Is philosophy obsolete? Are the ancient questions still relevant in the age of cosmology and neuroscience, not to mention crowd-sourcing and cable news?
In her new book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away, acclaimed philosopher and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein provides a dazzlingly original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its hidden role in today’s debates on religion, morality, politics, and science.
Tom Cathcart, author of Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar, joins us this morning to discuss his new book, The Trolley Problem. The Trolley Problem is an ethical thought experiment dreamed up in 1978 by British philosopher Philippa Foot.
The Trolley Problem explores the problem through the lens of a trial in the court of public opinion—readers are members of the jury. Cathcart presents two distinct philosophical takes on the problem through the lawyers’ closing statements, but also offers up a number of alternate outlooks on related conundrums through a variety of other media.
Tom Cathcart spent most of his career in health care, including directing a boarding home for people with HIV/AIDS in Portland, Maine. His old college pal, Danny Klein, enlisted him as co-author of a book about how jokes can illuminate philosophical ideas. His new book is his first solo project.