Saturday, April 20, 2013

Philosophy Weekend: News from Philosophy in Action

By Diana Hsieh

Every Saturday, I post the news of the week from my primary work, Philosophy in Action, where I apply rational principles to the challenges of real life. Here's this week's update.

Upcoming Radio Shows

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Below are the episodes upcoming this week. I hope that you join us! More upcoming episodes can be found here: Episodes on Tap.

Sunday Morning, 21 April 2013: Q&A on Mental Illness, Abused Children, Resisting Police, and More

I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 21 April 2013.
  • Question 1: The Reality of Mental Illness: Is mental illness nothing more than a myth? It seems that many members of the free-market movement are enthused about the theory, promulgated by the likes of Thomas Szasz and Jeffrey A. Schaler, that there is no such thing as mental illness. They say that if one cannot pinpoint a direct physiological cause for behavior considered "mentally ill," there are no grounds for referring to that behavior as a symptom of some "illness." Furthermore, they argue that the concept of "mental illness" is simply a term that the social establishment uses to stigmatize nonconformist behavior of which it does not approve. Is there anything to these claims? If not, what's the proper understanding of the basic nature of mental illness?
  • Question 2: The State's Role with Abused Children: What should the state's role be in dealing with abused children? The state needs to remove children from homes where they're being abused--where their rights are being violated. But what should it then do with them? Should the state care for them until it can find a new home for them? How should it provide that care? If it cannot find a new home for a child, what happens to that child? Should the State raise the child to adulthood?
  • Question 3: Resisting Illegitimate Police Action: When is it moral to resist police action? Last year, the governor of Indiana signed a bill into law granting protection to citizens that resist the unlawful actions of a public servant. If a police officer enters your home without your knowledge or consent – legally or illegally – and you have no way of knowing whether he is an unlawful intruder, are you morally justified in taking violent action against him? When is it moral to forcibly resist police actions?
  • Question 4: Attending Religious Ceremonies: Is it wrong for an atheist to refuse to attend a sibling's religious ceremony? I've decided not to attend the religious ceremony of my younger sister's upcoming Bat Mitzvah. I'm an atheist, and while I don't think attending would be immoral, I don't want to support any kind of religiosity or connection to religion. Other family members have criticized me for that decision, saying that I should support my sister and not pressure her into agreeing with my own views. Should I attend? If not, how should I handle the family dynamics?
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 21 April 2013. The podcast will be posted later that day. For more details, check out the episode page.

Note: Philosophy in Action Radio will not broadcast on Wednesday, 24 April 2013.

Recent Podcasts

The podcasts of last week's radio shows are now available. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the archives, sorted by date or by topic. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.

14 April 2013: Q&A on Obesity, Parental Consent, Negative Terms, and More

I answered these questions on Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

Is it right or wrong to condemn people for being obese? Should minor girls be required by law to obtain parental consent for an abortion? Should people define themselves using the negative term "atheist"? Should a life-loving person always wish to live longer?

You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more, including audio files for individual questions.

17 April 2013: Eric Barnhill on "Cognition, Movement, and Music"

I interviewed pianist and graduate student in medical physics Eric Barnhill about "Cognition, Movement, and Music" on Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

"How does cognition connect to physical movement, tone, and rhythm? Can moving to music help the development of cognitive skills and capacities, particularly in children?" Eric Barnhill is a Juilliard-trained concert pianist and the creator of Cognitive Eurhythmics music movement therapy. He is pursuing a Ph.D in medical physics at the University of Edinburgh, where he studies brain-muscle interaction using magnetic resonance physics.

You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more.

Recent Blog Posts

Here are last week's posts to Philosophy in Action's blog NoodleFood, ordered from oldest to newest. Don't miss a post: subscribe to NoodleFood's RSS Feed.

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