Hi-Phi Nation

25 Episodes

Hi-Phi Nation is the first story-driven, narrative podcast on contemporary philosophy. Every week we begin with compelling stories of ordinary and extraordinary human experiences, and transform them into an examination of philosophical ideas. We profile stories from war, crime, politics, religion, p…

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Chamber of Facts

July 23rd, 2018

Do people of opposing political parties believe in different facts? The mantra at the moment is that they do, because of media echo chambers, motivated reasoning, and ideological blindspots. But a more careful look revea…

The Decision

July 17th, 2018

On July 16, 2018, the Massachusetts Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Commonwealth versus Julie Eldred. I called lead counsel on the case, Lisa Newman-Polk, to get her reaction to the ruling and talk about…

A Night of Philosophy

June 19th, 2018

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 phi…

Willful Acts

May 30th, 2018


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 willful violation of probation. Both challenged, both got to a Sup…

Creed and Credences

May 1st, 2018

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 religi…

The Self and Survival

March 27th, 2018

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 thi…

Cover Me Softly

February 28th, 2018

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 greatest cover songs of all time. This week we are going to look at the ar…

Freedom and Hostile Design

January 23rd, 2018

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, an…

Drowned at Sea

December 19th, 2017

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 reli…

The Ethics Bowl

November 28th, 2017

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 the nation's top ethics teams competing in the 2017 National High School…
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