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Philosophy professor talks to Australian radio program

TaliaferroCharles250x373The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Earshot radio program interviewed St. Olaf College Professor of Philosophy Charles Taliaferro about souls — a topic that, the program notes, “has bewitched philosophers since the dawn of human thought.”

Taliaferro, co-author of A Brief History of the Soul, tells the program that humans are “fascinated, first and foremost, with the mystery of who we are.”

“One of the reasons that the idea of the soul has such traction culturally is that it can play a double role,” Taliaferro tells the radio program.

“On the one hand, in the book I co-author, we’re concerned with the history of the idea of the soul as being the ground and the very heart of what it is to be a person or a self or a mind over time. And my co-author and I actually believe in souls. But the idea of the soul plays a double role here also because it does have a metaphorical meaning. It can stand for one’s integrity, one’s values. But both question what’s important, what’s valuable.”

Taliaferro is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books and is the editor of the journal Open Theology, based in Berlin, Germany.