Saturday, July 07, 2012

Philosophy Weekend: Philosophy in Action Radio Preview

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on the validity of psychic powers, managing office politics, responsibility for wrongdoings of friends, the cost of freedom, and more with Greg Perkins. Don't miss this engaging hour-long discussion on the application rational principles to the challenges of real life!

  • What: Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio Show

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins

  • When: Sunday, 8 July 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET

  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live
This week's questions are:
  • Question 1: The Validity of Psychic Powers: Are psychic powers bunk? A friend convinced me to join him in visiting a psychic for a tarot card reading. Although I am opposed to mysticism, I didn't mind going and thought it would be funny. I was surprised to find this psychic knew things about me that (while vague) were very accurate descriptors, and could not have been known from my appearance (nor prior knowledge since it was an impromptu visit). It seems highly unlikely they could have guessed (and have guessed so accurately) correct character traits, issues and feelings. Is this evidence in favor of psychic powers? Or have I been mislead?


  • Question 2: Managing Office Politics: How can a person effectively manage office politics? In almost any job, the internal politics of the company can be overwhelming. If you speak out, you can be embroiled in conflict and drama. If you stay silent, the pushy people will have their way, often for the worse. What should a person do who wants to actually work?


  • Question 3: Responsibility for Wrongdoings of Friends: Am I responsible for the actions of my friends? Suppose that a friend of mine does something that others find objectionable. Am I obliged to state my opinion of what my friend did? If I refuse to state an opinion, should others assume that I endorse my friend's actions? In general, should we expect people to speak out if they object to what others do? When is a person obliged to speak in protest?


  • Question 4: The Cost of Freedom: Shouldn't freedom be "free"? I often hear the bromide "freedom isn't free," or some variation of it, such as, "there's a price for freedom." But isn't freedom actually free? A person acts by right in pursuing his own life and happiness, and criminals do not have any right to coerce or threaten others. If freedom is the political expression of rights in a social or political context, it follows that there should be no "cost" to exercising one's rights. It isn't a sacrifice to not violate others rights, since respect for them is a selfish virtue, nor would it be a sacrifice to voluntarily fund a proper government that protects one's rights, since the benefit outweighs the cost. Am I correct in thinking freedom, properly understood and protected, is indeed free, or not? If I am, what do people mean when they say, "freedom isn't free," and what's the proper response?

After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you attend the live show, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask me follow-up questions in the text chat. If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio recording of the whole episode, as well as individual questions, posted to the episode's archive page: Q&A Radio: 8 July 2012. From that page, you can post comments on the questions before or after the broadcast.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. Take a peek at the Episodes on Tap for the scoop on upcoming shows!

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, newsletter, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Show Archives, where you can listen to any past episode or question. And visit the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming episodes.

I hope that you'll join us on Sunday morning!

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