A Brief Overview Of My Dissertation

Nietzsche’s writings on morality are famously provocative and controversial.  His criticisms of morality in both theory and practice are so extensive and rhetorically scathing that many philosophers assume that he can offer little or nothing constructive to moral philosophy.  Additionally, his glorification of the will to power sounds prima facie like a celebration of excessively [Read More...]

Some More Thoughts On Rawls’s Maximin Principle And Fairness

A week ago, I wrote a brief primer post explaining John Rawls’s maximin principle. In that post I explained that Rawls conceives of justice as being quintessentially concerned with fairness.  In order to determine what is maximally fair politically we must imagine ourselves behind a veil of ignorance behind which we do not know what [Read More...]

Loving Wives And Loving Countries

On Bloggingheads, philosophers Simon Keller and Niko Kolodny dissect love.  If you don’t have the hour to watch the whole thing or if you are only interested in one of the subtopics they discuss, below is the set of topics.  The time listed next to each topic indicates how long that portion of video runs. [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: Rawls’s Maximin Principle

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: Can We Uphold A Moral Law And A Principle That We Should Break It?

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: Whether It’s Worth It To Be Just With No Incentives Or With Disincentives

Before we get to the philosophy this time, let’s enjoy my favorite Flaming Lips song: In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or [Read More...]

Philosophical Ethics: A Possible Kantian Formula For Determining The Permissibility Of Self-Defense

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester. Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More...]

Turning Ease Into Virtue

Yglesias makes a dynamite observation about part of the reason leaders of social conservatives put so much energy into anti-gay crusades rather than any of a number of other matters of social concern (via Patrick Appel): Most of what “traditional values” asks of people is pretty hard. All the infidelity and divorce and premarital sex [Read More...]

Why Do People Behave Honestly?

A new study by Joshua Greene and Joseph Paxton investigates the mental processes behind honest behavior: They recruited 35 people and asked them to predict the result of computerised coin-flips while sitting in an fMRI scanner. They were paid in proportion to their accuracy. In some ‘No-Opportunity trials’, they had to make their predictions beforehand, [Read More...]


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