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 most Sunday mornings and Thursday 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, 7 December 2014: Q&A on Karma, Responsibility for Pets, Gift Exchanges, and More
I'll answer these questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 7 December 2014.
- Question 1: The Reality of Karma: Is karma real? Although the concept of "karma" has religious roots, it seems to contain a grain of truth, namely that people will, in the end, get what they deserve. So if a father is mean to his children, he will find them unwilling to help him when he suffers a health crisis in his old age. In contrast, children raised with love and kindness will be eager to help their ailing father. Is this understanding of karma true? Is this a concept that rational people might or should use in their moral thinking?
- Question 2: Responsibility for Pets: Should I put my cat down rather than leave him in a shelter? After listening to the podcast question about the person who lived in Philadelphia and wanted to get out of the ghetto, I got the motivation to land a great new job in Seattle. I am moving to a new city in a few weeks and will be traveling quite a bit. I will not be able to take care of my cat with all of the traveling. I don't have the money to hire people to watch my pet while I am gone. I have put the cat up on billboards and ebay classifieds with no responses. The cat isn't friendly to anyone but me, so I doubt a prospective adopter would choose to take him after meeting him. As my move date grows closer, I am wondering if it would be better to have my cat put down than to leave him with a shelter. What should I do?
- Question 3: Meaningless Gift Exchanges: How can I stop exchanging meaningless holiday presents with my siblings? My siblings and I are friendly but not close, but we still exchange Christmas presents. Mostly, that means that we buy each other stuff that we really don't want. That seems like a waste of time and money. I'd like to stop exchanging gifts with them, but how can I do so without hurting their feelings?
The podcasts of last week's radio shows are now available. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the podcast archives, sorted by date or by topic. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.
30 November 2014: Q&A on Objectivity of Manners, Fighting Words, Past Conversations, and More
I answered these questions on Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio:
Are manners objective? Do verbal insults sometimes justify a response of physical violence? How can I stop obsessing over past conversations?
You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more, including audio files for individual questions.
- Duration: 1:06:41
- Download: Enhanced M4A File (23.9 MB) or Standard MP3 File (22.9 MB)
- Tags: Benevolence, Bullying, Character, Children, Communication, Convention, Crime, Education, Efficiency, Emotions, Ethics, Etiquette, Free Speech, Friendship, Justice, Law, Manners, Moral Wrongs, Parenting, Psychology, Reputation, Rights, Violence
4 December 2014: Chat about "Responsibility & Luck, Chapter Five"
I discussed "Responsibility & Luck, Chapter Five" with listeners on Thursday's Philosophy in Action Radio:
"In Chapter Three of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle develops the outlines of a theory of moral responsibility. He argues that responsibility requires (1) control and (2) knowledge. In Chapter Five of my book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, I explored and further developed this theory of responsibility. In our discussion of this chapter, we'll explore this theory in depth, considering twists and turns like the role of regret and involuntary ignorance and incapacity."
You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more.
- Duration: 1:00:49
- Download: Standard MP3 File (20.9 MB)
- Tags: Academia, Aristotle, Crime, Epistemology, Ethics, Justice, Law, Luck, Metaphysics, Moral Judgment, Moral Luck, Philosophy, Politics, Responsibility
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.
- November 30: Activism Recap
- December 1: NoodleCast #319: Objectivity of Manners, Fighting Words, Past Conversations, and More
- December 1: Progress of Black America?
- December 2: Preview: Thursday Radio: Chat on Responsibility & Luck, Chapter Five
- December 4: Preview: Sunday Radio: Karma, Responsibility for Pets, Gift Exchanges, and More
- December 4: The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels in the WSJ
- December 5: NoodleCast #320: Chat on Responsibility & Luck, Chapter Five
- December 5: Hsieh PJM Column: "Should You Have to Speak with Others in a Way the Government Can Understand?"
- December 5: Link-O-Rama