Brain in a Vat

Brain in a Vat

By Brain in a Vat
Thought experiments and conversations with philosophers. Hosted by Dr Jason Werbeloff and Mark Oppenheimer.
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Belief, Faith, and Hope with Liz Jackson

Brain in a Vat

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Should Offensive Art be Banned? With Elisa Galgut
What is art? Why is art valuable? If enough people feel hurt by a piece of art or public monument, should we hide or destroy the work? Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/braininavat  IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12490350/   Thumbnail Art: Octavia Roodt http://www.octaviaroodt.com/
55:45
July 5, 2020
Peter Boghossian: How to Have Impossible Conversations
"Defund the police. Violent protests are justified. Anyone against Black Lives Matter is a Nazi." How would you engage with these views? We ask Peter Boghossian how to have impossible conversations.   Peter's Book: http://bit.ly/ConversationsBook  New Discourses: https://newdiscourses.com/translations-from-the-wokish/     Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/braininavat  IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12490350/ Animation by Laurynne Gouws: https://www.lightbulbmedia.co.za/ Thumbnail Art: Luke Batha
1:06:24
June 28, 2020
Do You Live in a Simulation? With Kenny Pearce
Do you live in a simulation? And if you do, could you live a valuable life?   We talk with Kenny Pearce this week to find out.  Read Kenny's Berkeley book here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/language-and-the-structure-of-berkeleys-world-9780198790334   And his book about Idealism here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/idealism-9780198746973   Podcast: https://anchor.fm/braininavat  Facebook Discussion Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/braininavat  Animation by Laurynne Gouws: https://www.lightbulbmedia.co.za/  Thumbnail art: By Juane Ivy The Nature of Reality https://greaterthanmyopia.com/  IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12490350/
57:41
June 21, 2020
Does Race Exist? With Shaun Stanley
Does the colour of your skin, the texture of your hair, or the shape of your nose make you part of a racial group? Is race a social construct based on collective perception? Do the members of a race share beliefs, cultures and attitudes?  Facebook Discussion Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/braininavat  Thumbnail art: By Amazing Ameziane from Muhammad Ali Graphic Novel
59:11
June 14, 2020
Does Tuvix Deserve to Die?
When Tuvok and Neelix accidentally merge into a single man in a transporter accident, Captain Janeway has to make a tough decision:  Should she kill Tuvix to restore Tuvok and Neelix? We discuss the philosophy of Star Trek, transporters, and personal identity. 
59:53
June 7, 2020
Is the Lockdown Lawful? With Martin van Staden
Are lockdown regulations lawful? Do we have a duty to obey the law? What if the law is immoral, contradictory or unknowable?  The famous philosopher Lon Fuller wrote a thought experiment about King Rex  who failed to make law in eight different ways.  1) A failure to achieve rules at, all so that every issue must be decided on an ad hoc basis. 2)A failure to publicize, or at least make available to the affected party, the rules he is expected to observe. 3)The abuse of retrospective legislation, which not only cannot itself guide action, but undercuts the integrity of rules prospective in effect, since it puts them under the threat of retrospective change. 4)A failure to make rules understandable. 5)The enactment of contradictory rules. 6)Rules that require conduct beyond the powers of the affected party. 7) Introducing such frequent changes in the rules that the subject cannot orient his action by them. 8) A failure of congruence between the rules as announced and their actual administration.
56:25
May 31, 2020
Time Travel and The Grandfather Paradox with Helen Robertson
Imagine you build a time machine. Is it possible for you to travel back in time, meet your grandfather before he produces any children, and kill him?  Time travel is a sci-fi staple. Is Back to the Future philosophically accurate? Did J.K Rowling crack the secret of time travel in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? As a bonus we explain why Rick and Morty's The Vat of Acid Episode isn't about time travel.
1:02:55
May 24, 2020
Belief, Faith, and Hope with Liz Jackson
Your brother has been missing for months and there is mounting evidence that he is dead. Is it rational to hope that he is alive and keep searching for him?   Is it rational to have faith in the existence of God because, if he turns out to exist, your faith may let you into heaven while a lack of faith could condemn you to hell?   Liz Jackson's public interviews: http://liz-jackson.com/public-philosophy/  Her paper on Belief, Faith and Hope: https://philpapers.org/archive/JACBFA.pdf   Thumbnail image by Jeff Lemire from Issue #1 of Royal City
1:00:37
May 17, 2020
Lost in Translation with Shaun Stanley
Language is ambiguous at the best of times, think about how much gets lost in translation. Imagine hearing a tribesman in a remote land utter the word "gavagai" upon seeing a rabbit. A speaker of English could do what seems natural and translate this as "Lo, a rabbit."   But other translations would be compatible with all the evidence she has: "Lo, food"; "Let's go hunting"; "There will be a storm tonight" (he may be superstitious).
56:37
May 10, 2020
The Value of Human Life with Eron Fasser
What can eating Marilyn Monroe's thigh and the pain of teenage heartbreak tell us about the value of human life? We discuss what makes life worth living and ending.
1:00:45
May 3, 2020
The Veil of Ignorance and Justice in a Lockdown
John Rawls thought we needed to wear a veil of ignorance to remove our biases before deciding on the rules of a just society. Are his ideas useful in a world where the elderly and the vulnerable are exposed to higher risks? Should the healthy and the well off accept limits on their freedom?
58:45
April 26, 2020
Lockdown: A Trolley Problem
An out-of-control trolley is rumbling toward five innocent people trapped on a track. You can divert the trolley onto another track by pulling a switch, but the other track has one person on it. Do you pull the switch?  Governments around the world have used lockdowns to save lives, but this choice has had severe economic consequences. Did they pull the right switch? Hosted by Dr Jason Werbeloff and Mark Oppenheimer.
1:00:59
April 22, 2020