Stanford radio show ‘Philosophy Talk’ recognized as 2021 New York Festivals Radio Awards finalist

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“Philosophy Talk,” a radio show produced by KALW on behalf of Stanford University, was named a finalist in the “Documentary: Social Issues” category of the 2021 New York Festivals Radio Awards on July 29.

The Radio Awards specifically recognized three episodes of the show: “The 2020 Dionysus Awards”, “Covid Conundrums and Moral Dilemmas” and “Time for Summer Reading”. “Philosophy Talk” is co-hosted by professor of French and comparative literature Joshua Landy and professor of philosophy Ray Briggs.

Each episode consists of a conversation between the co-hosts on a variety of philosophical topics.

“We make sure the topics we discuss are relevant to the real world and everyday concerns,” Landy said.

Briggs joined “Conversation of philosophy” in 2019 after the death of philosophy professor Ken Taylor, co-founder and former co-host of the show. “I loved the show, and I love what Ken did for the show, and I was really happy to be able to continue this show that I thought was really precious,” Briggs said.

Although Landy and Briggs struggled to produce their show during the pandemic, they were able to get through it and find success. “We had to overcome the obstacles of the pandemic and the loss of Ken who was an incredible friend, colleague and teacher,” said Landy.

Stanford is partnering with Philosophy Talk through its Changing Human Experience (CHE) initiative, which provides grants to humanities professors seeking to explore the relationship between humans and our ever-changing world. Blakey Vermuele, professor of literature at Stanford, co-director of the public humanities branch of CHE, praised the show.

“They are doing what we want a lot of Stanford professors to do,” Vermuele said, adding that the initiative aims to support “Philosophy Talk” as much as possible through the partnership.

“It’s just a magical thing when really brilliant people find a way to take what they know and communicate it to the world,” Vermuele said.

Landy and Briggs attribute much of the show’s success to previous co-hosts John Perry, a retired philosophy professor at Stanford, and Ken Taylor.

“The show’s success is due to the format they created which makes the sometimes rather obscure issues really accessible and relevant and engaging for people to listen to,” Landy said.


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