This episode explores the experiences of conservative professors on campus, and why ‘viewpoint diversity’ matters in academia. We hear from Josh Dunn, Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado and John Shields, Associate Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, who co-authored a book on conservative academics. Zack Beauchamp from vox.com joins Arthur in a discussion about de-platforming and freedom of speech on campus, and Professor Robert George talks about his experience at Princeton.
How can we keep contempt out of our disagreements? And why should we? Arthur talks to John Gottman, who has spent most of his career as a social psychologist studying contempt within relationships. He is the co-founder of the Gottman Institute in Seattle, where he does work with married couples, and shares his insights on the corrosive nature of contempt, and how we can get out of the habit of expressing it, both in our personal relationships, and more broadly, as a nation.
There’s a lot of disagreement on social media, but not a lot of meaningful debate. In this episode, we figure out how to change that by first understanding the nature of disagreement in the online space. Anonymity, silos, outrage – these flourish in our filter bubbles, but why is that? And we talk about how to go from text-based disagreement – which de-humanizes people, to the most powerful way to do meaningful debate – face to face.
The smartest person in the room doesn’t always win the debate — the best storyteller does. This episode explores the power of storytelling and how we can use stories to more effectively persuade, inspire, and unify others. We hear from sociologist Kathy Edin, neuroeconomist Paul Zak and Grant Gordon of the International Rescue Committee.
The story of an unexpected moment of ‘bridging’ — two opponents share a stage. What happened when Hawk Newsome, leader of a small group of activists from Black Lives Matter of Greater New York showed up at a pro-Trump rally. Arthur talks to Hawk about how that played out, and also to john powell, Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, about the challenges of sharing your stage (literally or metaphorically) with your ideological opponent.
Statement from the Black Lives Matter Global Network: “The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a leaderful movement and has grown to an organizing network of over 40 chapters across the world. Since 2013, we have organized under the banner of Black Lives Matter, connecting our work across borders, and fighting for our vision of a future that honors all Black lives. At the same time, some individuals and groups have worked using the name of Black Lives Matter and implied a relationship with our network, chapters, and members. But many of them are not in alignment with our guiding principles. Nor do they have any affiliation with the Black Lives Matter Global Network.
Hawk Newsome and the group known as BLM Greater NY have never been associated with the Black Lives Matter Global Network. They do not have the authority to speak on behalf of the Network or the work our activists are doing globally. And since the Black Lives Matter Global Network has not been contacted by Mr. Newsome or his associates, we believe that no funds raised by these individuals will benefit the Network or the work our chapters lead every day.
How do we navigate substantive disagreements – political or otherwise – with those closest to us? And how do we hold a discourse without sweeping differences under the rug or burning bridges? This episode unpacks ways of dealing with those differences of opinion in personal relationships: a primer for dealing with conflict at the next family gathering, and an inspiring story of two friends whose relationship survived their politics.
Arthur Brooks explores the art of disagreement. Against the backdrop of a toxic political climate, he believes the issue with our discourse is not that we disagree too much, but that we’ve forgotten how to disagree well. Different perspectives and diverse views aren’t cause to shy away from conversations. To the contrary, they’re a sign to dig deeper—because that’s when things start getting interesting.
The first episode arrives July 12. Listen to the trailer below: