Saturday, October 05, 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, 6 October 2013: Q&A on Free Speech, Psychological Egoism, Conflict with Professors, and More

I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 6 October 2013.
  • Question 1: Free Speech of Corporations: Do corporations have free speech rights? Many leftists (including left-libertarians) are vehemently opposed to the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision, which recognized that corporations have the right to speak in elections. Do corporations have rights? What would it mean for corporations not to have rights – including the right to speak freely, to contract, or to own property? Should corporations be considered "persons" under the law?
  • Question 2: Psychological Egoism: Isn't every action selfish, ultimately? Unless coerced, people act however they deems best at that moment. Even if that action is self-destructive, aren't they acting selfishly, so as to satisfy their own desires? Even paragons of altruism act because they want to help people, please God, or save the environment: that's what makes them happy. So isn't true, deep-down altruism impossible?
  • Question 3: Objecting to a Professor's Views: How strongly should a student object to a professor's objectionable views? I am a senior undergraduate in liberal arts major at a public university. I'm currently taking a class with the bleak subject matter of genocide. My blatantly socialist teacher presents her views in discussions of the Armenian genocide, the “genocide” in Soviet Russia, and the Holocaust. Often, she ignores the role of religion and flawed socialist policies. Also, she blames greed and capitalism to an unreasonable degree for the woes of the aforementioned countries. How should I respond to these objectionable claims of hers? How much should I try to undermine her wrongheaded views?
  • Question 4: Deduction from Axioms: Is philosophy deduced from axioms? Often, I hear people claim that philosophy – particularly Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism – is deduced from axioms. Is that right? Personally, I don't see how that can be: How can anything be deduced from "existence exists"? But if that's right, then what's the purpose of the axioms?
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 6 October 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, 9 October 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.

29 September 2013: Q&A on Keeping Secrets, Ultimate Ends, Studying History, and More

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

When should I respect a person's request to keep information secret? Can a person choose an ultimate value other than his own life? How should a person approach the study of history? Can life be morally black and white?

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

2 October 2013: Timothy Sandefur on "Occupational Licensing Versus the Right to Earn a Living"

I interviewed Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Timothy Sandefur about "Occupational Licensing Versus the Right to Earn a Living" on Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

"Many states require licenses to practice certain professions – from medicine to styling hair. What are the practical effects of such licensing requirements? Do they protect the public from quacks, as their defenders claim? Or do they violate a person's right to earn a living, discourage entrepreneurs, promote poverty? How have the courts ruled on cases challenging licensing requirements?"

Timothy Sandefur is a Principal Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation. As the lead attorney in the Foundation's Economic Liberty Project, he works to protect businesses against abusive government regulation, and has won important victories for free enterprise in California, Oregon, Missouri, and other states. He is the author of three books, Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America (2006), The Right to Earn A Living: Economic Freedom And The Law (2010), and The Conscience of The Constitution: The Declaration of Independence And The Right to Liberty, which will appear in 2014. He has also published more than 45 scholarly articles on subjects ranging from property rights and economic freedom to intellectual property, evolution and creationism, slavery and the Civil War, and the political philosophy of Shakespeare and ancient Greek literature. He blogs at Freespace.

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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