Moral Perfectionism, Moral Pragmatism, Free Love Ethics, and Adultery

Kelly: You are a moral absolutist, Jaime. Jaime: Nonsense. You are the one who wants to impose monogamy on everyone, whether they like it or not. Kelly: No, when we talked the other day, I conceded it was your right to have whatever kinds of open relationships you wanted. I only said that, given human [Read More...]

Why Getting Away With Wrongdoing Does Not Make It Worth It

This past week across numerous different classes I am teaching in both ancient philosophy and ethics, I have been talking with my students about Plato’s Republic, Book II. We have discussed whether there would be any intrinsic goodness to justice such that it would be in our interests to choose just courses of action even [Read More...]

On Rejecting Faith in Morality

Update: Joel Marks has replied to this post and to my first follow up post.  I have reedited this post to incorporate his remarks at the end. Joel Marks is at the Center for Bioethics at Yale University and is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of New Haven. Though writing on ethics throughout [Read More...]

What It Means To Me To Be Free

I think that in some meaningful ways, human beings are free. In a couple of previous posts and in subsequent comments in their comments sections, I have been arguing for the ways that we are not free in a libertarian sense, i.e., our actions are not “undetermined” by forces outside our fundamental control. We are [Read More...]

Internecine War At Freethought Blogs: Philosopher vs. "Redneck" Edition: Free Will And The Real World Smackdown

As far as I have noticed, there has not been a blog war between any of the Freethought Blogs (or, er, since we all moved here anyway) so I was a little trepidatious of going and picking apart the every word of a quick comment on one of my posts by my new favorite blogger, Hank [Read More...]

The "Moral Argument" For Free Will Is A Morally Troubling, Hypocritical, Faith Position

Many who believe that we have free will are what philosophers call “libertarians”. These are not necessarily libertarians in the political sense but in a metaphysical sense. Libertarians conceive of free will as incompatible with determinism. Their notion is that to the extent that our actions are determined by forces or factors which are beyond [Read More...]

Offer Nominations for 3 Quarks Daily's Prize for Best Blog Writing in Philosophy

For the third straight year, 3 Quarks Daily will award a prize for blog writing in philosophy.  Nominate what you think is the best philosophy blog post from the last year by 11:59pm EST on Monday night (September 5). Below the fold are both the full details of the contest and a very good video interview [Read More...]

Is it Too Risky to Debate Morality’s Foundations in the Public Square?

Jean Kazez argues that the public square is not the place for atheists to be arguing that science and religion are incompatible. I strongly reject her position on this point because not only do I believe that ordinary people are quite capable of handling a vigorous, no-holds-barred debate about religion but because I believe the [Read More...]

The Role Of Honor In Moral Revolutions

Kwame Anthony Appiah explores a thesis I’ve never heard before in his new book, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen summarized by Matthew Pianalto: Judged by contemporary Western standards, honour has a mixed moral record. On the one hand, a sense of gentlemanly honour underwrote the practice of duelling, long after it had been [Read More...]


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