Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday where she sought to use the symbolism of a historic landmark to draw parallels to a present-day America that is in need of repairing deepening racial and cultural divides.

The Old State Capitol — where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "A house divided" speech in 1858 warning against the ills of slavery and where Barack Obama launched his presidential bid in 2007 — served as the backdrop for Clinton as she spoke of how "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."

Episode 711: Hooked on Heroin

1 hour ago

When we meet the heroin dealer called Bone, he has just shot up. He has a lot to say anyway. He tells us about his career--it pretty much tracks the evolution of drug use in America these past ten years or so. He tells us about his rough past. And he tells us about how he died a week ago. He overdosed on his own supply and his friend took his body to the emergency room, then left.

New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

4 hours ago
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Why Science And Values Can't Be Untangled

Sep 27, 2013

Facts and values are entangled in science. It's not because scientists are biased, not because they are partial or influenced by other kinds of interests, but because of a commitment to reason, consistency, coherence, plausibility and replicability. These are value commitments.

One way to bring this out: we don't do more science to prove we should be reasonable. Doing science presupposes being reasonable. Being reasonable isn't one of the facts. It's a value.

Now, you might take this entanglement of fact and value — this is philosopher Hilary Putnam's phrase — to demote science from its exalted standing. You might conclude: ah, you see, science is subjective too. It's just another practice!

And then you start to boggle. How could a mere practice be so effective? To give an old-fashioned example: we have have sent a man to the moon!

But maybe the point isn't to bring science down a notch; maybe the point, really, is to elevate values and their place in our lives up a few rungs.

Maybe our mistake all along has been the idea that values are merely subjective, just matters of opinion or interpretation, or taste, or inclination, that our values are merely relative.

Is there anything relative, or made up, or culture bound, about the value of love, or that of life itself?

And what of the value of reasonableness or fairness?

Aren't these real values? Isn't discerning them an achievement? Don't we learn something about the world when we come to appreciate, for example, that health is good?

But if values are real, what are they? And what about the fact that, when it comes to values, it doesn't seem possible to settle disputes. We live in a pluralistic world, after all.

Once you take values seriously, you've got to figure out how they fit into the world, how they fit into our world, and this isn't easy.

In fact, I suspect, it is one of the fundamental problems of our time.


You can keep up with more of what Alva Noë is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter: @alvanoe

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.