Jan 27 • 1HR 17M

How Much Morality Is Too Much? (w/ Mark Lilla)

On indifference, innocence, and moral passions.

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Everything is broken. Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk, two jaded journos, interview people far wiser than themselves and ask: "now what?"
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Author and political philosophy professor Mark Lilla joined us to debate morality (what makes something good, and how much of it is enough?), innocence vs. ignorance, reactionary passions and nostalgia, the importance of maintaining a private sphere of moral inquiry, and the psychoses of current American politics. We usually ask our “blindspots” question at the end. This time, it captured the entire talk.

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On the agenda:

-Wisely choosing Vico [5:06-6:49]

-Losing faith, gaining skepticism, and seeking the goodness of knowledge [6:50-7:56]

-Ignorance and bliss [11:59-17:32]

-The pros and cons of American populism and dogmatism [17:33-29:12]

-How much morality is enough? [29:13-30:06]

-Why our government's so dysfunctional [30:07-37:58]

-Elitism and activism in the academe [37:59-46:09]

-The productive anxieties of American life [46:10-49:36]

-The nostalgia party of the right [49:37-1:01:39]

-The unserious, crusading left [1:01:40-1:10:54]

-The case for indifference [1:10:55-1:15:24]

Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday rumination, subscribe to: uncertain.substack.com.