November 22, 2020

Kevin Vallier: What to Do About Polarization

Kevin Vallier, PhD is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University, where he directs their Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law programs. Kevin’s interests span a wide spectrum including political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of religion, politics, and economics. He is the author of peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles, and his recent books include Must Politics Be War? Restoring Our Trust in the Open Society (Oxford UP 2019) and, his newest book, Trust in a Polarized Age (Oxford UP 2020).

We focused our discussion on Kevin’s philosophical viewpoint of political issues, traversing the axes of polarization and trust. We spent some time discussing how focusing on progress and process might be good short-term balms for our broken nation.

We also asked him about potential solutions to our current situation in the United States and his answers might surprise you. Kevin offered approaches that only a political philosopher might have, and we enjoyed his unique perspective. His best tip for healing our nation’s divides (in the short term) might be as simple as joining a church or non-political non-profit organization to help your community.

We hope you enjoy our conversation with Kevin Vallier.

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves



Kevin Vallier, PhD: 

Revolving Door:

Ranked Choice Voting:

Trump/Obama Valedictorian Speech:

Robert Cialdini, PhD:


Coleman’s Boat:

Robber’s Cave Experiment:

Nudge.It North:

Musical Links

Dolly Parton:

Chet Atkins:

Alison Kraus:

Maynard Ferguson:

Sufjan Stevens:

Gregorian chant:

Valaam chant:

Byzantine notation:


“Be Thou My Vision”:

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