guiding principles for living a moral and ethical life without God.

Both shows are free and open to the public, though seating may be limited, so it is recommended that guests arrive early.

“We’ve designed these shows as multimedia happenings that have many more visual elements, sound elements, performance elements than what you will hear on the radio,” Taylor says. “However, despite all the bells and whistles, the focus is still on intense, engaging and accessible philosophical conversation.” Audience members will have the opportunity to be part of the show, asking questions of the co-hosts and guests.