Saturday, June 15, 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, 16 June 2013: Q&A on Ethical Foundations, Broken Relationships, Sex Scandals, and More

I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 16 June 2013.
  • Question 1: Life Versus Survival as the Standard of Moral Value: Is mere survival the standard of moral value? In "The Objectivist Ethics," Ayn Rand says that man's life is the standard of value. What does that mean? Is it mere physical survival? Is it mere quantity of years – or does the quality of those years matter too? Basically, what is the difference between living and not dying?
  • Question 2: Broken Relationships: When is a relationship broken beyond repair? Relationships can be severely strained, fraught with anger and frustration, and perhaps put on ice for weeks or months or years. Yet in the end, the two people can often reconcile in some way, so that they can enjoy a genuine (even if not deep) relationship again. In some cases, however, that's not possible. Why not? In such cases, must the problem be that one person (or both people) continue to behave badly? Or might reconciliation be impossible between two good people? If so, why?
  • Question 3: Armed Society: Is an armed society a polite society – or a violent society? Author Robert Heinlein famously said that "An armed society is a polite society." Many liberals, however, fear an armed society as barbaric and violent. Is widespread ownership and/or carry of arms a positive or a negative feature of a society?
  • Question 4: The Sex Scandals of Politicians: Should we stop caring about the sex lives of politicians? In response to the affair and resignation of David Petraeus, many argued that such sex scandals are the absurd consequence of American puritanism. These people claim that sex is easily compartmentalized in a person's life, such that sexual fidelity has no bearing on a person's intelligence, character, or suitability for public office. Is that right?
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 16 June 2013. The podcast will be posted later that day. For more details, check out the episode page.

Wednesday Evening, 19 June 2013: Monica Hughes on "Myths about Evolutionary Theory"

I'll interview biologist Monica Hughes about "Myths about Evolutionary Theory" on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday evening, 19 June 2013.

Many Americans are woefully ignorant of the basics of evolutionary theory, even while they criticize or reject it. Biologist Monica Hughes will explain the basic claims of evolutionary theory, the evidence for the theory, and dispel common myths about it.

Monica Hughes received her master's and PhD degrees in mycology and forest pathology at SUNY-ESF (State University of New York College of Environmental and Forest Biology). Broadly trained in aspects of plant and fungal biology, Monica's research is focused on an obscure but diverse group of insect-associated fungi, particularly co-evolution of the fungi with their hosts, and description of new species: her research uncovered roughly 50 new species of fungi from New Zealand, including several new genera. Since obtaining her PhD in 2008, Monica has worked as a biology professor in the Community College system of Colorado and at Regis University in Denver.

The live broadcast begins at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 19 June 2013. The podcast will be posted later that evening. For more details, check out the episode page.


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.

9 June 2013: Q&A on Libertarianism, Mental Illness, Rights, and More

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

Are Objectivism and libertarianism allies in the struggle for liberty? Can the consistent practice of wrong ideas lead to mental illness? Does a doctor violate a woman's rights by refusing to perform an abortion?

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

12 June 2013: Trey Peden on "Online Marketing and Privacy"

I interviewed online marketing professional Trey Peden about "Online Marketing and Privacy" on Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

"What do online marketing companies know about you? How do they gather data? Should you be alarmed by that? If so, what tools can help you protect your privacy online?" Trey Peden is a seasoned online marketing professional who has been designing, building, and refining users' online brand experiences for over 15 years. He works for Acxiom Corporation – one of the largest marketing data, technology, and services vendors in the world – as a product marketer for their digital marketing suite of tools.

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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