On Opinion

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“We synchronise together through processes of emotional contagion and social conformity… This helps produce a shared experience of the world.”Human beings are social creatures. But is this social nature more than just a desire to be connected? Do we actually form one collective consciousness? Are humans more a ‘We’ than an ‘I’?In her book Hivemind: the New Science of Tribalism in our Divided World, Sarah Rose Cavanagh speaks to biologists, historians and psychologists to explore these questions and better understand our “collective self.”But what can we learn from the Hivemind? How has it polarised us? How does it impact our sense of ‘Us’ and what does it do to our feelings about ‘Them’? And what has social media done to our social consciousness?“I think taking our ultra sociality online has led to some group polarisation and this tendency for people with different viewpoints to polarise on opposite ends of the spectrum.”Listen to Sarah Rose and Turi discuss how our sense of self is derived collectively.How we experience the world as a collectiveThe science that proves Emotional ContagionThe threat of conspiracy theories to our consensus realityThe role stories play in our making sense of the worldSynchrony, and the warm buzz of ‘sharing’How stories improve our theory of mindWhether our relationships shape our likes and dislikesThe danger of dehumanisation of our out-groupsHow loneliness affects healthAnd what we humans can learn from bees…“I think that where we need to go is not to avoid our collective social cells, but to make sure that we have human beings as our in-group, rather than this nation or this ethnic group or this religion…”Sarah Rose CavanaghSarah Rose Cavanagh is a psychologist, professor, and Associate Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College. Her research considers the contribution of emotions and emotion regulation to quality of life. She is the author of Hivemind: the New Science of Tribalism in our Divided World.More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“You really do have to do bridge building at the community level. People have to learn to talk to each other across sides”The Left and the Right today are miles apart. In the past few years, polarisation has become an integral part of our societies. But has it always been this way - is polarisation a natural part of democracy?Covering the politics of polarisation from Chile through India to Vietnam, via long-standing democracies such as the US and Germany, this week’s guest Thomas Carothers suggests that there are three roots present in every polarised society - religion, race and ideological clashes. But what about societies with no polarisation? According to Thomas, they’re at risk too.“Too much consensus can lead to a dangerous pressure for alternatives that usually tend to be anti systemic, extreme and dangerous…”Listen to Turi and Thomas discuss:Polarisation as a fixture of democracyHow consensus leads to polarised societiesWhether there are problems with a lack of polarisationThe creation of grievance politicsHow Brexit created a different identity polarisationWhether polarisation can be a good thingHow grievance politics differ from Right to LeftWhether we can manage polarisationIf the pandemic has made us less polarised“I think the pandemic has opened our hearts and our minds a little bit in ways that’ll help us feel at least some sense of common humanity beneath the level of the political noise…”Thomas CarothersThomas Carothers is senior vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a leading authority on international support for democracy, human rights, governance, the rule of law, and civil society. He is also the author of Democracies Divided: the global challenges of political polarisationMore on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“Dyadic morality is ultimately about the link between perceived harm and immorality…”Why do we believe murder is “wrong”? Why can’t we compare the effects of a hurricane with the acts of a paedophile? Kurt Gray argues that human morality stems from “harm” - that moral acts have an intentional agent and a victim, and it is this perception of harm caused by one person to another that allows us to define moral evils.So could this explain political differences? Do we just all have different definitions of harm? In which case, is there a way of reconciling polarised groups by re-examining our own perception of harm and suffering?“I think one way forward is acknowledging that the other side’s perceptions of harm are legitimate…”Listen to Kurt and Turi discuss how harm is the basis of human morality.How intuitionism is actually about harmWhether morality requires a perpetrator and a victimHow dyadic moral theory deals with self-harmWhy people moralise homosexualityThe importance of theory of mind in dyadic moralityGod versus EnvironmentThe moral differences between Liberals and ConservativesHow people remove moral harmWhy perceptions of harm creates political polarisationWhether recognition of perceptions of harm can bridge the political divide“The way to see people as more moral is to acknowledge that their perceptions of harm are not made up, but instead authentic and that they really are worried about safeguarding others from suffering…”Works cited include:Lawrence Kohlberg and his work on Moral DevelopmentJonathan Haidt and his work on Intuition and Pluralism.Kurt GrayDr. Gray is an Associate Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he directs the Deepest Beliefs Lab and the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in Organizational Behavior at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC, where he teaches about organizational ethics and team processes.More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“A lot of the human behaviour that seems perplexing, irrational (like politics or religion) is often most effectively explained by Evolutionary Psychology”We evolved to live in hunter-gatherer communities clustered in small units spread sparsely across the landscape. Existentially threatened by outsiders - who brought war as well as germs - humans evolved adaptive psychological behaviours to help negotiate our ancestral environment.Evolutionary Psychology seeks to understand human psychological behaviour from that adaptive perspective. If we protect our children, fall in love, create social hierarchies - what were the evolutionary reasons to do so?“Evolutionary psychology allows us to get sighted to our instincts”Listen to Hector and Turi discuss what evolutionary psychology can teach us about our Politics.Evolutionary Basis for Conservatism and LiberalismThe Politics of Sex: why men and women have different political tendenciesWhy there’s a correlation between conservatism and upper-body strength in menWhy there’s a correlation between liberalism and greater facial expressiveness across both gendersSimon Baron Cohen’s work on autism and the “essential male brain”Why Conservatives are from Mars and Liberals are from VenusHow we can map our politics across the Big 5 Personality TestWhy high-testosterone men tend to share lessThe evolutionary basis for Xenophobia and XenophiliaWhy Conservatives love dominance hierarchies and Liberals spend all their effort trying to pull them down.Why Fear is such a big driver for conservatives (who tend to have a larger amygdala than liberals)What the difference between Chimps and Bonobos can teach us about the evolution of our politicsHow to explain the manifestation of strong man politicians, like Donald Trump, in evolutionary termsThe idea of “Evolutionary Mismatch”: that certain types of behaviour today are a useless hold over from our hunter-gatherer ancestry (like a psychological version of the appendix)And why the Iroquois had a split leadership system: one for war (led by young men) and one for peace (led by the old and the women).“Democracy is the answer, but it often needs tuning”Works cited include:John Hibbing, Kevin B. Smith and John R. Alford and their work on the Biology of Political Differences.Sir Simon Baron Cohen and his work on autism.Hector GarciaHector Garcia is Professor in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas and a Clinical Psychologist working with veterans. He’s the author of Sex, Power and Partisanship and hosts a YouTube channel discussing those issues.More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“Microaggressions are so hard because they typically don’t meet traditional philosophical conceptions of blameworthiness…”Microaggressions are the latest front in the culture wars - seemingly harmless comments such as “yes, but where are you really from…” or misused pronouns, over time, can cause profound damage to the receiver. But the idea of cautioning an act so seemingly harmless feels like thought-policing.In her book The Ethics of Microaggression, Regina Rini defines a MicroAggression as “an act or event that is perceived by a member of an oppressed group as possibly but not certainly instantiating oppression.”There’s a lot to unpack here, and a lot to trigger both Right and Centre, since it tells us the aggression is in the eye of the beholder. Microaggressions can’t be ‘judged’ from the outside, they can only be heard.To many, that feels intuitively dangerous: old school totalitarianism could see you hauled off for ideas other might suspect you of having; with MicroAggressions, one might be hauled off for ideas someone else could have based on your suspected intent.Rini explains the philosophical misunderstanding at the heart of the war around microaggression: the huge mismatch between the Harm Felt and the Blame Attributable.Minute acts of indignity can add up to systemic violence and have profound real-world consequences for their victims, but how do you blame the often unconscious perpetrator for an act so ‘micro’?Listen to Regina and Turi discuss:Why MicroAggressions have become such a cause celebre in the Culture WarsMicroAggression and the threat to freedom of speechThe history of the idea to Chester Pierce in the 1970s.The problem of Collective Harm vs Individual BlameHow the idea of MicroAggression is woven into thinking about systemic inequality.“We’re suffering from an inability to hold two thoughts in our heads the the same time… First, MicroAggressions add up to real and serious harm in the lives of marginalised people. Second, most MicroAggressions are NOT the sort of the thing we can easily blame people for”Works Cited include:Derald Wing Sue: Race TalkChester Pierce, who coined the term.Jon Haidt and Greg Lukianoff’s The Coddling of the American MindRegina RiniRegina Rini holds the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition at York University in Toronto. Prior to that, she taught at NYU’s centre of bioethics. She writes a regular philosophy column for the TLS.More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“We need to borrow from both the Left and the Right to achieve a renewal of liberalism…”As a journalist and political commentator, Timothy Garton Ash took a front row seat watching Eastern Europe open up in the 1990s - the heyday of Liberal expansionism around the world. Today, faced with populist authoritarians and illiberal democrats at home, and the rise of China's new model of modernity abroad, Liberalism is on the back foot - we're experiencing an "anti-Liberal counter-revolution".Timothy argues liberalism is to blame for its troubles - over-exporting free-market ideas, under-investing in culture, community and politics in a world of massive, destabilising change. He argues for a "conservative-socialist-Liberalism" - a civic patriotism focused on the common good deeply embedded in national communities.On the back of his recent manifesto for Liberalism's renewal in Prospect Magazine, listen to Timothy and Turi discuss:Whether Liberalism can survive in the 21st CenturyWhether Joe Biden's America can still hope to lead the "free world"The demise of liberal ideas in the student bodyEquality of Esteem alongside economic securityLevelling up vs Levelling downCivic VirtuePatriotism vs Nationalism“The nation is just too important, and too strong in its emotional appeal, to be left to the nationalists”Timothy Garton AshTimothy Garton Ash is the author of ten books of political writing or ‘history of the present’ which have charted the transformation of Europe over the last half century. He is Professor of European Studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“We have to come to the table, even if it’s just to say we disagree… then you have a chance to move forward”The number of armed groups created in the last 6 years surpasses the number created since WW2. States themselves have been creating them, globalisation has linked them up, and the population displacement driven by climate change has only exacerbated the problem.Through his work with Geneva Call, Hichem has worked all over the world - successfully convincing militias in Northern Syrian to not recruit child soldiers, and securing the release of hostages in the DR Congo.His work is centred around Dialogue - engaging, listening and negotiating. How do you ask a militia leader to commit not to use human shields? How do you ask an armed group to divert some of its resources towards protecting civilians?The guiding principles used by Geneva Call offer a way to approach dialogue in a polarised world.Listen to Turi and Hichem discuss the three pillars of constructive dialogueOwnership: granting the other side autonomy, and shared ownership of the dialogue.Localisation: working with the physical reality of your interlocutor, understanding their community.Contextualisation: every community is individual and different - we tend to apply the same rules everywhere irrespective of what is happening on the ground.Hichem KhadhraouiHichem Khadhraoui is Director of Operations at Geneva Call, where he has travelled across the world negotiating with armed groups who violate human rights. Geneva Call works in situations of conflict or violence where armed groups are at risk of violating human rights law and endangering civilians. They have worked everywhere from Colombia (FARC) to the Philippines (with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front).More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
"By gaining greater knowledge of how others think, we can become less certain of the knowledge we think we have, which is always the first step to greater understanding"It goes without saying that the way we think is embedded in our own time and culture. The same is true even of Philosophers: our 'professional' thinkers. Julian Baggini's How the World Thinks is an exploration of the world's non-Western philosophical traditions (China, Japan, India, Islam and the oral traditions of Africa and elsewhere) - how they differ, what they can teach us.Nothing deflates western philosophy's claims to universalism so much as seeing how deeply embedded they are in time and place.Baggini looks at four epistemological areas across each philosophical tradition:How we think we knowHow we understand the workings of the worldHow we understand ourselves in the worldWhat we see as the 'Good Life'From the Confucian ideal of Harmony, the interplay of Falsafa and Kalam in the Islamic world, the Indian principle of Pratyaksa and ideas around Karma in numerous cosmologies, listen to Julian and Turi discuss how very differently we all see the world:Truth-seeking vs Way SeekingProgress vs TraditionFreedom vs HarmonyIntimacy vs IntegrityAnd how the way we see the world impacts what we do to it - from the development of empirical science to the rise of capitalism, populism and today's atomised society."An insider is like a fish in a fishbowl," said Xu Zhiyuan, "unable to see the exact shape of its surroundings even though those surroundings are perfectly clear to everyone else." Come take a step outside.Works Cited:Derek Parfit, Reason and PersonsThomas Kasulis, Intimacy or IntegrityJulian BagginiDr. Julian Baggini is a philosopher, journalist and the author of over 20 books about philosophy written for a general audience. He is co-founder of The Philosopher's Magazine and a patron of Humanists UK.More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“In their desire for groups to BE equal, Liberals have a bias towards PERCEIVING groups to be equal… Inequality must therefore always be explained through discrimination and prejudice, rather than evolved or genetic differences”Turi talks with Dr. Cory Clark about the origins of bias - why it is so ingrained in our thinking, its evolutionary uses, and whether bias (or ‘motivated reasoning’) is equally shared by people on all sides of the political spectrum.Conservatives have historically got a terrible rap for being anti-science, creationists, climate change deniers… able to ignore objective facts that attack their world views.Liberals, on the other hand, are the party of empiricism - they are more educated, are more likely to trust experts, and make up the massive majority of scientists and academics themselves…And there’s the rub. Because at the heart of the Liberal view is a fundamental structuring bias around equality. Liberals so desire to see equality in the world that they are blind to instances of true genetic or evolved differences. This is what Cory Clark calls the ‘Equalitarianism’Listen to hear Cory and Turi discuss:‘Equalitarianism’, the liberal bias that underpins all othersTribalism and its evolutionary advantages‘Ideological Epistemology’ - how we frame our ideas politicallyLiberal Bias in academiaWhether, despite warping research, Liberal Bias might be a good thing for the worldWhether there is an evolutionary purpose to our political differencesWorks cited include:Bo Winegard and his work on EqualitarianismRoy Baumeister and his work on wealth creators vs wealth distributors.Cory ClarkCory Clark is a Social Psychologist and a Visiting Scholar in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her primary research interests social cognition, politics, morality and metascience.More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“When evidence is ambiguous––when it is hard to know how to interpret it—it can lead rational people to predictably polarize.”Turi talks with philosopher Kevin Dorst to understand why all our cognitive ‘flaws’ - from confirmation bias and motivated reasoning, through our selective exposure to media, even the prejudice we apply to our analysis of evidence that contradicts our beliefs - should actually be thought of rational behaviour.Ever since the 1970s, when Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky began working on the cognitive / psychological bases of our logical errors, the idea that humans are profoundly irrational has grown in popularity.We think to satisfy emotional needs (the need to feel safe, to belong, to feel better than others) as much as epistemic ones (finding out the truth).So much is certainly true, but - as Kevin explains - it has profound political implications.When we come to believe that humans are irrational, it is only and always those on the other side whom we accuse of the flaw; never ourselves. And accusing our political opponents of irrationality - accusing them of intellectual corruption and cognitive breakdown - is a step towards demonising them, and a massive accelerant of the polarisation we see across our political landscapes.Kevin Dorst tells us that story is wrong. Politics and Culture are not maths. The evidence we have for thinking one way or another is always ambiguous. The ways we think about politics and culture are, Kevin tells us, fundamentally rational approaches to Ambiguous Evidence.Join us to hear how, and why, and what that should mean for the way we engage with those on the other side of the political spectrum.Listen to Kevin and Turi discuss:Ideological SortingAttitude PolarizationAffective PolarizationAmbiguous EvidenceAnd the pernicious effects of de-rationalising humans“Irrationalism turns polarization into demonization.”More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“Democracy runs on disagreement: it is by means of citizens hashing out their differences that democracy can achieve better political outcomes.”In Part 2 of their podcast, Turi and Bob Talisse follow on from their discussion of Equal Citizenship (and why polarization strains that ideal), to discuss Disagreement and how we build democratic ‘Civility’ to make sure disagreement is working for, not against, democracy.Disagreement is central to the democratic aspiration. Not only does it enshrine the right of individuals to participate in the democratic process, but it is epistemically useful - it helps us discover and articulate new ideas. But how can we argue properly when all our instincts push to defeat the other side rather than build with them?Bob Talisse explains that we're programmed to argue (a good thing) but that we must remind ourselves to do so within the bounds of 'civility'. Not 'civility' in the 19th Century sense of the term, but rather 'Civic Friendship' - anchoring our argument in the idea that we're all building the same civic project together, that our disagreement is precisely what makes our collective experience so much better.Listen in to understand:Deep Disagreements: the kind of differences no reasoning or logic will ever succeed in bringing togetherHow (and why) we privilege winning arguments over learning from them.Performance Debating: why we love to argue, and why we’re so bad at differentiating real debate with playing to the gallery.Why politicians play to their bases rather than try to convince the other side.How we've merged the notion of fact and opinion.Civil Discourse: what it means and how we can work to build ‘Civic Friendships’.And whether COVID-19 might just bring us back together as societies…“The informational environment seems directed at dissolving the distinction between knowing what happened and having a judgment about what happened.”More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
"Democracy is the thesis that a decent and stable political order is possible amongst equal citizens who disagree, but only if that disagreement is made to work in the service of democracy through civility."In this two-part podcast, Turi and Bob Talisse explain these core ideas of Equal Citizenship, Disagreement and Civility, why they're so fundamental to democracy, and why they're at threat today.The radical idea of democracy is that a just and stable social order is possible in the absence of political hierarchies: nobody's political participation is worth more than the next person's.It's not just that government must treat us as equals, but that we ourselves must recognise each other as political equals. If we don't, if we begin to see our political opponents as depraved, as morally or intellectually corrupt, we begin to see them as unfit for democracy. We will seek to exclude them from our common democratic project - we enter a 'Cold Civil War'.That is the idea of Equal Citizenship, and it is massively under threat from polarization across the world.Why are we polarized?Our societies have become much more diverse (through immigration) just as our local communities have become more homogenous.The physical landscape has changed: social and physical mobility has meant liberals and conservatives can congregate around each others geographically.Choice has expanded so much with technology that we can self-select for everything: liberals need only read liberal news; conservatives the same.Our political identities mean much more to us than they ever have - stepping into the void left by Religion.As we personalise our politics, so perforce we dehumanise our political opponents.Listen to understand:why Polarization in democracy is a feature not a bugthe critical difference between Political Polarization and Belief PolarizationLifestyle Politics: politics has suffused our consumer choiceshow to tell someone's politics from the number of maps they have at homewhy everyone is incentivised to play extreme politics todayAnd why Bob's father, an ardent Republican, had a Union-man as his best friend...More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing” Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670The Mind is embodied - it is a bodily function. What causes it to function in the way that it does. What motivates it?And here’s the rub. Because the mind has two, often contradictory, reasons for working.Epistemic: we think for knowledge, truth, accuracy.Emotional / Social: we think to reinforce group bonds, gain status, find safety.This week, Turi talks to Adrian Bardon about Denialism: when the emotional reasons for thinking win out over the epistemic ones. That process is called “motivated reasoning” because our reasoning is motivated by emotional needs. It can be deeply damaging to our understanding of the world, and our capacity to engage with each other.Together, they discuss how motivated reasoning works, what animates it, and why it has been so useful to us evolutionarily.They also talk actual politics, and ask why Conservatives have a such a hard time with Man-Made Climate Change, and why Liberals deny the value of nuclear energy.Listen to hear:why all reasoning is motivatedhow Denialism manifests itself in politics and mediaWhat the core emotional drivers are of our politics and values?why the Coronavirus caused such a challenge to Conservativeswhether we’re happier thinking tribally than thinking rationallyand how you can treat motivated reasoning in yourself.Finally, listen to hear what we can do about Climate Change communication.We don't have time to wait for the science deniers to evolve. How can we avoid an epistemic crisis unleashing an existential one?More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“John Stuart Mill would be the kind of person who would argue for following people with whom you strongly disagree because they’re the ones that are gonna make you think.”Turi talks with the philosopher Nigel Warburton about free speech and its foundational text - John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (1859).Today, all sides of the political spectrum decry attacks on their free expression.Led by Donal Trump, the Right attacks the social networks for expelling them, and mainstream media for spreading lies about them. The Left attacks the systemic inequality of speech - how the white, rich and male dominate column inches. Even the Centrist signatories of the Harpers Letter feel their ability to debate has been shut down by no-platforming and cancel culture.Nigel Warburton takes us back to the earliest defence of free speech, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, to discuss what makes it so foundational to our polities and democracies, and why it’s such a tricky notion to define.Listen to Nigel and Turi discuss:the Marketplace of Ideas (and its problems)‘dead dogma’: why ideas need contesting to stay alivewhy ‘civility’ in debate is over-rated‘Epistemic Injustice’ and why some people’s views aren’t taken seriouslywhy Mill thought you need a diverse society to build the breeding ground for Genius.the Tyranny of the Majority: and why the wrong kind of free speech is so dangerous“Free speech isn’t an absolute - it’s something which we need to rethink almost all the time in relation to every sort of case that emerges”More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“People are drawn to conspiracy theories to satisfy particular unmet psychological needs - epistemic, existential and social.”Turi talks with Professor Karen Douglas of the University of Kent, to understand where conspiracy theories come from.Karen has surveyed all the literature on conspiracy theory. She identifies three core drivers behind the instincts of conspiracy believers, in each instance attempting to satisfy a deep psychological need.Epistemic: the need to understand the world around us. Conspiracy theories appear to give us the answers we’re looking for.Existential: the need to feel safe in our environments and feel a sense of control as autonomous humans. Making sense of the world around us allows us to feel we can dominate it.Social: we all want to feel good about ourselves and about the groups that we belong to. If we’re in a group that’s suffering, conspiracy theories allow us to explain that away.Listen to hear:why narcissists make conspiracy believerswhy people with anxious attachment styles tend to conspiracy thinkingwhether conspiracy thinking is evenly split between Left and Righthow we’re all conspiracy theorists some of the timeAnd whether conspiracy theories do, in fact, alleviate the psychological needs of those you seek to believe themMpre on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
"A lot of beliefs that are fundamental to who we are and to how we think about the world are influenced by things that appear to be arbitrary and irrelevant to the truth of the matter.”Turi talks with Professor Miriam Schoenfield, of the University of Texas at Austin, to understand whether we can have any kind of certainty about the truth of our beliefs.The children of Jews tend to be Jews, the children of Jains tend to be Jain, those brought up in the liberal agnostic West tend to be liberal agnostics… Much as the children of Liverpool FC supporters tend to support Liverpool. The fundamental philosophical premises of our most cherished beliefs are flawed: we’re conditioned to believe them.Are we epistemologically stranded?Listen to hear Miriam and Turi discuss:Doubt: “something that simply happens to us, without explanation, fluid and wordless”the Gestalt Shift, and how it’s different from just ‘changing your mind’Whether Rationalism is itself a belief systemWhether emotional or spiritual experiences might get us closer to the truth than ‘thought’Why agnostics take smaller risks in politicsAnd whether we ‘learn’ our feelings, in the same way as we ‘learn’ our beliefsMore on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://www.parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Turi speaks with Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen about how emotion drives the political agenda. What are emotional epochs? Are we all responsible for the growth of "angry populism"? Is it justified? How is social media putting emotion at the heart of the global news agenda? How is collective trauma shaping today's protest movements?More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about Parlia project here: https://parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
"The more intelligent someone is, the more polarized their opinions on climate change become. More intelligent Republicans are actually more likely to be climate change deniers, while more intelligent Democrats are more likely to endorse the scientific consensus. So, at the extremes of intelligence, you really see a big strong divergence of opinion."Turi talks with science writer and author of The Intelligence Trap, David Robson. What is intelligence? How does it create inequality? Do IQ tests favour the rich? Is intelligence a form of propaganda? What is the growth mindset? Where do rationality and morality intersect?More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about Parlia project here: https://parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“The struggle [is]...because of some of the ethics and practices of traditional journalism, there's an inclination or habit to quote both sides. Even though there really aren't both sides."Turi talks to Spaceship Media founder Eve Pearlman about growing media polarisation, fake news and how we can combat the crisis of truth. What is polarisation? How might we overcome it? How does journalism deepen this problem? Is empathy scalable?More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about Parlia project here: https://parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“You may think that the feeling you're feeling is happening because of you. But in reality that's actually a performance that's being scripted by some very clever search engine in Silicone Valley."Turi talks to futurist Shumon Basar about how technology is transforming the way we think and feel. What is the extreme present? How has the digital world rewired our experience of time? Are algorithms changing the way we perform emotions? How is that subverting the relationship between humans and our technology?More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about Parlia project here: https://parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“When it comes to morality, we have our moral taste buds, most people are motivated to do good...But there’s still quite a lot of wiggle room...a lot of uncertainty...that creates an opportunity for decision making”Turi talks with Research Director for Kindlab, at www.kindness.org, Dr Oliver Scott Curry to find out how humans became moral animals. What is morality? How does it impact our choices? What is 'morality is cooperation'? How have we evolved to create moral values? Why are people unkind to each other?More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about Parlia project here: https://parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
"You can write a blog, every time you do, you are distributing information - propagandizing. And, in that sense the day's propaganda is very similar to this virus, because what's been fascinating...is that you are very aware that you're not just a victim of it, but that you may [also] have spread it”Turi talks to writer Peter Pomerantsev about how globalisation has caused a communications revolution. Is all information propaganda? How is the internet destabilising the global axes of power? Is the growth of populism caused by corrupt information flows? Who can we trust?Have lies become the world's most powerful political tool?More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about Parlia project here: https://parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
“People are not born extremists. What are the social circumstances that have created the ground for radicalisation?”Turi talks with psychotherapist and conflict resolution expert Gabrielle Rfikind about what extremists think. What makes societies susceptible to radicalisation? Are people born extremists? How is Europe moving into a dangerous space? What does the UK response to coronavirus tell us about our political climate? More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast hereMeet Turi Munthe: https://parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about Parlia project here: https://parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
"We are responding in ways, which are...imaginative and potentially dangerous...terrifying...mass information surplus really destabilizes people's understanding of where they sit in the world. When you've got thousands of different competing narratives attacking you at all times it's extremely destabilizing and, therefore, could very easily prompt a rush to the safety of tribes."Turi speaks to Dr James Mumford to find out how tribalism limits our political agency. How do we choose our political affiliations? What are the inherent contradictions in those choices? Is tribalism inevitable in the age of uncertainty? How does this instinct for community stop us from questioning our own values? What does this mean for our political systems?More on this episodeLearn all about the Parlia Podcast hereMeet Turi Munthe: https://parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about Parlia project here: https://parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Why do we think what we think? Find out more about The Parlia Podcast with host Turi Munthe.The Parlia Podcast will ask: what is an opinion? Do we ‘think’ our worldviews, or ‘feel’ them? Are they inherited? What do our beliefs mean for politics and society? Our ideas make us who we are, and yet we almost never ask where they come from. In each episode of the Parlia Podcast eminent thought leaders share their perspectives on why we think what we think. Host Turi Munthe explores everything from the war on truth to the psychology of morality, asking: how do we know our own minds?Learn all about the Parlia Podcast here.Meet Turi Munthe: https://parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about Parlia project here: https://parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at: https://parlia.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Podcast Details

Created by
J. Paul Neeley
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Jun 26th, 2020
Latest Episode
Mar 3rd, 2021
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
25
Avg. Episode Length
44 minutes
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic
Language
English

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