Hi-Phi Nation


What a seductive demon teaches us about making life-changing decisions.


Episode Notes

The first in a three-part series on monsters in philosophy. We trace the cultural history of vampires from Eastern European folklore to Twilight, and even look at the practices of real vampires, people who seek out and consume blood or psychic energy. The vampire went from demon to attractive monster in the course of a few centuries and raises a deep question about the limits of human imagination, and whether we can ever reasonably choose to have a transformative experience. Guest speakers include Christina van Dyke (Columbia), Laurie Paul (Yale), and John Edgar Browning (Savannah College of Art and Design).

Listen to Seasons 1 through 4 at Hi-Phi Nation.


About the Show

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

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  • Barry Lam is host and producer of Hi-Phi Nation and Professor of Philosophy at UC Riverside, and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University.