The Gray Area with Sean Illing

Updated: 04 Dec 2023 • 635 episodes

The Gray Area with host Sean Illing is a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between. We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do offer a space for real dialogue. Resist certainty, embrace ambiguity, and get some cool takes on a very hot world. Formerly the Vox Conversations podcast. New episodes drop every Monday.

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04 Dec 2023 • EN

3,000 years of The Iliad

Constance Grady, a culture writer at Vox, is joined by Emily Wilson to discuss her bestselling translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey. They unpack the buzz surrounding them and the significance of The Iliad today.  Host: Constance Grady, (@constancegrady), culture writer, Vox Guest: Emily Wilson, classics professor

36 min
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27 Nov 2023 • EN

Late-stage liberalism

Sean Illing is joined by John Gray, political philosopher and author of the new book, The New Leviathans: Thoughts After Liberalism. They discuss Thomas Hobbes and the origins of liberalism, the current state of democracy, and the very uncertain future of the global liberal order. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host,

53 min
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20 Nov 2023 • EN

The case against free will

Sean Illing speaks with Robert Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the author of a new book called Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will. They discuss the concept of free will, whether it actually exists in the way we think it does, and what it means for society if free w

58 min
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Zack Beauchamp, a Vox senior correspondent who writes about democracy and Israel, speaks with Shadi Hamid, a columnist at The Washington Post, research professor of Islamic studies at Fuller Seminary, and author of The Problem of Democracy: America, the Middle East, and the Rise and Fall of an Idea. They discuss the Oc

60 min
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Sean Illing is joined by Matt Gutman, the chief national correspondent for ABC News, to talk about his new book, No Time to Panic: How I Curbed My Anxiety and Conquered a Lifetime of Panic Attacks. They discuss their personal experiences with panic, the evolutionary roots of it, and how Matt has gained control over his

49 min
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30 Oct 2023 • EN

We Are What We Watch

Guest host Alissa Wilkinson speaks with Walt Hickey about his new book, You Are What You Watch: How Movies and TV Affect Everything. They discuss how entertainment affects the physical and mental states of viewers — from blood coagulation during horror movie screenings to an increase in Dalmatian adoptions after 101 Da

56 min
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