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Entries Tagged as 'Moral Philosophy'

Blasphemy and Public Reason

October 19th, 2012 · 9 Comments

I’ve noticed something interesting about Western press reports on the protests over the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube trailer. Typically, but perhaps surprisingly when you think about it, the protesters quoted in these articles do not simply, as one might expect, say that insults to Islam or its prophet are an outrage against the one true […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Religion

A Few Thoughts on Coercion

July 13th, 2012 · 19 Comments

As I seem to have inadvertently sparked this Crooked Timber essay by Chris Bertram, Corey Robin and Alex Gourevitch (B/R/G) on workplace coercion, I feel like I should probably say something about it, though Matt Zwolinski and Roderick Long already have good responses you should probably just read instead. Some assorted thoughts: First, there is […]

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Tags: Libertarian Theory · Moral Philosophy

Is Religious Morality Possible?

May 22nd, 2012 · 27 Comments

Ross Douthat thinks so. Responding to my previous post on this, he writes: I have indeed read my Euthyphro, and my response is basically the conventional Christian (and Jewish) response, which is that the dilemma Plato raises is a false one. Virtue is not something that’s commanded by God, the way a magistrate (or a […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

All Ethics Are Secular Ethics

April 23rd, 2012 · 27 Comments

In an exchange at Slate with Will Saletan, Ross Douthat writes: [T]he more purely secular liberalism has become, the more it has spent down its Christian inheritance—the more its ideals seem to hang from what Christopher Hitchens’ Calvinist sparring partner Douglas Wilson has called intellectual “skyhooks,” suspended halfway between our earth and the heaven on […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Religion

Are Economic Value Subjectivism and Consequentialism Inconsistent?

February 27th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Political philosopher Kevin Vallier has an interesting but, I think, ultimately confused post over at Bleeding Heart Libertarians suggesting that consequentialism and value subjectivism—two views frequently held by economists—are in tension. To summarize briefly, he argues: Value subjectivism posits that states of affairs have value if and only if people subjectively value those states of […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Moral Philosophy

Straussian Social Conservatism and the “Dangers of Contraception”

February 24th, 2012 · 43 Comments

The philosopher Leo Strauss was perhaps best known for the view that great philosophical works—especially those produced in times when persecution for heretical views was commonplace—often concealed an “esoteric” message, intended only for an elite of truly “philosophical” readers, that was different from, and often quite at odds with, the surface meaning of the text.  […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Religion · Sociology

An Afterthought on “Responsibility”

February 24th, 2012 · No Comments

It occurs to me that some of the confusion I mentioned in the previous post has to do with a certain ambiguity around the terms “responsible” and “responsibility.”  In addition to to the simple causal sense of “responsible,” which is obviously linked to the others, we use it to mean “properly subject to moral praise […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Sociology

Culture and Responsibility

February 19th, 2012 · 14 Comments

Ross Douthat and David Brooks both hit the same point in recent columns on Charles Murray’s new book Coming Apart. Here’s Brooks: [Murray’s] left-wing critics in the blogosphere have reverted to crude 1970s economic determinism: It’s all the fault of lost jobs. People who talk about behavior are blaming the victim. Anybody who talks about […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Sociology

Heisenberg, “Harmless Torture,” and Cyberbullying

September 25th, 2011 · 4 Comments

A typically insightful post from danah boyd examines why campaigns against “bullying” and, perhaps especially, “cyberbullying” so seldom manage to accomplish much. Part of the trouble, boyd argues, is that teens are reluctant to see themselves either as victims or aggressors, and therefore define as mere “drama” much behavior that adults are prone to class […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Sociology

Ronald Dworkin: Heartless Libertarian?

September 21st, 2011 · 25 Comments

Ronald Dworkin is probably the most prominent living liberal political philosopher in the United States. Unsurprisingly, he favors a national system of universal healthcare. But at a philosophical level, Dworkin also very clearly holds exactly the same position a lot of viewers seem to regard as not simply wrong, but self evidently monstrous when it […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy