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185. Martin Hägglund (philosopher) – What happens to freedom when time is money: So long as value in our world is driven by the profit motive, human freedom doesn’t stand a chance. Drawing on Marx, Hegel, and the everyday contradictions of life under capitalism, Martin Hägglund demonstrates that what we do with our finite lives is the only true measure of wealth.

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What gets a wolf or a pigeon up in the morning? No offense to wolves or to pigeons, but it’s probably not the desire to make the world a better place. As far as we know, humans are unique in the freedom to decide what’s worth doing with our finite time on Earth. But as my guest today argues, we often steal that freedom from one another or sell it off without even realizing it—our finite  lifetime, the one thing we have of real value, is devalued by capitalism and for those who have it, by religious faith in eternal life, or eternal everythingness, or eternal nothingness. . . .It’s a long story. These ideas are better expressed in a 400 page book than in a 60 second intro. Happily, philosopher Martin Hägglund has given us that much-needed book in This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom. Martin is a professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at Yale and a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient. And I’m delighted to have him here with me today.  Surprise conversation starters in this episode: Rob Bell on whether Jesus would have wanted ChristianityLearn more about your ad choices. Visit

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