The Gray Area with Sean Illing

The Gray Area with Sean Illing takes a philosophy-minded look at culture, technology, politics, and the world of ideas. Each week, we invite a guest to explore a question or topic that matters. From the the state of democracy, to the struggle with depression and anxiety, to the nature of identity in the digital age, each episode looks for nuance and honesty in the most important conversations of our time. New episodes drop every Monday.

Philosophy
Politics
News Commentary
101
Today's Republicans were made in the 1990s
Sean Ililing talks with author Nicole Hemmer, who shows how the GOP became what it is today
60 min
102
Yuval Noah Harari thinks humans are unstoppable
Sean is joined by Yuval Noah Harari, whose bestselling books take a zoomed-out view of the history of human beings — and a glimpse at what our future might hold
56 min
103
Dying with dignity
Sean Illing talks with journalist Katie Engelhart about the morality and legality of physician-assisted dying — asking what a death with dignity really looks like
54 min
104
Finding hope in a world on the brink
Sean talks with philosopher and psychoanalyst Jonathan Lear about how to keep flourishing as human beings in a world that feels like it's falling apart all around us
53 min
105
The new American Reconstruction
Sean Illing talks with author and historian Peniel Joseph about whether we're living in a new era of reconstruction, and the two warring ideas shaping American history
61 min
106
Is America losing its religion?
Sean is joined by religious scholar and bestselling author Reza Aslan to discuss the state of religion in America today
48 min
107
How we got to January 6th
Sean talks with reporter Luke Mogelson, who was amongst the rioters as they broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6, about how it happened, what led up to it, and what comes next
53 min
108
Neil deGrasse Tyson gets political
America's personal astrophysicist takes on our most vexing societal problems. But can science really make political struggles disappear?
53 min
109
Introducing The Gray Area
Embrace uncertainty
1 min
110
Best of: Why America's obsession with rights is...
54 min
111
A GOP insider on why the party went Trump
56 min
112
How do we fix the harm we cause?
45 min
113
A new philosophy of love
55 min
114
The politics of 'Yellowstone'
25 min
115
How society sexualizes us
51 min
116
The Parent Trap
How society is failing parents and children
55 min
117
40 Acres: Reaching reconciliation
28 min
118
40 Acres: The old Jim Crow
43 min
119
40 Acres: $14 trillion and no mules
44 min
120
40 Acres: The original promise
49 min
121
What Clarence Thomas really thinks
And why he's the most misunderstood Supreme Court Justice, according to the author of The Enigma of Clarence Thomas
59 min
122
Even Better: Don't call it a budget
45 min
123
The quest for authenticity
Better living through the existentialism of Simone de Beauvoir
46 min
124
Even Better: Setting your boundaries
43 min
125
Your gut instinct is usually wrong
A data scientist on how to make decisions
49 min