Can the Lord of the Rings trilogy act as a means to understand complex politics and international relations? Our guest says, indeed, it can. [ dur. 30 mins. ]

  • Patrick James, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California. He is the author of, “The International Relations of Middle-earth: Learning from The Lord of the Rings.”

Then, on the Scholars’ Circle, we look at deception and lying. Some scholars say that deception is ubiquitous and normal in all human interactions, that lying is useful and possibly even biological. Others suggest that there is a cost to lying even for white lies. What is the truth about lying? [ dur. 28 mins. ]

  • Sissela Bok is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and formerly a Professor of Philosophy at Brandeis University. Her many books include the seminal, “Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life,” “Secrets: on the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation,” and “A Strategy for Peace: Human Values and the Threat of War.”
  • David Livingstone Smith is Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. He is the author of several books including, “Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind,” “Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others,” and “Hidden Conversations: An Introduction to Communicative Psychoanalysis.”
  • Charles V. Ford, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama. His books include “Lies! Lies!! Lies!!!: The Psychology of Deceit.”

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