Saturday, April 18, 2015

The State of Modern Paleo

By Diana Hsieh

Apart from the weekly Paleo Rodeo, Modern Paleo has been pretty much in a coma for the past few years, as my attention has been on Philosophy in Action. That's even more true lately, and so I've decided that I should let the Paleo Rodeo go by the wayside too — meaning cease its publication. (That being said... another PaleoBlogger might take it over, and if that happens, I'll post her blog URL so that you can follow it on her blog.)

Despite going dormant, the blog archives and core principles of paleo are still likely to be of interest.

My philosophical work – advocating and explaining rational principles for real life – can be found at Philosophy in Action. I might occasionally post announcements of relevant podcasts... like this one from last Sunday:

On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on the ethics of care for the body. The question was:

What is the moral status of actions aimed at tending to one's body? In an egoistic ethics, the ultimate end of moral action is the growth and continuation of one's own life. Ayn Rand discussed many of the kinds of actions required to achieve this goal, but she didn't discuss matters of "bodily care," such as cleaning your teeth, eating well, exercising regularly, tending to a wound, and seeking necessary medical care. These constitute a whole universe of actions necessary for the maintenance of one's body and, hence, one's life. Are such actions moral and virtuous? Should bodily care itself be considered a virtue? Or are these actions already subsumed under the virtues? (If so, I would love to know how to brush my teeth with integrity and pride!)
My Answer, In Brief: A person's bodily health matters hugely to his well-being and longevity. New virtues are not required to account for this, however, as the virtues of integrity and pride do apply in spades.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:
Tags: Ambition, Body, Character, Diet, Fitness, Health, Integrity, Mind-Body Connection, Mindsets, Pride, Rationalism, Values, Virtue Links:To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread. A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on the major virtues, signs of repression, the ethics of care for the body, and more – is available here: Episode of 12 April 2015. You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed: About Philosophy in Action Radio Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.
Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

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 most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. More upcoming episodes can be found here: Episodes on Tap.

Sunday morning, 12 April 2015: Q&A on Seven Virtues, Repression, Care of the Body, and More

I'll answer these questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 12 April 2015.
  • Question 1: The Special Seven Virtues: What's so special about the seven virtues? Ayn Rand identified seven virtues: rationality, honesty, productiveness, independence, justice, integrity, and pride. What's different about those qualities – as compared to other commonly touted virtues like benevolence, creativity, temperance, or courage? Basically, why are those seven the virtues in Objectivism? Is Objectivism right to single them out?
  • Question 2: Signs of Repression: What are the signs of emotional repression? It's very important not to repress your emotions, especially if you are a person with rationalistic tendencies. But how might a person identify when he's repressing some emotions? What are the signs? What can be done to avoid and overcome the tendency to repress, if such a tendency has become habitual?
  • Question 3: The Ethics of Care for the Body: What is the moral status of actions aimed at tending to one's body? In an egoistic ethics, the ultimate end of moral action is the growth and continuation of one's own life. Ayn Rand elaborated on discussed many of the kinds of actions required to achieve this goal, but she didn't discuss matters of "bodily care," such as cleaning your teeth, eating well, exercising regularly, tending to a wound, and seeking necessary medical care. These constitute a whole universe of actions necessary for the maintenance of one's body and, hence, one's life. Are such actions moral and virtuous? Should bodily care itself be considered a virtue? Or are these actions already subsumed under the virtues? (If so, I would love to know how to brush my teeth with integrity and pride!)
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 12 April 2015. The podcast will be posted later that day. For more details, check out the episode page.


Recent Podcasts


Podcasts of radio shows are posted shortly after the live broadcast. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the podcast archives, sorted by date or by topic. To ensure that you don't miss an episode, subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.

5 April 2015: Q&A on Personality and Ethics, Euthanizing a Pet, and More

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

How does personality theory affect ethics? When should a person euthanize a pet?

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

9 April 2015: Podcast on "Argument from Miracles for the Existence of God, Part 1"

I podcast on "Argument from Miracles for the Existence of God, Part 1" on Thursday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

"Do reports of miracles prove the existence of God? Most people of faith appeal to the miracles of their faith as grounds for their belief. Here, I consider what miracles are, how they are supposed to prove God's existence, and raise some concerns about them.

This podcast is one of the ReligionCasts – my series of podcasts on the philosophy of religion. Below, you can preview the podcast for free. Then, purchase access to my whole series of 16 podcasts (8 free, 8 premium) for just $10. (Regular contributors to Philosophy in Action's Tip Jar should email me for free access.)"

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.
If you're interested in more from Philosophy in Action, be sure to like our Facebook Page and subscribe to our Newsletter!

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

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Friday, April 10, 2015

The Paleo Rodeo #255

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Sabine presents Locked-up Eggs posted at Cave Food Kitchen, saying, "This dish is perfect for a Sunday breakfast or brunch, but could just as easily be dinner."

Blair presents Decrease Insulin to Increase Fat Burning posted at Menopause Happens, saying, "Adopting a lower carb and higher natural fat way of eating can take insulin out of the equation enough to where our bodies have no other choice but to burn more fat. Plus this week’s Better-Fat-Burner links, CocoButter balls, and a free eBook offer—limited time only—act fast!"

Eileen presents AIP Food Pyramid posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "We've all seen the USDA food pyramid, and we know that's a recipe for poor health. Are you curious what an AIP food pyramid looks like? What foods make up the foundation? Which ones are at the top and reserved for special occasions? When it comes to the paleo autoimmune protocol, we focus a lot on what we can't eat. But the key to being happy on a healing diet is knowing what we CAN eat, and realizing that we can eat delicious, satiating food every single day, and heal at the same time."

Jeah Kessha presents Kick Ass Kultured Vegies posted at Paleo all the Way, saying, "I invented this recipe in search of a mild cultured veggie mix that would be like a stew or a stir fry, but completely raw. The idea was an 'instant meal' type thing that would go with meat, cheese and butter, be mouth watering delicious, and pack a powerhouse of super-food caliber nutrition."

Vanessa presents What happens when you get off sugar and back on far posted at Fitbynature, saying, "Sugar is everywhere. In fact there are so many words for sugar I've had trouble fitting them on a US letter size page in a size 6 font. One of the reasons perhaps for so many sugars in our foods is that we’ve deliberately processed the fat out: low fat food products are big business and for the last thirty years, we’ve actually been lead to believe that that’s the key to health. Our heart foundations have actually gotten behind these products with their tick of approval and media have convinced us that buying these products is all we need now to ensure health."

Jennifer Brand presents Size does matter: LDL particle size (and number) posted at Alliefitfoodie, saying, "I'm continuing on my heart disease/cholesterol theme again this week, this time discussing the SIZE of LDL particles. It's becoming clear that our old 'friend' LDL cholesterol doesn't tell the entire story, and that there are many more intricacies involved in the pathophysiology of heart disease."

Melissa Bishop presents Using Organo Gold to make bullet proof coffee posted at Focus on Paleo, saying, "If you're going to drink coffee, drink coffee that can improve your health."

Melissa Bishop presents Seeing my illness unfold and knowing what to do about it posted at Focus on Paleo, saying, "Finally seeing my illness, step-by-step, as it takes over my body was incredibly enlightening. Go easy on people you think are just fat and out of control. The out of control part might be right, but not in the way you might be thinking."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

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Saturday, April 04, 2015

Should You Try to Be Morally Perfect?

By Diana Hsieh

Another philosophy update today...

Back in March 2012, I gave a lecture titled "Should You Try to Be Morally Perfect?" as part of the CU Boulder Philosophy Department's "Think!" series. In the lecture, I explored Ayn Rand's concept of moral perfection, arguing that it's necessary for a happy, fulfilled, and moral life.

Yesterday, I posted the podcast of that lecture... finally! It's "premium content" for Philosophy in Action, so it's available for $10. (If you're a regular contributor to Philosophy in Action's Tip Jar, it's free to you, so just email me for free access.) Anyone can preview the first 14 minutes of the lecture here before buying: http://www.philosophyinaction.com/perfection

Here's the abstract of the lecture:

Most people dismiss any ideal of moral perfection as beyond their reach. "I'm only human," they say. That view is a legacy of Christianity, which teaches that moral perfection is possible to God alone and that any attempt at moral perfection is the sin of pride. In sharp contrast, Ayn Rand argues that moral perfection is not only possible to ordinary people, but also necessary for anyone who wants to live a virtuous and happy life. Hence, pride, understood as moral ambitiousness, is one of her seven major virtues – as seen in the heroes of her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

This talk explores Ayn Rand's views of moral perfection, ambition, and pride. What does she think that morality demands? How can people achieve that? How should people respond to their own moral wrongs and errors? We will compare Rand's answers to these questions to those of Aristotle. We will find that, despite some differences in each philosopher's conception of virtue, they share the compelling view that seeking moral perfection is crucially important to a person's life and happiness.

The lecture is a friendly introduction to some of the principles of Ayn Rand's egoistic ethics for people unfamiliar with that, and it's got plenty of fresh red meat for long-time Objectivists too.

Again, you can preview and purchase the podcast of that lecture here: Should You Try to Be Morally Perfect?

Read more...

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 most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. More upcoming episodes can be found here: Episodes on Tap.

Sunday morning, 5 April 2015: Q&A on Personality and Ethics, Euthanizing a Pet, Repression, and More

I'll answer these questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 5 April 2015.
  • Question 1: Personality Theory and Ethics: How does personality theory affect ethics? In your December 21st, 2014 discussion of the relationship between philosophy and science, you stated that your grasp of personality theory has given you a fresh perspective on ethics and changed your understanding of the requirements of the virtues. How does personality theory inform the field of ethics, in general? How should personality theory inform our moral judgments? How does one avoid slipping into subjectivism when accounting for personality differences? (Presumably, it doesn't matter whether Hitler was a High-D or not before we judge him as evil.) How can we distinguish between making reasonable accommodations for personality differences and appeasing destructive behavior and people? Are virtues other than justice affected by an understanding of personality theory?
  • Question 2: Euthanizing a Pet: When should a person euthanize a pet? Over the years, I've had to decide whether to medically treat my cats or euthanize them when they're seriously ill, and it tends to be a hard choice to make. Concern for the cat's quality of life is a factor, but so is the monetary cost of veterinary procedures and medication, the time required, and the emotional pain of parting from an animal that has been part of my life for many years. In my own decisions, I've come down to, "Am I keeping this cat alive because his life has value to him, or because I don't want to face losing him?" Yet in online discussions, I see comments from other people who strike me as prolonging a pet's life even when the pet is miserable, which seems horrifying to me. What is your approach to these decisions? What do you think is the best way to approach them? Is this a question of ethical principle or purely one of optional values?
  • Question 3: Signs of Repression: What are the signs of emotional repression? It's very important not to repress your emotions, especially if you are a person with rationalistic tendencies. But how might a person identify when he's repressing some emotions? What are the signs? What can be done to avoid and overcome the tendency to repress, if such a tendency has become habitual?
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 5 April 2015. The podcast will be posted later that day. For more details, check out the episode page.

Thursday evening, 9 April 2015: Chat about "Argument from Miracles, Part 1: The Arguments"

I'll chat about "Argument from Miracles, Part 1: The Arguments" with listeners on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Thursday evening, 9 April 2015.

Do reports of miracles prove the existence of God? Most people of faith appeal to the miracles of their faith as grounds for their belief. Here, I consider what miracles are, how they are supposed to prove God's existence, and raise some concerns about them.

This show is part of my ReligionCasts series of podcasts on philosophy of religion. The live show will be available for free, and the podcast will be available for free to regular contributors. Anyone else will be able to purchase the podcasts for the whole series for $10.


The live broadcast begins at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Thursday, 9 April 2015. The podcast will be posted later that evening. For more details, check out the episode page.


Recent Podcasts


Podcasts of radio shows are posted shortly after the live broadcast. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the podcast archives, sorted by date or by topic. To ensure that you don't miss an episode, subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.

29 March 2015: Q&A on Rights to Things, Extreme Cases, Being Helpful, and More

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

Do people have a right to food and shelter? Do moral principles break down in extreme cases? Should I do something nice for a coworker I dislike?

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

2 April 2015: Podcast on "Should You Try to Be Morally Perfect?"

I podcast on "Should You Try to Be Morally Perfect?" on Thursday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

"Most people dismiss any ideal of moral perfection as beyond their reach. "I'm only human," they say. That view is a legacy of Christianity, which teaches that moral perfection is possible to God alone and that any attempt at moral perfection is the sin of pride. In sharp contrast, Ayn Rand argues that moral perfection is not only possible to ordinary people, but also necessary for anyone who wants to live a virtuous and happy life. Hence, pride, understood as moral ambitiousness, is one of her seven major virtues – as seen in the heroes of her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

This talk explores Ayn Rand's views of moral perfection, ambition, and pride. What does she think that morality demands? How can people achieve that? How should people respond to their own moral wrongs and errors? We will compare Rand's answers to these questions to those of Aristotle. We will find that, despite some differences in each philosopher's conception of virtue, they share the compelling view that seeking moral perfection is crucially important to a person's life and happiness.

This lecture was given on 6 March 2012 at the University of Colorado at Boulder as part of the Philosophy Department's "Think!" series.

Below, you can preview 14 minutes of this lecture. Then, purchase access to the full 90-minute lecture for just $10. (Regular contributors to Philosophy in Action's Tip Jar should email me for free access.)"

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.
If you're interested in more from Philosophy in Action, be sure to like our Facebook Page and subscribe to our Newsletter!

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

Read more...

Friday, April 03, 2015

The Paleo Rodeo #254

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Kevin Geary presents 7 Little-Known Reasons Why Treadmills Are Making You Weak posted at Rebooted Body: Fat Loss + Peak Performance + Vibrant Health, saying, "Tired of pounding plastic everyday at the gym? Find out why the treadmill is actually hurting and not helping you."

Sophie presents AIP / SPRING BREAKFAST CHICKEN SOUP – SLOW COOKER PALEO RECIPE posted at A Squirrel in the kitchen, saying, "This breakfast chicken soup is easy to digest and a nutritional power-house! Serve with fresh herbs, scallions, and avocado, for a wholesome meal."

Vanessa presents Why eating fat doesn't make you fat posted at Fitbynature, saying, "Eating fat doesn’t make you fat because: - the fat we eat, macronutrient fat, is not the same as what makes body size fat. - our brain is made of fat, the main fuel of the heart is fat; in fact every cell membrane is made of fat: a bi-lipid layer! - it's not fat, but sugar that makes us fat - that said, there are still good and bad fats: it's the healthy ones we want to focus on."

Jennifer Brand presents Cholesterol and statins posted at Alliefitfoodie, saying, "Statins are VERY commonly prescribed to treat high cholesterol. Their mechanism of action [in my opinion] leaves a lot to be desired. Check it out!"

Eileen presents Episode 15: Adrenal Fatigue posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "This episode of the Phoenix Helix podcast delves into the connection between adrenal fatigue and autoimmunity. Our guest, Christopher Kelly, has recovered from adrenal fatigue himself and helped hundreds of others do the same. The classic symptom of adrenal fatigue is feeling tired but wired. What causes it? How is it connected to autoimmunity? And how is it healed? Chris answers these questions and also shares his personal healing story."

Jeah Kessha presents Coconut Butter Cacao Balls Superfood posted at Paleo all the Way, saying, "Most people pop one of these into their mouths and give out a shout...something like they have never had anything like it. A true crowd pleaser and the fact they have health benefits doesn't have to be mentioned.The recipe is strategically designed to stimulate metabolism, brain function, and joint care and balance blood sugar."

Melissa Joulwan presents Paleo Creole Ham and (Cauliflower) Rice posted at The Clothes Make The Girl, saying, "Smoky ham and tender cauliflower rice get a kick from creole spices. It's a one-pan meal that's on the table in under an hour!"

Diane Sanfilippo presents Podcast Episode #185: (Best of) Chris Kresser – All About Digestion posted at Diane Sanfilippo, saying, "This week's special guest is Chris Kresser and he is talking all about digestion!"

Salixisme presents Moroccan Lemon And Herb Roasted Chicken posted at Salixisme - AIP Living, saying, "This is my newest favourite way to cook a chicken… Stuffed with herbs and Moroccan lemons. It tastes wonderful and the meat is always juicy and tender…."

Salixisme presents 75 AIP Easter Recipes Roundup posted at Salixisme - AIP Living, saying, "75 of the best AIP recipes for your Easter menu..."

Salixisme presents Avocado-Nana Raspberry Parfait posted at Salixisme - AIP Living, saying, "In this parfait, the avocado provides a smooth rich creamyness, while the banana sweetens it. It is simply a smooth avocado and banana puree layered with fresh raspberries and topped with a little coconut cream and a few more fresh raspberries."

Laura P presents Super Easy DIY Facial Scrub posted at Rising Moon Nutrition, saying, "Cleaning up your lifestyle is not just about food and exercise, but also getting rid of toxic products from your home. This scrub can be used on your face and body, and is made from ingredients you already have at home, plus it is amazing for your skin!"
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

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