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Arts & Culture

The Philosophy And Psychology (And Physics And Metaphysics) Of Holes

hole
Mike Burns
/
flickr creative commons
A hole.

In November, 2016, we did a show about all the problems presented by, well, a-holes. And so it seems only logical to expand our scope a bit and do a show about all the problems presented by, well, a hole.

For instance: How many holes are there in a straw? Did you say one? Okay, cool. Then how many holes are there in a sock? (A relatively new sock, I mean.) You said one again, right? But how can both of those things be true at the same time?

Or, put another way: What happens to the hole in the donut as you eat the donut around it? This gets into mereology, the theory of parthood relations -- for our purposes, the parts and wholes of holes and the wholes the holes are parts of.

Your head hurts a little, right?

And then there's trypophobia, an irrational fear of clusters of holes and cracks.

And finally: We've just found a black hole right in our cosmic backyard.

GUESTS:

  • Chrissie Giles - A science writer and the global health editor at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
  • Marina Koren - Staff writer at The Atlantic
  • Achille Varzi - Professor of philosophy at Columbia University and the coauthor of Holes and Other Superficialities

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.

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