On Dealing With Trolling, Banning, and Uncomfortable Disagreements

There have been many objections to both the wisdom of my comments policy and my general stand against the use of epithets and incivility and what I see as hasty personal attacks that derail philosophical discussions. I am writing 8 posts to address 8 major objections. I have already written my own summaries of all the objections I [Read More...]

Is Religious Circumcision of Male Infants Morally Defensible?

Last month a court in Cologne, Germany ruled against allowing the circumcision of children too young to give consent. CBS News summarized the facts: a German court ruled that circumcision infringes on a child’s right to be protected from bodily harm. The regional court in Cologne said that circumcision went against the “fundamental right of [Read More...]

How Ethics Is More Like Physics Than Faith

People who use the free speech that they take for granted in free societies to disparage moral philosophy as useless, superfluous, and incapable of progress since it does not function like a natural science are as naive and guilty of practical contradiction as people who use the internet to talk about how science can not attain any genuine truths because it cannot square its own metaphysical foundations or tell us about the meaning of life. [Read more...]

Gender Pay Gap Among Elite Doctors

Just another piece of data to support the notion that implicitly sex discrimination is to blame for disparities between men and women in Western society: The researchers surveyed 800 physicians who had received a highly competitive early career research grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2000-2003. By focusing on these grants, the researchers [Read More...]

Meditations on How to Be Powerful, Fearsome, Empowering, and Loved

Yesterday I observed that sometimes an inaccurate sense of modesty can lead a powerful person to underestimate the extent to which he intimidates others. I focused particularly on the fact that moral and social conditioning trains us to downplay our accomplishments, the extent of our influence on others, and our fearsomeness in their eyes. It [Read More...]

On Unintentionally Intimidating People

While most of us rightly want to be exceptional in some way or another, we often feel a lot of social and moral pressure not to think of ourselves as generally better than others. And, even more urgently, we feel pressure not to convey to others that we think ourselves superior and not to be [Read More...]

Banksy Against Advertisers

    A paper on the ethics of advertising from one of my students this semester featured this interesting argument attributed to the graffiti artist, Banksy (supposedly from a book called Cut it Out): People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then [Read More...]

Governor Walker and Wisconsin Republicans Repeal Equal Pay Law

War on women? What war on women? WASHINGTON — A Wisconsin law that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court was repealed on Thursday, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) quietly signed the bill. The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more [Read More...]

No Feminist Books Were Required

Taslima Nasreen describes her awakening to the oppressive ways women were treated as she grew up in Bangladesh: Let alone ‘Western feminism’, I had no idea about ‘Eastern feminism’. Without any familiarity with these concepts, I have since childhood questioned a lot of diktat, advice and proscriptions from the family and from society at large. [Read More...]


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