Philosophically Speaking: Morality and Things that Matter with Allen Buchanan Ph.D. & Simon Critchley Ph.D.

Original Air Date Wednesday, November 10, 2021 

The last few years have been topsy-turvy as far as human moral evolution is concerned.

The global pandemic and civil unrest in many countries around the world have given rise to more questions than answers. The morality fabric of society was torn politically and at the same time mended philosophically as we came to understand our interdependence. In the US, we took to our tribes, during the worst and the best of times. To discover the positives and negatives of our going tribal and how we might gain a better understanding of our place in the world and the things that matter, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two Philosophy professors and authors. Allen Buchanan recounts key chapters from his book, Our Moral Fate: Evolution and the Escape from Tribalism and discusses the shaky ground on which democracy sits. Simon Critchley shares philosophical takeaways from his book, Bald: 35 Philosophical Short Cuts, and what he thinks humans gained and lost during the pandemic, philosophically speaking.

Allen Buchanan — Morality and Things that Matter:

  • Allen Buchanan describes the evolution of tribalism and the purpose for grouping people into us versus them. [2:06]
  • How tribalism places democracy at risk. [4:48]
  • There are positive and negative energies at the foundation of our tribalism. [14:19]
  • How we can avoid confirmation bias and supreme emergency framing to find out answers for ourselves. [18:53]
Man with blue shirt and gray hair on a park with trees and green grass, guest of new podcast episode called Philosophically Speaking: Morality and Things that Matter with Allen Buchanan & Simon Chritchley

Allen Buchanan PhD

Allen Buchanan is a Professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona and also a professor of the Philosophy of International Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College, London. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975. He now researches at The University of Arizona.


Book: Our Moral Fate: Evolution and the Escape from Tribalism


Simon Critchley — Philosophically Speaking:

  • Simon does his best to define Philosophers and Philosophy isn’t easy. [31:04]
  • Simon shares his family history and the Liverpool Futbol club. [34:04]
  • Understanding philosophy and morality is a way to understand ourselves in relation to the world and others. [37:33]
  • What exactly is happiness and can it be measured? [40:17]
  • The pandemic and beyond, what is ailing society, morality, and what is going right? [44:18]

Man with black shirt and gray bear in white background, guest of new podcast episode called Philosophically Speaking: Morality and Things that Matter with Allen Buchanan PhD & Simon Chritchley PhD	Simon Critchley is the Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research and the moderator of the New York Times’ Stone column. He is the author or editor of many books, including the recent book, Tragedy, the Greeks, and Us; a novella, Memory Theatre; a book-length essay, Notes on Suicide; and studies of David Bowie and association football.


Book: Bald: 35 Philosophical Short Cuts

Simon Critchley

@CritchleyUpdate on Twitter

Simon Critchley’s Page of Dead Philosophers on Facebook

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HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.

“How can we get a moral hygiene makeover? What can caring citizens do to help turn the tide away from fear?” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“To be able to talk, listen, and question each other is what creates a happy society.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We are in need of some good contemporary philosophy these days to make sense of the chaos.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The Western world is in pursuit of hedonic happiness which is not sustainable or not even real happiness.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Tribalism involves sorting and signaling. You sort the world into us versus them.” — Allen Buchanan on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“I think tribalism is destroying democracy in this country.” — Allen Buchanan on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“If you start out with the assumption that we are inevitably-opposed enemies, and everything is for the highest stakes, you can't get bargaining and compromise.” — Allen Buchanan on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Tribalism is the death of individuality in two different ways. It suppresses individuality and denies the individuality of others.” — Allen Buchanan on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The ground is shifting below our feet. Some people are a lot less comfortable about that than others.” — Allen Buchanan on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Fear is an incredibly powerful human motivator.” — Allen Buchanan on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Tribalism invades every part of life.” — Allen Buchanan on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“I’m afraid many people have become addicted to rage.” — Allen Buchanan on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Philosophy has been asking the question — What is philosophy? — for three thousand years.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Kids are natural philosophers.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“In Greek philosophy, your glory is in the stories told about you after you've gone.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We are all weak, fragile creatures who are dependent on others, but that is our strength. That is what makes human life worth living.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We were living in a counterfeit immortality before the pandemic. I think it has woken us up.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet



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