The Ralston College Podcast

The Ralston College Podcast


Latest Episodes

Ep. 12 - A Discussion of 'Ivan Ilyich:' Donna Orwin and Stephen Blackwood
October 24, 2020

In this complementary episode to the reading of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilyich,’ Stephen Blackwood speaks with Dr Donna Orwin, professor of Russian literature at the University of Toronto. Dr Orwin provides context for Tolstoy and his world, and the...

Ep. 11 - Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilyich
October 15, 2020

In this first episode of a new series, Stephen Blackwood reads Leo Tolstoy’s classic novella, ‘The Death of Ivan Ilyich.’ A masterful text from one of history’s great writers, it tells the story of a man whose fatal illness forces him to...

Ep. 10 - Independence in an Age of Conformity: Stephen Wolfram & Stephen Blackwood
August 30, 2020

How does one cultivate creativity and independence of mind? Stephen Blackwood talks to physicist and entrepreneur Stephen Wolfram about his precocious and largely self-educated early life and his ascent to become a world-class scientist, an innovator...

Ep. 9 - Deep Thinking in a Distracted World: Cal Newport and Stephen Blackwood
August 03, 2020

Stephen talks with Cal Newport, writer and professor of computer science. They begin by reflecting on the historically unparalleled challenges and distractions of the digital age. They then discuss strategies to reclaim our mental autonomy, the...

Ep. 8 - On Freedom and Truth: Yeonmi Park & Stephen Blackwood
July 24, 2020

North Korean defector and human rights champion Yeonmi Park speaks with Stephen Blackwood about her journey to freedom: first from an oppressive political regime, then from slavery in China, and then from her own inner humiliation and fear. They speak...

Ep. 7 - Douglas Hedley and Stephen Blackwood: Reason, Imagination, and Reality
May 13, 2020

What connects truth, imagination, and freedom? Stephen Blackwood talks with philosopher-theologian Douglas Hedley about the human mind and its participation in a fundamentally knowable universe. The conversation begins with an introduction...

Ep. 6 - Iain McGilchrist and Stephen Blackwood: The Unfolding of Life and Thought
April 18, 2020

In Part II of their conversation, Stephen Blackwood and Iain McGilchrist discuss questions of theology, science, and philosophy, including: the shared nature of human life, revealed anew by the COVID-19 pandemic; 'unfolding' as a metaphor for...

Ep. 5 - Iain McGilchrist and Stephen Blackwood: On Finding Ourselves Within the Whole
April 01, 2020

A conversation between Iain McGilchrist and Stephen Blackwood: Dr McGilchrist gives a brief summary of his account of the two sides of the brain and then the two discuss how that account offers a powerful interpretation of the contemporary world.

Ep. 4 - Boethius and the Consolation of Philosophy
November 06, 2019

In this lecture for the Temenos Academy in London, delivered on June 19th, 2019, Stephen Blackwood offers a powerful reading of the ancient Roman writer Boethius and his magnum opus The Consolation of Philosophy. After tracing the Ancient Greek...

Ep. 3 - Jordan Peterson and Stephen Blackwood: Our Cultural Inflection Point and Higher Education
September 21, 2019

Dr Jordan Peterson speaks with Dr Stephen Blackwood about our cultural inflection point and higher education, as well as Solzhenitsyn, redemption, and the hunger for meaning.