The Hub for Important Ideas

The Hub for Important Ideas

The Hub for Important Ideas is a podcast about the serious issues of our time, hosted by cultural critics Stephen James and Ken Swain. They challenge conventional thinking about contemporary problems including Mental Health, Economic Inequality, the Environment, Bigotry, and War in intelligent conversations with thought leaders in various disciplines. Drawing on the groundbreaking work of Ernest Becker, author of The Denial of Death, and the cutting-edge research of Terror Management Theory, this podcast will enable you to think through urgent issues.

Episodes

May 31, 2022 115 min

How do we go beyond the divisions in our society? This episode features part two of a conversation with social psychologist Sheldon Solomon who offers a unique perspective on our polarized country that goes beyond the standard political, social, historical, and economic explanations.

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How can we get a better understanding of the divisions in our society? This episode features a conversation with social psychologist Sheldon Solomon who offers a unique perspective on our polarized country that goes beyond the standard political, social, historical, and economic explanations.

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What does the War in Ukraine mean to us in America? This episode discusses the war in Ukraine from a different perspective, its implications, and the most difficult aspects for us Americans.

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How do we face up to our Mortality in this Diverse Culture? This episode discusses mortality and human flourishing in a diverse culture from a religious perspective. We talk with Dan Liechty, an expert on the works of Ernest Becker and interreligious beliefs.

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What is happening to free speech in America? This episode discusses free speech, cancel culture, book banning, wokeism, lies, post-truth, the equal time rule, conspiracy theories, and the human need for control.

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How do we get a handle on the complex issue of abortion? This episode discusses the abortion issue, pro-choice, anti-abortion, and the ethical problem from the discerning standpoint of clinical bioethicist Miriam Piven Cotler.

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January 14, 2022 48 min

What were some of the important ideas from 2021? This episode, sums up some of the most thought-provoking ideas from our guests, who included Jack Moscou, Lyla Rothschild, Henry Richards, Jerry Piven, Pelin Kesebir, Dan Liechty, Sheldon Solomon, Merlyn Mowrey, and Tomi-Ann Roberts.

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How do we understand the problematic reaction to Critical Race Theory in America? This episode discusses Critical Race Theory, wokeism, racial prejudice and discrimination in our society and internationally from the perceptive standpoint of psychologist Henry Richards.

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How do we understand the complex psychology of war? This episode wrestles with a distinction between the realistic danger and the fantastical nature of war from the insightful perspective of psychologist Jerry Piven.

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Is there more war and wholesale violence in our future? This episode considers the prospect for war in our future from the unique perspective of author Jack Mosscou.

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What is feminist existentialism, and how does it impact the lives of both men and women? This episode discusses objectification theory, and related psychological and legal issues. It features an interview with Dr. Tomi-Ann Roberts, professor of psychology and chair of the department at Colorado College.

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What is immersion and how does it help us understand our lives? This episode explores the notion of immersion, how it helps us defend against death anxiety, and the many related ideas that notion leads us to. It features an interview with Dr. Merlyn Mowrey, retired Associate Professor of Social Ethics, Department of Philosophy and Religion at Central Michigan University.  

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How can focusing on death improve our lives and the world around us? This episode discusses death reflection, mindfulness, meditation, what is called the death-positive movement, and related topics. It features an interview with Dr. Sheldon Solomon social psychologist at Skidmore College.  

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How do we use important ideas to help change ourselves for the better? This episode examines the intrinsic value in some important ideas that can improve our functioning in the world and convey genuine self-knowledge. It features an interview with Dr. Dan Liechty Professor of Social Work at Illinois State University. 

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How do we improve our lives and our society by practicing humility? This episode discusses humility: its many aspects, and ways it offers hope for the future. It features an interview with social psychologist Pelin Kesebir honorary fellow at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

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How do we improve our lives and our society through a better understanding of political fantasy and illusion? This episode discusses rationalization, decision making, our society, and possibilities for hope. It features an interview with psychologist Jerry Piven who teaches in the Department of Philosophy at
Rutgers University.   

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April 14, 2021 34 min

This episode discusses a sense of history, gun violence, and celebrates
the one-year anniversary of The Hub for Important Ideas podcast. http://www.thehubforimportantideas.com/ 

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How do we understand mental health in America? This episode discusses sanity, psychopathology, our society, and possibilities for hope. It features an interview with psychologist Jerry Piven who teaches in the Department of Philosophy at
Rutgers University. 

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What role does unconscious bias play in our society? Psychologist Henry Richards discusses the unconscious basis of racial bias and what it means to our understanding of our society.  

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What is the impact of social media on our existential concerns? This episode discusses social media and the less than obvious effect it has on our society.  

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