In his book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, Daniel Dennett provides four simple rules (adopted from those crafted by the game theorist Anatol Rapoport) for criticizing the views of those with whom you disagree.
It’s hard to come up with a definition of ethics that is both precise and satisfactory to everyone. But it helps to think about the levels at which ethical discussion and analysis take place.
If you’re looking for podcasts that seriously grapple with ideas in ethics and morality, then here are three of the best ones out there.
It’s an interesting question whether as much moral goodness as possible is a good thing – whether we should, if we could, hack our psychology all the way to moral perfection. Whether we would want to be moral saints.
Some scientists are interested in what makes things funny, and they’ve developed some pretty sophisticated explanations. Here are five of the major scientific theories of humor. Read with caution, as this article could kill your sense of humor.
Many attribute countries’ falls to a purposeful and scheming series of methods by individual actors. America, as it is today, has doomed itself. It would be easy to procure an easy argument by blaming trends on the baby boomers or the millennials (it isn’t them). Instead, I will blame Marx.
Many people believe there is a significant difference between withdrawing life-sustaining treatment and letting a terminally ill patient die (passive euthanasia) and actively causing a terminal patient’s death by, for instance, delivering a lethal injection (active euthanasia). But is there?
In “Liberalism and Individual Positive Freedom,” philosopher John Christman attempts a positive conception of freedom that is not subject to the dangers that concerned Isaiah Berlin.
There was a time when churches were the harbingers of social justice. Now they often prefer tax exempt status over empowering their congregants.
In a famous 2003 experiment, the philosopher Joshua Knobe showed that people’s judgments about whether the side effect of an action is intentional or not depend on what the side effect is.
Gerald MacCallum doesn’t think that negative and positive liberty are two distinct concepts. He argues instead that there’s only one concept and that it is a mistake to characterize freedom, as Berlin does, as either one of two “dyadic relations” – “freedom from” (negative liberty) and “freedom to” (positive liberty).