Cover art for podcast Hi-Phi Nation

Hi-Phi Nation

34 EpisodesProduced by Slate PodcastsWebsite

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story-form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, … read more

34 Episodes | 2016 - 2019

Season One Trailer #1

December 24th, 2016

2:34

A brand new show bringing storytelling together with philosophy, Hi-Phi Nation aims to do for philosophy what Freakonomics did for economics, what …

The Wishes of the Dead

January 24th, 2017

49:28

Our lives are controlled by the invisible hand from the grave. Trillions of dollars of the economy are devoted to executing the wishes of people who …

Soldier Philosophers Part 1: Moral Exploitation

January 31st, 2017

48:35

When one Army soldier discovered the propagation of torture tactics during the Iraq war, he engaged in a one-man mission inside the organization to …

Soldier Philosophers Part 2: The Morality of War

February 7th, 2017

48:58

For some reason, when people kill others in wars, we do not judge them morally and legally in the same way as we judge them when they kill in civilian life. Is there a justification for this difference, or is it only a …

The Name of God

February 14th, 2017

50:17

With a small gesture of good will toward Syrian refugees, one woman incurred the wrath of evangelical Christians on social media. The resulting chaos …

The Cops of Pop

February 21st, 2017

47:18

Two records from 1983 achieved minor novelty fame, and then faded away, only to emerge 20 years later as the originators of a curious genre of pop …

Hackademics I: The Control

March 7th, 2017

45:56

After years of unusual episodes dating back to her childhood, Anita went to the doctor and was told there was nothing medically wrong with her. "She …

Hackademics II: The Hackers

March 14th, 2017

44:25

One scientist decided to put the entire field of psychology to test to see how many of its findings hold up to scrutiny. At the same time, he had …

Be a Man

March 21st, 2017

36:46

Our ideas of manhood and womanhood determine the ways in which we raise and socialize our children, but how much does gender in a particular society …

The Ashes of Truth

April 18th, 2017

50:53

Documentary film and science do not appear to have much in common, except that, philosophically, they have everything in common. Two men met in 1971 …

A Better Love

May 3rd, 2017

49:50

On our season finale, we follow a mother's love through the stages of life to seek wisdom about what love is, what love does, and why love happens. …

The Bottom of the Curve

October 31st, 2017

38:57

At the beginning of their adult lives, millennials are trying to find out what it means to be happy in their 20s, not knowing that they have no where …

The Ethics Bowl

November 28th, 2017

50:48

High school students from around the country converge on the University of North Carolina for a weekend of moral dilemmas. We follow twenty-four of …

Drowned at Sea

December 19th, 2017

30:52

In the process of preparing to testify in a divorce case, Brian had to study one of the strangest books he had ever come across, where religion, mathematics, and the apocalypse intersect. This week, we look at how a …

Freedom and Hostile Design

January 23rd, 2018

29:51

Some acts of expression are awesome, while others suck, and one philosopher has a new theory about the difference. Using this theory as a guide, we look at some of the suckiest things that ever sucked in urban design, …

Cover Me Softly

February 28th, 2018

49:24

When Lori Lieberman was 19 years old, she went to a concert of a singer she didn't know, and ended up writing a poem that would become one of the …

The Self and Survival

March 27th, 2018

46:07

In ordinary life, it is usually not hard to know who you are and who you used to be. For a small group of children around the world, their knowledge seems to conflict with what modern science believes is possible. On …

Creed and Credences

May 1st, 2018

44:35

Dave has been hunting for the one decisive piece of scientific evidence that will settle one of Christianity's most challenging questions. On this episode we look at two stories of people trying to reconcile their …

Willful Acts

May 30th, 2018

57:57

Army veteran Jim McKelvey applied for his VA benefits and was denied for willful misconduct. Thirty years later, Julie Eldred was sent to prison for …

A Night of Philosophy

June 19th, 2018

48:12

Hi-Phi Nation stays overnight at the Brooklyn Public Library during the 2018 Night of Philosophy. From 7pm to 7am on a Saturday night, thousands of New Yorkers swarmed the central library for acrobats, musicians, and …

Chamber of Facts

July 23rd, 2018

46:52

Do people of opposing political parties believe in different facts? The mantra at the moment is that they do, because of media echo chambers, …

Season 3 Preview

January 18th, 2019

2:37

After two successful seasons, philosophy in story form comes to Slate on January 31st, 2019.  On Season 3, we look at stories of risk, experiments in …

The Precrime Unit

January 31st, 2019

47:58

Predictive policing technology is spreading across the country, and Los Angeles is the epicenter. A small group of LA activists are in a lopsided …

(Bonus) The Battle over CSOCs

February 2nd, 2019

17:47

On this bonus episode, I go into some of the history between the LAPD police commission and the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, and feature some of the …

Risky Business

February 16th, 2019

49:14

How many innocent people should we be allowed to arrest and jail in order to prevent a single dangerous person from being free? The Supreme Court has …

No Offense

March 2nd, 2019

47:46

What if you could sue someone for calling you a racial slur? In the 90s, one country that always looked very similar to America decided to allow it, …

The Forever War

March 16th, 2019

49:34

This year will mark the 18th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, the forever war characterized by regime change, a surge, drawdowns, and then re-engagement across three Presidential administrations. We take a …

Name of God (2019)

March 30th, 2019

54:07

A few days after the New Zealand Mosque massacre, Dr. Thaya Ashman heard about a woman who was too afraid to come out in public in her hijab for fear of being targeted. So Dr. Ashman had an idea to invite every person …

Demons of Democracy

April 13th, 2019

53:34

Preschool kids get their first taste of democratic participation when they vote on their class name, and democratic private schools try to display …

For Women Only (pt. 1)

April 27th, 2019

51:27

It is currently very difficult to get your gender legally changed in the U.K, That might change. In recent months, philosophers have been drafted …

For Women Only (pt. 2)

May 11th, 2019

48:20

In the 40 years since the events at Olivia Records, gender categorization seems to pop up sporadically in the mainstream press, leading to what …

Uncivil Disobedience

May 25th, 2019

49:02

In Australia, vegan and animal liberation activism has recently become intense and disruptive, invading farms, restaurants, and city centers. They’re doing everything from rescuing animals to blocking traffic, and …

The Illusionist

June 8th, 2019

37:15

Pyotr Tchaikovsky composed and conducted his final symphony in 1893. He died 9 days later, after having knowingly drunk an unboiled glass of water …

YOLO Apologetics

June 22nd, 2019

43:34

Drake coined “YOLO,” short for “you only live once” in 2011, and then later apologized for all the douchiness it subsequently engendered.  But the …

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