Who do you believe if you don't believe scientists?  It's a hot topic in today's world, where your political party preference--at least in the United States--can often be divined from your position on climate change. 

This is the zone in which Cailin O'Connor focuses her research.


Are you an epicurean?  Would you know how to be? 

The term has taken some twisting over the years, connoting to some people something between a snob and a gout sufferer.  Neither is correct, says philosopher Catherine Wilson. 

In fact, epicureanism is about living a good life in harmony with nature.  She writes of this and much more in the book How to Be an Epicurean: The Ancient Art of Living Well


Which historical figures do you wish you could meet and converse with?  Margaret Emerson built a book around the creator of the Tao Te Ching and the "American Taoist," Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It is an imagined conversation between the author and her predecessors, called Laotse, Waldo, and Me.  Together, they--and readers--pursue a sense of balance; yin/yang, feminine/masculine, and more, in a world that wobbles a bit at the moment. 


Heather Lende has a fairly cheerful outlook on life.  And working with death has helped her develop that. 

As a local newspaper writer of many years, Lende wrote many obituaries. 

The key to her approach is the title of her book: Find the Good

People whose lives recently ended provided many life lessons, which our guest shares in the book.


It is true that Plato and Socrates did not create works with titles like "Maximizing Happiness in Your Life." 

But they did address the subject of happiness in their philosophy.  So did many other philosophers through the years, a fact capitalized upon by modern philosopher Frederic Lenoir. 

He culls the ranks of philosophers past and present for the material in his book, Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide

Jorge Díaz, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Parents always hope at least ONE little piece of wisdom they share with their children will stick. 

But they always share more than one piece.  Becky Blades wrote a whole bunch of things to her daughter as she departed for college, and that turned into a book: Do Your Laundry Or You'll Die Alone

Way to play the lonely card, mom.  Book and pictures provide laughs and even a few tears. 


Aristotle leave you cold?  Epicurus leave a bad taste in your mouth? 

Philosophy is not for everyone... or maybe it is.  If reading the original works of the philosophers does not appeal to you, maybe Jules Evans can interest you in his book Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations

It's all about practical applications in today's world for philosophy, some of it quite old. 


Alice Hoffman won many awards and fans with her novels, like Practical Magic. 

But she left the realm of the magical to dwell in reality in her book Survival Lessons.

It was inspired by her battle with cancer, and the similar battles of family members. 

Alice Hoffman joined us to talk about surviving and living, back in 2013.

We can totally relate to Christopher Phillips' approach to life: ask LOTS of questions. 

Phillips follows in the footsteps of Socrates in his work as author and speaker; the Socratic method is all about the questions. 

In his latest book, The Philosophy of Childing, Phillips urges us to be more childlike in our approach to the world.  Well, beyond just asking "why" over and over. 

Oh, Ho, Ho, It's Magic

Mar 10, 2016
Penguin Books

"Magic" in today's world is largely in fiction or on stage: Harry Potter and disappearing elephants.  But we live in an age where science holds sway, and it was not always so compelling. 

Centuries ago, our ancestors really believed in witches and transformations and more. 

The Book of Magic, edited by Brian Copenhaver, is an exhaustive look at what people believed in, often intertwined with religion, until The Enlightenment. 

Getting A Handle On Science

Feb 15, 2016
Basic Books

  Don't you wish you had a buck for every politician who says "I'm not a scientist"?  

You don't have to be a scientist to appreciate its wonders.  But it might take more than a scientist to gather the full importance of what science is capable of... and not.  Tim Lewens writes about the philosophy of science in his book "The Meaning of Science," in essence helping us see the forest as well as the trees.  

How Should We Live?

Feb 19, 2014

Maybe our predecessors could not imagine cell phones or cars, but they certainly spent some time thinking about life. 

And many of their thoughts about how to approach it are still valid. 

Philosophy For Life

Dec 10, 2013
New World Library

The study of philosophy has a long and storied history, and that history might lead some people to get the wrong idea. 

Namely, that philosophy is of the past, not the present.  That's where Jules Evans comes in.