The Gray Area with Sean Illing Podcast

The Gray Area with Sean Illing

Vox
The Gray Area with Sean Illing takes a philosophy-minded look at culture, technology, politics, and the world of ideas. Each week, we invite a guest to explore a question or topic that matters. From the the state of democracy, to the struggle with depression and anxiety, to the nature of identity in the digital age, each episode looks for nuance and honesty in the most important conversations of our time. New episodes drop every Monday.
Swear like a philosopher
You can’t drop an f-bomb on the radio, but fortunately for our guest, you can say anything you want in a podcast. This week, host Sean Illing talks to philosopher Rebecca Roache, author of For F*ck’s Sake: Why Swearing Is Shocking, Rude, and Fun about the philosophy and linguistics of swearing, and why certain four-letter words hold the magical power to both offend and delight. Warning: In case it’s not obvious, this episode contains swearing. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Rebecca Roache (@rebecca_roache) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 22
44 min
Taking Nietzsche seriously
Sean Illing talks with political science professor Matt McManus about the political thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th-century German philosopher with a complicated legacy, despite his crossover into popular culture. They discuss how Nietzsche's work has been interpreted — and misinterpreted — since his death in 1900, how his radical political views emerge from his body of work, and how we can use Nietzsche's philosophy in order to interpret some key features of our contemporary politics. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Matt McManus. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 15
1 hr 2 min
What India teaches us about liberalism — and its decline
Authoritarian tendencies have been on the rise globally and the liberal world order is on the decline. One hotspot of this tension lies in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi employs autocratic language and tactics to maintain power. But a recent election may indicate that voters are losing interest in this style of rule. Guest host Zack Beauchamp talks with scholar Pratap Bhanu Mehta about the past of the Indian liberal tradition and what the current politics of the world’s largest democracy say about the state of global politics.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Pratap Bhanu Mehta Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 8
46 min
1992: The year politics broke
We’re living in an era of extreme partisan politics, rising resentment, and fractured news media. Writer John Ganz believes that we can trace the dysfunction to the 1990s, when right-wing populists like Pat Buchanan and white supremacist David Duke transformed Republican politics. He joins Sean to talk about the 1990s and how it laid the groundwork for Trump. His book is When the Clock Broke: Con Men, Conspiracists, and How America Cracked Up in the Early 1990s. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: John Ganz (@lionel_trolling). His book is When the Clock Broke.  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 1
44 min
The existential struggle of being Black
Nathalie Etoke joins The Gray Area to talk about existentialism, the Black experience, and the legacy of dehumanization.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Nathalie Etoke. Her book is Black Existential Freedom. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 24
55 min
The world after nuclear war
A mile of pure fire. A flash that melts everything — titanium, steel, lead, people. A blast that mows down every structure in its path, 3 miles out in every direction. Journalist Annie Jacobsen spent years interviewing scientists, high-ranking military officials, politicians, and other experts to find out how a nuclear attack would be triggered, the devastation it would cause, the ruptures it would create in the social fabric, and how likely it is to happen today. She wrote about all of this in her new book Nuclear War: A Scenario. Jacobsen spends the hour clearly laying out the horrifying yet captivating specifics for Sean, and the prospects for avoiding catastrophe.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Annie Jacobsen. Her book is Nuclear War: A Scenario Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 17
57 min
Gaza, Camus, and the logic of violence
Albert Camus was a Nobel-winning French writer and public intellectual. During Algeria’s bloody war for independence in the 1950s, Camus took a measured stance, calling for an end to the atrocities on each side. He was criticized widely for his so-called “moderation.” Philosophy professor Robert Zaretsky joins Sean to discuss Camus’s thoughts on that conflict and the parallels with the present moment. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Robert Zaretsky Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 10
54 min
This is your kid on smartphones
Old people have always worried about young people. But psychologist Jonathan Haidt believes something genuinely different and troubling is happening right now. He argues that smartphones and social media have had disastrous effects on the mental health of young people, and derailed childhood from real world play to touchscreens. He joins Sean to talk about his research and some of the criticisms of it. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Jonathan Haidt (@jonhaidt). His book is The Anxious Generation. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 3
53 min
Life after death?
Sebastian Junger came as close as you possibly can to dying. While his doctors struggled to revive him, the veteran reporter and avowed rationalist experienced things that shocked and shook him, leaving him with profound questions and unexpected revelations. In his new book, In My Time of Dying, Junger explores the mysteries and commonalities of people’s near death experiences. He joins Sean to talk about what it’s like to die and what quantum physics can tell us about living that countless religions can’t. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Sebastian Junger. His new book is In My Time of Dying. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 20
52 min
The world after Ozempic
Ozempic and other new weight loss drugs are being touted as potential miracle cures for diabetes and obesity. Journalist Johann Hari experimented with the drug and dropped 40 pounds. In his new book, Magic Pill, Hari discusses his experience with Ozempic and speaks to many of the leading scientists to better understand how the drug works. He joins Sean to talk about what he’s learned and the complicated trade-offs involved in the decision to take these drugs. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Johann Hari (@johannhari101). His new book is Magic Pill. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Cristian Ayala Please take a second to help us learn more about you! vox.com/podcastsurvey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 13
50 min
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