We propose a five-episode Philosophy Talk radio series tackling the subject of immortality from a number of different philosophical perspectives. Life, as we know it, is temporal and finite. As each of us must confront our own mortality and the possibility of this individual self dissolving forever into the unknown, questions about the nature of the self and what happens to us in death have significance for every human being. These questions naturally lead us to ponder the possibility and, indeed, desirability of either indefinitely extending biological life or finding immortality in a spiritual afterlife.
Each one-hour episode in our proposed series will have the standard format for our weekly show, which opens with a sixty second "tease" designed to entice listeners to hear more, then a short and lively “framing” segment, followed by a sound-rich segment called “The Roving Philosophical Report,” focused on making vivid the real-life relevance of the philosophical questions raised in the framing. These opening segments are followed by an in-depth conversation with a different prominent guest scholar for each show. The conversation is structured around a progressive three-part story arc. Each show ends with a brief satirical segment called “The Sixty Second Philosopher.”
The proposed series will be aired at the rate of one episode per quarter from Fall 2014 through Fall 2015. Each episode will be accompanied by some short essays on our new blog, Philosophers’ Corner—an introduction to each show written by one of our co-hosts or our Director of Research, to be published just before the episode airs, and a reflection on the topic written by each guest, to be published after the broadcast. Once the series is complete, all elements will be packaged together for wider distribution. Our hope is that this full package will become the definitive philosophical guide to immortality, one that is both deeply engaging and broadly accessible.