In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Walter Veit about the science and philosophy of consciousness. Walter is an interdisciplinary scientist and philosopher who is currently completing his PhD dissertation at the University of Sydney, Australia. He has published on a wide range of topics, including the topic of animal consciousness and animal welfare, cognitive and genetic enhancement, nihilism, model pluralism, and other issues in evolutionary biology, the philosophy of science, and applied ethics. Here I speak with Walter about his PhD thesis which explores the evolutionary origins of consciousness and how different dimensions of consciousness are distributed throughout the animal kingdom. Some things that come up in the conversation include the hard problem of consciousness, different metaphysical approaches to consciousness, the question of whether consciousness has an adaptive function or is just an evolutionary byproduct, the integrated information theory of consciousness, and different dimensions of consciousness like self-awareness, sensory experience, evaluative experience, and the unity and temporality of experience. To learn more about Walter’s work, visit his website at the following link: https://walterveit.com
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. Heather Browning about animal ethics. Dr. Browning received her PhD from the Australian National University in 2020 and is currently a postdoctoral research officer at the London School of Economics working as a part of the Foundations of animal Sentience Project. Dr. Browning and I discuss a variety of general topics in animal ethics as well as some specific papers that she has published on the subject. Some topics that we discuss include the distinction between the rights view and the utilitarian welfare view of animal ethics, vegetarianism and the horrors of factory farming, the question of where to draw the line on animal consciousness, the natural behavior criteria for animal welfare and why it is flawed, the question of whether management euthanasia promotes animal welfare within the context of zoos, and the question of whether de-extinction projects promote animal welfare. To learn more about Dr. Browning’s work, visit her website at the following link: https://www.heatherbrowning.net
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with the philosopher Quassim Cassam on the topic of extremism. Dr. Cassam is a professor of philosophy at the University of Warwick and has made contributions to many different areas of the field. A lot of his earlier work focuses more on traditional topics in epistemology, like the concept of knowledge, self-knowledge, and transcendental epistemology. Recently, however, Professor Cassam has been doing work in what has been called vice epistemology and has been applying this work to real world issues. He’s written on the topic of terrorism and radicalization, conspiracy thinking, medicine, and most recently, extremism. To learn more about Professor Cassam’s work, visit his website at the following link: https://www.quassimcassam.com/
You can pre-order Professor Cassam’s forthcoming book on extremism at the following link: https://www.routledge.com/Extremism-A-Philosophical-Analysis/Cassam/p/book/9780367343873
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my brother Brad Turner about Buddhism, the purpose of life, the possibility of the afterlife, the existence (or nonexistence) of God, the concept of rebirth and nirvana, and the nature of consciousness and the self.
In this episode I discuss the idea that we are currently living in an age of heightened existential risk. Here are links to articles/books that I reference in the episode:
The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity (Toby Ord 2020): https://www.amazon.com/Precipice-Existential-Risk-Future-Humanity/dp/0316484911
In this episode I discuss the topic of artificial intelligence and automation. Here are links to articles that I reference in the episode:
GPT–3 Guardian Article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/08/robot-wrote-this-article-gpt-3
MIT Task Force Article: https://news.mit.edu/2019/work-future-report-technology-jobs-society-0904
In this episode I discuss how social media is deranging society and democracy by turning all of human communication into a public performance.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Professor Susanna Siegel. Dr. Siegel is the Edgar Pierce Professor of philosophy at Harvard University. She has made significant contributions in many different fields of philosophy, and is especially well known for the work that she’s done in the philosophy of perception. In this episode I speak with Professor Siegel about work that she’s currently doing in political philosophy. Specifically, I ask her questions about her analysis of the emotion known as ‘schadenfreude’ and its relation to political polarization, and her analysis of the relationship between authoritarianism and science. Two op-eds that she has written on these topics, as well as another article referenced in the conversation, can be found here: https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/2020/07/31/why-we-revel-in-opponents-adversity-column/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_content=OpinionFeedOpinionTwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
In this episode of Tent Talks, I have a wide ranging conversation with my friend Darian Spearman about many different topics, including healthcare, 2020 politics and culture, capitalism, social media, and the state of contemporary journalism.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with professor Michael Morrell about the nature of democracy. Dr. Morrell is currently a political science professor at the University of Connecticut. He received his PhD in political science from Arizona State University in 1998. Here I speak with Dr. Morrell about a range a different topics related to democracy, including the question of whether democracy has epistemic value, the distinction between deliberative democracy and agonistic democracy, the effect that social media is having on democratic discourse, the connection between empathy and democracy, the recent rise of populist politics in the United States, and the nature of contemporary political polarization in America. Find Professor Morrell’s book (entitled Empathy and Democracy: Feeling, Thinking, and Deliberation) at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Empathy-Democracy-Feeling-Thinking-Deliberation/dp/0271036605
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Hunter Gentry about the so-called extended mind thesis in philosophy. Hunter received his master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Houston, and is currently a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work primarily focuses on perception, memory, and control. Our discussion here focuses on a forthcoming paper of Hunter’s entitled ‘Extended Control Systems: A Theory and Its Implications’, which can be found at the following link: https://philpapers.org/rec/GENECS?fbclid=IwAR0EhHHcarDzLCqc0-cUQ3NFimsiS3eACU-qnqXxod5Zie_pjZ0QgpxZ5FQ
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my brother Brad (aka B-rad 3) about Buddhism, the idea of karma, and the metaphysics of consciousness.
In this episode of Tent Talks I speak with my former student Andrew Burns about a popular app that he created. Andrew is a rising senior at the University of Connecticut, and a computer science major. This past spring Andrew and a few of his friends created an app called VSBRO that went viral. The app made it to the top 25 of Apple’s download charts and ranked as high as the third most-popular social media app behind only Facebook and Facebook’s Messenger app. In this episode Andrew tells me about the process behind creating the app, what it was like to go viral, and why he recently decided to shut the app down. To learn more, check out the following piece Forbes.com wrote about VSBRO: https://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2020/05/28/the-internets-frat-house-meet-vsbro-an-app-for-bros-thats-gone-viral/#7c71a0964b33
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my colleague Eric Berg about anarchism. Eric is a self-described anarchist and is currently a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Connecticut. Here we talk about many different things related to anarchism, such as the distinction between anarchism and chaos, the distinction between anarcho-communism, anarcho-capitalism, and anarcho-primitivism, what voting and public safety look like in an anarchist society, the defund the police movement, and the capitol hill autonomous zone in Seattle.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend Benji Buchanan. Benji is an entrepreneur and currently a computer science student at the University of Connecticut. We talk about a range topics, including Benji’s experience in the military and what it was like for him to undergo buds navy seal training, mindfulness, the educational app that Benji recently developed, the ethics of augmented reality systems, the question as to whether internet access is a human right, the question as to whether there is a right to be forgotten online, and the problem of algorithmic filtering.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend Gundy about contemporary US politics and the 2020 election. Gundy has worked as a campaign staffer for the Pete Buttigieg campaign the past 8 months or so. He explains to me what his experience as a staffer was like and why he is a democratic centrist.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. Philip Goff, who is a professor of philosophy at Durham University. Professor Goff’s research focuses on the philosophy of consciousness and the question of how to integrate consciousness into our scientific worldview. In recent years, Professor Goff has become one of the leading proponents of a position called panpsychism, which holds that consciousness is fundamental and a ubiquitous feature of the physical world. Here, I speak with Professor Goff about panpsychism and his preferred version of the view, which holds that the universe itself is conscious. Check out Professor Goff’s website here: https://www.philipgoffphilosophy.com. Buy his most recent book here: https://www.amazon.com/Galileos-Error-Foundations-Science-Consciousness-ebook/dp/B07KNVQ6H5/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3MUTKEVE6FAS8&keywords=galileo%27s+error&qid=1582922559&sprefix=galileo%2Caps%2C148&sr=8-1
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Zori Lane and Gino De Angelis, who are the leaders of the University of Connecticut chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America. We discuss many topics, including socialism versus capitalism, the concept of ‘fully automated luxury communism’, healthcare, the 2020 presidential election, and cancel culture.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Professor Evan Perkoski. Dr. Perkoski is a professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut whose research focuses on terrorism and insurgency. Topics discussed include: terrorist technological innovations (e.g. suicide bombings, sarin gas attacks, aerial hijackings, cyberattacks), domestic terrorism, the logic of strategic nonviolence, the fragmentation of armed groups, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, and US foreign policy in the Middle East. Check out more of Professor Perkoski’s work at the following link: https://www.evanperkoski.com/.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Professor Charles Lansing about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Dr. Lansing is an associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on Germany in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially the Third Reich and the postwar German states, the Holocaust, European intellectual and social history, European imperialism and colonialism, and education in modern Europe. Check out Professor Lansing’s website here: https://history.uconn.edu/faculty-by-name/charles-b-lansing/. Buy his last book here (entitled From Nazism to Communism: German Schoolteachers under Two Dictatorships): https://www.amazon.com/Nazism-Communism-Schoolteachers-Dictatorships-Historical/dp/0674050533/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=charles+lansing&qid=1581460452&s=books&sr=1-1
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. C Thi Nguyen, who is an associate Professor of Philosophy at Utah Valley University. Dr. Nguyen and I discuss work that he has conducted in social epistemology. Topics covered include the hyper specialization problem, the concept of a cognitive island, the distinction between filter bubbles and echo chambers, the nature of trust, and moral outrage porn. Read Professor Nguyen’s work at the following link: https://objectionable.net/philosophy/
Follow him on twitter here: https://twitter.com/add_hawk?lang=en
This is a solo episode in which I talk about internet meme culture. In the episode, I discuss the origin of the ‘meme’ concept, the increasing role that memes are playing in political discourse, and the absurdist nature of contemporary memes.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. Michael Patrick Lynch, who is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut. Among other things, Professor Lynch is the author and editor of ten books and director of the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut. His research concerns truth, democracy, public discourse and the ethics of technology. His work has either appeared in or been profiled in magazines such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Wired. In this episode, I speak to Professor Lynch about his most recent book entitled Know-It-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture. Buy the book here:
Check out Professor Lynch’s TED talk and a New York Times article of his at the following links:
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. David Pizarro, who is a professor of psychology at Cornell University, and cohost of the popular podcast, Very Bad Wizards. In this episode, Professor Pizarro and I talk about his podcast, his work on moral judgment, disgust sensitivity and trustworthiness, and the art of rap and beat making.
Check out Professor Pizarro’s work at the following link: http://www.peezer.net/
Listen to the Very Bad Wizards podcast here: https://verybadwizards.fireside.fm/
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. Rowan Lockwood. Dr. Lockwood is currently Professor and Chair of the Geology Department at the College of William & Mary, having received her BA from Yale University and PhD from the University of Chicago. Professor Lockwood is a Paleontologist whose research seeks to understand how extinction and environmental change influence the evolution and ecology of fossil marine invertebrates. Here, Dr. Lockwood and I have a wide ranging discussion about dinosaurs, before talking about some of the research she has conducted on extinction events. Check out some of Professor Lockwood’s research at the following link: https://www.wm.edu/as/geology/people/faculty/lockwood_r.php
In this episode, I speak with my friend Caleb Wurster about his religious faith. Caleb is currently a pitcher for the University of Connecticut baseball team and a practicing Christian. We spend a lot of time in this episode talking about the pastor that brought Caleb back to Christ: Erwin Mcmanus. Check out one of Erwin’s videos at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvIVOI-kPjs
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. Kate Harrigan. Dr. Harrigan is currently Lecturer of Psychology and Linguistics at the College of William & Mary, having received her PhD in linguistics from the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on language acquisition, social cognition, and how the two interact. In this episode, Professor Harrigan and I discuss several important concepts and distinctions in linguistics, before honing in on her work on children’s acquisition of attitude verbs.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my brother Brad Turner about various mental principles to live by. We cover a range of different topics, including authenticity, mindfulness, Buddhism, Existentialism, Social Media outrage culture, and psychological paradoxes.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend Dan Sequeira about a range of issues, including Marxism versus Capitalism, Structuralism, Critical Theory, Existentialism, Healthcare Policy, and the 2020 Presidential Election. Dan is currently a law student at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is particularly interested in studying Legal Theory from a Critical Theorist/Structuralist perspective.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. Angela Mendelovici. Dr. Mendelovici is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario, having received her PhD in philosophy from Princeton University. Her research is in the philosophy of mind, specifically on intentionality, consciousness, and the relationship between the two. Her most recent book, The Phenomenal Basis of Intentionality, is making waves in the philosophical community. In this episode, Professor Mendelovici and I discuss the contents of her new book, as well as her views on other topics in the philosophy of mind, such as panpsychism (the view that consciousness is fundamental and exists everywhere) and moods and emotions. To learn more about Professor Mendelovici’s work, and to buy her book, visit her personal website at the following link: publish.uwo.ca/~amendel5/
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Cormac Duffy and Preston Lennon about issues in the philosophy of mind, including introspection, the hard problem of consciousness, AI consciousness, and experiential thinking. Cormac is currently a masters student in philosophy at the University College Dublin, whereas Preston is a PhD student in philosophy at Ohio State University.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Takuya Niikawa, who is a postdoctoral researcher in philosophy at the Institut Jean Nicod in Paris. Takuya received his PhD in philosophy from Hokaiido University in 2015, defending the position of naive realism in the philosophy of perception. In this episode, Takuya and I discuss his views on perception, before having a more extensive conversation about issues in the philosophy of consciousness. Learn more about Takuya’s work at the following links: https://researchmap.jp/niitaku11/?lang=english&fbclid=IwAR0R8VRLMkLbpataAC2PSqMo3FPSOpPWCuo_sYCaayuoi87QRGpO2aISkN0; http://www.institutnicod.org/membres/post-doctorants-35/niikawa-takuya/?lang=fr&fbclid=IwAR3a8YnRAiPtwX9PtLAkOKVyKDJeooa9zUyOBmGdK0MvUbdHvOok0VbJJBA
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. James Kaufman, who is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Kaufman is one of the world’s leading experts on the study of creativity. He is the author/editor of more than 35 books, including Creativity 101 (2nd Edition, 2016) and the Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (with Robert Sternberg; 2010). He has also published 250 papers, including the study that spawned the “Sylvia Plath Effect” and three well-known theories of creativity, including (with Ron Beghetto) the Four-C Model of Creativity. In this episode, Dr. Kaufman and I have a wide ranging conversation about the nature of creativity. His wikipedia page and official profile on the Uconn website can be found at the following two links:
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. Heather Battaly, who is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Battaly specializes in epistemology, ethics, and virtue theory, is one of the leading researchers in the world on the concept of intellectual humility, and is a pioneer on the topic of epistemic vice. She is editor in chief of the Journal of Philosophical Research as well as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Philosophical Association. In this episode, Dr. Battaly and I discuss different theories of intellectual virtue and vice, focusing on what effects social media and the information economy are having on intellectual virtues and vices. To learn more about Professor Battaly’s work, visit her website at the following link:
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend and colleague Darian Spearman about many different topics, including contemporary politics, capitalism, socialism, the phenomenon of fake news, artificial intelligence and automation, universal basic income, race relations in America, the nature of science, the replication crisis, mythology, and psychedelic drugs.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my colleague Steve Nunez. Steve spent five years in the U.S. army as a Green Beret before moving into academia. He holds a BA in the philosophy of religion and anthropology from UNC W and an MA in theological studies from Harvard. Currently, Steve is a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Connecticut. In this episode, Steve and I talk about the history and philosophy of hip hop and trap music. In particular, we discuss a paper Steve is working on in which he applies the Ancient Greek Aristotelian concept of catharsis to hip hop and trap.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. William Lycan. Dr. Lycan is William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of North Carolina, and currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut. Professor Lycan has made groundbreaking contributions in many areas of philosophy, including philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of linguistics, and metaphysics. He is the author of eight books and over 170 articles. In this episode, Professor Lycan and I discuss the philosophy of consciousness. To learn more about Professor Lycan’s work, visit his wikipedia page and his personal website at the following links:
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Drew Johnson, who is a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Connecticut. Drew works primarily in the domain of meta-ethics, epistemology, and truth. For his dissertation, he is developing a neo-expressivist account of morality that aims to explain the possibility of moral knowledge while also recognizing the connection between moral judgment and non-cognitive motivational states. In this episode, Drew and I have a conversation about a paper of his in which he provides a solution to the problem of moral skepticism.
To learn more about Drew’s work, visit his website at the following link:
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Dr. Harry van der Hulst. Dr. van der Hulst is full professor of Linguistics and director of undergraduate studies in Linguistics at the University of Connecticut. He is also, among other things, editor in chief of the peer-reviewed linguistics journal ‘The Linguistic Review’, a lifetime fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, and a board member of the European linguistic organization GLOW. Professor van der Hulst’s research focuses on phonology, which is a subfield of linguistics that deals with the organization of sounds in languages.
This episode essentially serves as an introduction to linguistics, and in particular, phonology. I begin by asking Professor van Der hurst some general questions about the nature of language, and then proceed to ask him some more specific questions about phonology. To learn more about Professor van der Hulst’s work, visit his Wikipedia page or his website at the following links:
In this episode, I speak with my childhood friend Madame Z about what it was like to grow up together in Connecticut. The episode is an emotional rollercoaster: we go from being serious, to silly, to actually shedding some tears on air!
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my colleague Eno Agolli. Eno is a first year PhD student in philosophy at the University of Connecticut, specializing in logic and the philosophy of language. We discuss a view called ‘logical nihilism’, before talking about a paper of Eno’s on the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, in which Eno develops a theory about the nature of linguistic nonsense.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Kristin Culbertson, who is a fourth year PhD student in philosophy at the University of Connecticut. Kristin works primarily on Buddhist philosophy, Feminist philosophy, Ethics, and the intersection between the three. For her dissertation, she is approaching issues of oppression in feminist philosophy from a Buddhist perspective. In this episode, we briefly discuss Kristin’s dissertation, before having a wide-ranging conversation about a paper of hers on different buddhist views of personal identity.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend Nate Johnson, who is a member of the United States Coast Guard. Nate is currently getting his master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Connecticut in preparation for teaching ethics at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. We discuss Nate’s life in the Coast Guard, the moral complexities of search and rescue missions, the very concept of morality in the context of war, and the ethics of autonomous weapons systems.
In this episode, I speak with my good friend Jake Sutterlin (aka J-town aka The Big Man) about his life.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend and fellow grad student Rashed Ahmad. Rashed is a third year PhD student in philosophy at the University of Connecticut specializing in logic. We discuss Rashed’s views on the philosophy of humor, the nature of truth, logical paradoxes, and Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my good high school friends Jaeseung Lee and Sasha Podolsky. We discuss our friendship, the nature of small talk and gossiping, and our crazy night in NYC. There is also a freestyle singing segment (27:50-36:10) in which I freestyle sing while Jae plays guitar in the background.
This is a solo episode in which I discuss the philosophy of consciousness. In the episode, I define consciousness and then talk about the primacy of consciousness and what is known in philosophy as the hard problem of consciousness.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend Nik Kennelly, who is a philosophy major and rising senior at Whitman College. Nik and I have a wide-ranging conversation about a variety of topics, including but not limited to Kantian Ethics, Utilitarianism, Hume’s Is/Ought Distinction, the philosophy of Christine Korsgaard, Existentialism, the Self, the Metaphysics of Modality, Modal Realism, the concept of Fictional Truth, and the Experience Machine thought experiment.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my teaching assistant Lesly Walker. We discuss the ethics of lying, the paradox of tragedy, and the relationship between narration and the existence of the self.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend Benjamin Bowery, who is currently a senior at the College of William & Mary. Benjamin and I discuss our mutual interest in drag culture. In particular, we talk about what a drag queen is, the history and future of drag as an art form, Rupaul (a prominent figure within drag culture) and the recent controversy surrounding Ru, and some of our favorite all time queens.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend and boxing instructor Kareem Blue. Kareem is a professional standup comedian, and the owner and founder of the Blue Boy boxing gym in Thomaston, Connecticut, where he is the lead trainer and coach. Kareem is also the founder of the Blue Boy Entertainment company, which he uses to host standup comedy shows all around Connecticut and beyond. In this episode, Kareem and I discuss his life, his approach to boxing, business, and marketing, and his career as a professional standup comedian. Download Kareem’s Blue Boy Boxing app at the following link:
To learn more about Kareem’s projects, visit his Facebook pages at the following links:
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend and fellow grad student Chris Manoharan. Chris is a third year PhD student in Anthropology at the University of Connecticut. He specializes in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Cognitive Science. We touch a lot of topics in this conversation, including Buddhism’s claim that the self is an illusion, the distinction between Buddhism and Hinduism, the burgeoning research program of Neurophenomenology, different kinds of meditation, the distinction between classical Cognitive Science and embodied Cognitive Science, Reincarnation, Transhumanism, Conscious thought, philosophical thought experiments about personal identity, and the possibility that we are all living in the matrix.
In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with my friend and fellow grad student Darian Spearman. Darian is a third year PhD student in philosophy at the University of Connecticut. We discuss psychedelics, spirituality and religion, the nature of science, the so-called regressive left and the notion of safe spaces, and the issue of free speech.