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News Release

September 10, 2008


Cynthia Haven, News Service: (650) 724-6184,

Corrie Goldman, Stanford Humanities Center: (650) 724-8156,

'Philosophy Talk' will record two shows Sept. 28 in front of theater audience

Stanford professors will tackle life, death and Second Life before a live audience in downtown San Francisco.

"Philosophy Talk" (KALW 91.7 FM), billed as "the radio show that questions everything except your intelligence," will record two shows in front of a theater audience Sunday, Sept. 28. Stanford philosophy Professors John Perry and Ken Taylor, who host the show, will direct the program of events at the Marsh Theater. Audience members will have an opportunity to participate in the discussion.

The first program, "The Terror of Death—and How to Overcome It," will begin at 2:30 p.m. The guest will be best-selling author and renowned existential psychotherapist Dr. Irvin Yalom, a Stanford professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Yalom's latest work, Staring at the Sun (2007), examines human anxiety about death.

At 6:30 p.m., "Digital Selves: Avatars, Second Life and Virtual Reality" will feature special guest Jeremy Bailenson, director of Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Bailenson uses cutting-edge technology to unveil the surprising ways that interaction among humans is transformed in the digital world.

The two shows will be recorded at the Marsh Theater and are scheduled for broadcast on KALW on Oct. 12 ("The Terror of Death") and Oct. 19 ("Digital Selves").

Now in its fifth season, "Philosophy Talk" is broadcast at 10 a.m. Sunday from San Francisco. It also airs on the Oregon Public Broadcasting network and other stations from New York to California. The weekly hour-long call-in show was featured in a Los Angeles Times story in July: "In this celebrity-soaked era, when Americans seem to spend more time pondering whether Britney Spears' underwear exists than whether God does, these two Stanford philosophy professors take on everything from the weighty to the winsome." In 2007, "Philosophy Talk" was named the "Best Local Public Radio Show" by San Francisco Weekly.

Tickets are available through the Marsh Theater (1062 Valencia St., near 22nd Street) online at or by phone, (800) 838-3006. Tickets are $20 for one show or $30 for both.


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