Scholars

345: Ben Zimmer

The Wall Street Journal’s language columnist plays with our format, offering Word Word Word – and more elegantly still, the same word for each segment: orange. Then he makes a painful disclosure: “I myself am color-blind, and so I’m not completely attuned to all the nuances of it.” Hey, Beethoven was deaf, and he got the … Continue reading »

Scholars

307: Drew Gilpin Faust

An esteemed historian (This Republic of Suffering) and president emeritus of Harvard, she suggests that the widespread misuse of “disinterested” to mean “uninterested” rather than “objective” reflects a broad undervaluing of objectivity, open-mindedness, and intellectual honesty. Seldom has so bleak an insight given me such delight. Continue reading »

Scholars

Episode 265: Russell Shorto

Holland’s seventeenth-century emphasis on trade rather than conquest helped build a culture of tolerance: everybody’s money is good. The author of The Island at the Center of the World offers a sort of moral defense of capitalism in a conversation at the Fraunces Tavern Museum: look out the window and see what he’s describing. Music from … Continue reading »

Scholars

Episode 111: Peter Singer

 His book Animal Liberation constructed an ethical framework for the animal rights movement. His ideas about euthanasia, altruism and world poverty have inspired both protest and acclaim – overwhelmingly the latter when we spoke at the Princeton Public Library. Plus, for your dancing and philosophizing pleasure, music from Jefferson Hamer.  PERSON: David Oppenheim  PLACE: Balliol … Continue reading »