Q&A with Christiane Wisehart
Tell us about your podcast
I am the host and co-producer of the Examining Ethics podcast. On the show we tackle ethics issues large and small by interviewing people doing interesting work related to the field of ethics. My co-producer, Eleanor Price, works with me on the show and we’re both employed by the Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University. We release one show on the last Wednesday of each month, and take a summer break in July and August. We’ll also release the occasional bonus episode when the fancy hits us. You can find it anywhere you get podcasts, including Apple podcasts. You can also access the show directly from our website, examiningethics.org
Why did you start doing a podcast?
As a new employee in 2015, I came to the Prindle Institute’s director, Andy Cullison, with an idea to create a podcast. Unbeknownst to me, another new employee, Sandra Bertin, had the exact same idea. Together with Andy, we collaborated on what is now Examining Ethics. From the beginning, we thought a podcast would be the perfect medium for exploring the field of ethics. Ethics and philosophy are both such discussion-based disciplines that it seemed natural to create a show that featured some of those conversations. The show has definitely evolved quite a bit since we started, but it has always had those conversations at its heart.
What are the best three episodes you’ve aired so far, in your opinion?
I feel like I always have a different notion of what makes for a good episode than my listeners, so I’ll list the three episodes that have completely changed the way I think about and approach living my life. Episode 34, “Roles and Responsibilities with Robin Zheng“, completely upended my previously black-and-white thinking on structural injustice. In the episode, we talk about her fascinating theory about the relationship between individual responsibility and structural injustice. Episode 22, “Gaslighting, PTSD and Epistemic Injustice with Rachel McKinnon“, revolutionised my definition of what it means to be an ally to folks from marginalised groups. She helps explain why the stakes are so high with issues like epistemic injustice. Finally, episode 21, “Layered Landscapes“, was just the most fun to work on. During the tape gathering phase of creating the episode, I got to visit Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, which is a former military site that now houses a huge park. I’m so taken with the idea that there are potentially thousands of years of social, political and cultural traces hiding under what seem to be pristine natural landscapes.
Can you recommend one other philosophical podcast and tell us about one good episode?
My very favourite is The UnMute Podcast with Myisha Cherry [featured in TPM issue 80], but I’ll tell you about another recent favourite. I’ve fallen hard for Short and Curly, which describes itself as “a fast-paced fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents …” I’m normally not a fan of podcasts aimed at kids, but I genuinely enjoy listening to this one in the car with my little kids. They have this great practice of asking a really great, chewy question and then giving you time to pause and discuss it.
Beside straight up philosophy podcasts, could you recommend another podcast?
That is a really hard question! I will try to do what you’ve asked and just give one recommendation, but if anyone wants to geek out with me on all the other podcasts I love, shoot me an email. I love recommending a show called HumaNature to folks, because it’s just such a reliable delight. It’s about all of the different facets of humans and their interaction with nature. The best place to start with this show is actually their first episode, “Up A River, Without … A Pigeon?” And if that whets your appetite, move on to episode 7, “Man vs. Machine”, a story I still think about four years after hearing it first.