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Socrates Café
A Fresh Taste of Philosophy
Category: Philosophy
Location: SocratesCafe.com
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I'm the founder of Socrates Cafe -- see SocratesCafe.com -- and a noted author (Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy, The...


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May 08, 2017 09:42 AM PDT

How can we not only help one another function, but thrive in the world, while still suffering greatly from life's most extreme slings and arrows, such as the tragic and untimely loss of a loved one?

How do we learn to become comfortable bumbling through the darkness? And how do we best go about illuminating deeply sorrowful situations for one another in ways that enable us not only to keep on keeping on, but to inspire us to discover and leave a singular legacy and lasting mark -- and of a sort that connects us further and deeper to our world, between one human and another, and that connects us even more to those dear ones we lost?

Aaron Purmort, the love of Nora McInerny's life, was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. In the intensive and harrowing and rich months that followed, they married, and had a son. But Nora then lost another baby, and this was followed a week later by the death of her father, also from cancer, adding new pain to the shared experiences. Then, Aaron died 8 weeks later.

Nora's incredibly moving bestselling book, 'It’s OK to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too),' recounts how she and Aaron lived a beautifully intensive lifetime of experiences in a compressed timeframe, and how this has served as the springboard for the unique life of meaning and service that she lives today.

Be sure to check out Nora's fabulous award-winning podcast 'Terrible, Thanks for Asking' at https://www.apmpodcasts.org/ttfa/ , her own website at NoraBorealis.com, as well as the nonprofit group she launched -- the website is SkillKickin.co -- that aims to "help awesome people who are going through awful things," and hence to build a braver, more supportive world.

Listen in as Nora shares her story, and her philosophy of the kind of legacy we might each strive to leave this world during our mortal moment.

May 04, 2017 06:35 PM PDT

Why do most live in a "consciousness of separation," in which "I am I, and from my skin outward, I am not?" How can we transcend this notion of separation, and come to realize there is one continuous consciousness and energy, and that we are one with everything?

One way is through music. The life mission of musician Memo Mendez Guiú, one of Mexico's most celebrated songwriters, directors, producers -- his timeless works drove the success of the international sensation Timbiriche -- is to dissolve this illusional chasm.

His latest musical release, “Veintidós”, with his wife Valle González Camarena, a collection of songs, vividly conveys the resonance of two human beings connected through love. (Here is a link to a sampler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUBOILm5UWw )

Memo shares with us his vision for and philosophy of a world in which all is one.

Listen in.

April 29, 2017 10:27 AM PDT

Jeff Sandefer shakes things up, in the best sense. The Harvard Business School graduate, Socratic Method maestro, and Austin-based entrepreneurial wunderkind is front and center in the effort to reinvent the way we go about educating one another.

Co-founder of the pioneering Acton School of Business (www.ActonMBA.org), and of Acton Academy (www.ActonAcademy.org), Jeff is revolutionizing the way we go about teaching and learning from young people. His groundbreaking paradigm enables learners to take a "hero's journey" that potentially transforms their world, and ours.

Listen in as Jeff shares his singular philosophy -- and then consider being part of the education revolution.

April 24, 2017 09:00 AM PDT

Kris Kimel is a believer in and embracer of big, scary, wonderfully dangerous, potentially world-changing ideas. And he lives what he believes in and embraces.

Kris is co-founder and board chairman of Space Tango (SpaceTango.com), a company that “utilizes the unique environment of microgravity to discover, design and commercialize solutions for applications on Earth.”

And, Kris founded in 2000 the IdeaFestival (IdeaFestival.com), now held each year in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a transformative gathering where kindred spirits, bundles of curiosity one and all, from around the globe come together to share and explore the world of big, scary ideas.

Listen in as Kris shares his captivating vision.

April 23, 2017 09:14 AM PDT

There are now, at last official count, 999 million billion gazillion coaches of all sorts, in the U.S. alone.

But what virtues and best practices does the cream of the crop among coaches embody and exemplify?

Jeremy Colb is a stand-out All-Star Cheer and Tumble Coach (see PlatinumCheerStars.com) -- indeed he represents the Platonic ideal among coaches, in my humble opinion.

Jeremy has some universally applicable words of wisdom on the subject that one can only hope that all coaches of all varieties will take heed of.

Listen in.

April 21, 2017 07:09 AM PDT

Amanda Kathryn Roman (AmandaKathrynRoman.com) has some news for you -- you have it within you to radically change your life and become the fearless balanced badass you've always wanted to be in this fretful imbalanced world.

Amanda knows of what she speaks.

Listen in to Amanda's incredible journey of self transformation -- one that continues, and in which she overcomes daunting obstacles and odds to achieve her life ends -- and you'll be inspired to embark on one of your own.

Oh, and happy birthday, Amanda.

April 18, 2017 06:51 AM PDT

America, at its earliest formative stages, was forged by compacts such as the Mayflower Compact that bound people together as they strived to create a bold new form of government.

What kind of compact would we Americans need today to come together as a diverse yet united people, if we're to make our constitutional republic more vibrant and open and inclusive than ever -- at a time, no less, when polarization is all the rage, and efforts to use democratic mechanisms to subvert our democracy are arguably being orchestrated by some even at the highest echelons of power?

Dr. Andrew Seligsohn, a nationally recognized and acclaimed leader in university civic engagement, and President of Campus Compact (compact.org) -- the nation’s largest national organization dedicated to civic engagement in higher education -- shares a most inspiring and compelling vision for what such a compact might look like, not only for universities, their students and community partners, but for Americans as a whole.

Listen in to our latest Socrates Cafe podcast.

April 16, 2017 07:14 AM PDT

What if we the American people returned to our heretical origins? What if we rediscovered and recovered Nature's God -- the Nature's God that was front and center in our Declaration of Independence? What if we engaged again as citizens of our constitutional republic in the way envisioned by our many of our Founders -- a form of engagement based on a belief in Nature's God? How might we then further liberate ourselves, and our society? Matthew Stewart, author of the acclaimed and exquisitely scribed 'Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic,' shares his thoughts on the subject. A philosopher, thinker and writer without peer (in my humble opinion), Matthew's body of work deserves to be devoured. Be sure to check out his website at MWStewart.com. But first, listen in.

April 14, 2017 07:47 AM PDT

How can we harness the power of persuasion and dialogue to change the way we interact with one another, and ultimately to make our democracy more vibrant? Anna Kern, a former student of mine who went on to study Health Communication at Emerson College and now is a Senior Communications Associate at Palladian Partners, shares what she's learned. Listen in to her wise words.

April 12, 2017 06:27 AM PDT

In his song "One Particular Harbor," Jimmy Buffett could be describing the classroom of Todd Carstenn, Vanguard High School's teacher extraordinaire -- “a mysterious calling harbor, sheltered from the wind, where the children play, on the shore each day, and all are safe within.”

Safe in a wonderfully edgy and intellectually stimulating way -- one in which, as Todd says, "they can rest in the sand until their next harbor calls," meanwhile "bringing their own sand to the harbor of my classroom."

How do we make sure all our precious children and youth can bring their own sand to the harbors of their learning environs?

Todd, an absolutely beloved teacher in Ocala, FL (who has been putting to good use fo years 'Socrates Cafe' in the international baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge course), shares his decades' worth of insights.

Listen in.

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