Saturday, July 13, 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, 14 July 2013: Q&A on Feminism, Jailbreaking, Racism, Color, and More

I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 14 July 2013.
  • Question 1: Today's Feminist Movement: How should the feminist movement be judged? Do today's feminist causes have any merit? Or is the feminist movement merely seeking special favors for women at the expense of men – perhaps even via violations of the rights of men? If the movement is mixed, how should it be judged, overall? Should better feminists eschew the movement due to its flaws – or attempt to change it from within? Can advocates of reason, egoism, and capitalism ally themselves with selected feminist causes without promoting the worse elements thereof?
  • Question 2: The Morality of Jailbreaking: Is it morally wrong to 'root' or 'jailbreak' your own electronic devices? Maybe I'm just too stupid or lazy to read through all the legal-ese that comes with these devices, so I don't know whether technically a customer is contractually obligated not to do it. But I know that companies try to design their products so that people can't easily "root" or "jailbreak" them, and clever people find ways to do it. Is doing so a theft of intellectual property?
  • Question 3: Racism Versus Moral Decency: Can a person be a racist yet still a morally decent person? Paula Deen has been in hot water – with her shows and sponsorships cancelled – because of allegedly racist comments that she admitted to making in a deposition. (The lawsuit was brought by Lisa Jackson – a former manager of a restaurant owned by her and her brother. Ms. Jackson alleges sexual harassment and tolerance of racial slurs at the restaurant.) Based on Ms. Deen's admissions in the deposition, is she racist? If so, can she still be a moral person? Do matters of race trump all other moral convictions?
  • Question 4: The Objectivity of Color Concepts: Are concepts of color objective? Given that people from different cultures conceptualize colors differently, I don't see how concepts of color – or at least the demarcation of colors – can be objective. For example, in English, the colors "green" and "blue" have different names because they refer to different concepts. In Japanese, however, the word "aoi" can refer to either light green or blue: they don't draw a distinction between them. Similarly, English speakers refer to both the sky and a sapphire as "blue." But in Italian this is not the case: the word "blu" only refers to dark blue, and the sky is the distinct color of "azzuro." Do such cultural differences cast doubt on the claim that concepts of color are objective?
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 14 July 2013. The podcast will be posted later that day. For more details, check out the episode page.

Wednesday Evening, 17 July 2013: Scott Powell on "Studying History"

I'll interview history educator Scott Powell about "Studying History" on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday evening, 17 July 2013.

Why is knowledge of history important? What aspects of history are particularly worthy of study? How can adults educate themselves about history?

Scott Powell is the creator of Powell History and "A First History for Adults." He is a permanent traveler who teaches a distance learning homeschooling history program called "History At Our House" that provides an integrated curriculum for children from 2nd to 12th grade all over the world. He is currently working on the development of an accessible, integrated history program for professional adults and aspiring intellectuals.

The live broadcast begins at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 17 July 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.

7 July 2013: Q&A on Common Sense, Jealousy, Applying Philosophy, and More

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

Is 'common sense' a form of rationality? Was Francisco's lack of jealousy in Atlas Shrugged rational or realistic? Can rational philosophic principles solve problems in philosophy and other disciplines? Should the military ban marital infidelity?

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

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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