The Philosophy And Psychology (And Physics And Metaphysics) Of Holes
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.
- 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
Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired May 12, 2020.