SuchThatCast Episode 3: J.D. Trout

Johnny Soraker

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SuchThatCast goes mobile in the third episode, as I interview J.D. Trout on the appr. 2 hour train ride between Enschede and Schiphol airport. Trout received his PhD in Philosophy at Cornell University and is currently Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. He was recently awarded the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Professorship for 2012-13. His chief interests include the nature of scientific explanation, the psychology of human judgment, scientific realism and intellectual progress, and social/political issues bearing on well-being. He has also published work in epistemology and experimental and theoretical work in spoken language processing. In his most recent book, The Empathy Gap,Trout makes the case that a fair and humane democracy in modern times must turn to psychological science to forge policies that correct for people’s natural imperfections and cognitive biases. I was a little concerned whether an interview on the train would work out, but although editing was a pain with all the background noise and announcement interruptions, the episode turned out to contain everything I want out of this podcast: a fascinating and inspiring background story, deeply interesting and more or less unpublished philosophical ideas, a flowing conversation, and the occasional chuckle – all in the voice of an opera singer. Trout talks about a past filled with challenging circumstances and hard work as far removed from philosophy as possible, the importance of psychological research for policy making, the remarkably interesting field of speech recognition, the contingency of scientific progress as exemplified by corpuscularism and alchemy, and a host of other interesting topics. I hope you’ll like this conversation as much as I did.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-309094
  • IR-94228


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