Philosophical Advice For Dealing With A Bad Mother With Medical Needs

Hi Dan! I have a question for you! What do you think one’s moral obligations are to an ailing parent who parented very poorly? I had what seems to me to have been a very rough childhood. My parents divorced when I was four and my mom pretty much neglected me. She stayed out all [Read More...]

You Don’t Kill Hateful Words’ Powers By Ignoring Them

The problems discussed in the middle section of this post’s essay are epitomized in various ways by this video: The Stoics, with some wisdom that is in need of some qualification, advise us to always be mindful about the difference between what we can control and what we cannot. Stoics typically argue that we are [Read More...]

Talking About Gay Marriage and Prostitution on The Ashley F. Miller Show

Ashely F. Miller of the blog Ashley F. Miller hosted her inaugural episode of The Ashley F. Miller Show and Mavaddat Javid and I were her guests. First we speculated about the prospects for this week’s Supreme Court rulings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Then we talked about themes brought up in [Read More...]

Forward Thinking: The Ethics of Challenging Each Other’s Identities

In this post I explore some of the ways that our beliefs, values, commitments, behaviors, etc. constitute ourselves and how our commitments to various ideas, institutions and practices, etc. also contribute fundamentally to our identity. In light of this, I explore the moral difficulties that potentially arise when we intellectually challenge these things. [Read more...]

Intent Is Not Magic, But It Still Matters

Sometimes we hurt others without intending to do so. Often in these cases, we typically feel it a matter of paramount importance to clarify our intentions and demonstrate that they were not malicious, and that the harm our actions did was accidental. This makes sense and is legitimate in that whether we are perceived as [Read More...]

Shades of Cruelty

How BDSM is like sour candies, cannibalism is like white chocolate, and violence is like cinnamon. [Read more...]

On the Moral Value (and Dangers) of Dutifulness

What kinds of motives are morally relevant? Which are important? Why are they important? When are they important? How do they relate to one another? What are their respective places in the best overall moral framework? In a few posts I hope to answer such questions as these. I am going to distinguish various kinds [Read More...]

Hot, Passionate, Rational Sex

I posted to Facebook what I thought was a very interesting article about consent that argued it should be about asking a sexual partner whether they want something so that they have the chance to say “yes” rather than only pushing their boundaries until they say “no”. The idea was to look at consent as [Read More...]

Forward Thinking About Pride

For the latest installment of our “Forward Thinking” series, our bloggers discuss the nature and ethical value of pride. Philosophy student and feminist Olivia James (of Teen Skepchick fame) has begun her own new blog, Boredom Breeds Contempt. She is skeptical of the value of pride, wanting to distinguish most of the virtues that might [Read More...]


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