I’m delighted that I just got the chance to go on Trav Mamone’s Bi Any Means podcast! The first half is about who I am and how I got where I am and why I named my blog what I did. In the latter half of the issue Trav asked for my thoughts on social justice activists on college campuses and my thoughts on why philosophy matters. I had a blast, check it out! Your Thoughts?    Read more

When you straw man someone’s argument you present an easy-to-refute misrepresentation of their reasoning rather than countering what they actually think or the actual reasons that they have for thinking it. Rob Talisse coined the term “weak man” to refer to a related but distinguishable tactic of focusing on someone’s weakest arguments for their position while avoiding their strongest ones. Unlike in the case of a straw man, this involves addressing arguments actually advanced by one’s opponent, but like strawmanning weakmanning fails… Read more

Conservative Christians, if you loved gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgender people you wouldn’t erase or minimize the fact that Orlando was a persecutory act against them. You also wouldn’t love them only for their potential to become conservative Christians like you. Your typical attitudes show you not only don’t love gays, but you don’t even give them the basic civic respect that you give others you think are at least as equally displeasing God. And you certainly don’t treat them as you would tolerate being treated for one solitary second. Read more

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” ~ Maya Angelou “Ethics is basically the study of Nazis in convoluted, improbable scenarios.” ~ Paul Keith “My rule of thumb: if at first you don’t succeed, try again until your failure is statistically significant.” ~ Melissa Chen “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” ~ Haruki Murakami “His mood was somber, philosophical—which is good if you are… Read more

Dr. Jennifer Polk, PhD is an academic, career, and life coach who specializes in helping people who are transitioning out of academia or who are contemplating doing so. Her transitioning clients include everyone from graduate students to tenured professors. She runs the website From PhD to Life and is running a conference the next two Saturdays (May 7, 2016 and May 14, 2016) with numerous speakers and panelists with insights about how to use one’s PhD beyond academia and how to make… Read more

I recommend you check out one of these podcasts a day, Monday through Friday this week. Read more

I am delighted in this post to announce and explain my new classes, “Virtues, Values, and Meaning in Life” and a revamped and relaunched version of my Philosophy for Atheists class. Both will start as soon as students are ready in March 2016 and run year round as students are able to continue or join midstream. Contact me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com or, preferably, on Facebook to express your interest and help me nail down the schedule around your availability. Read more

I got to have a fantastic chat with Massimo Pigliucci about stoicism. Check it out below: If you want to watch selected segments, here are direct links to portions of the video where we discussed different distinct topics. For those interested in debates about the legitimacy of a lot of social justice activism, the segment about applying Stoicism to the social sphere connects directly to those issues. Stoicism: a philosophical alternative to religion Adapting an ancient philosophy of life to modern times Accepting harsh truths Confronting regret, fear, and death Applying Stoicism to the social sphere Interpreting the concept of radical self-sufficiency I am also going to spend this month (February 2016) teaching a four week class on Stoic Ethics that will meet February 5, 9, 16, and 23 from 3pm-5pm Eastern. (Essentially it’s a Tuesdays class but the first session will now be on Friday to accommodate a time conflict for one of the students.) There’s still time to sign up if you want to. Just write me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com to let me know you want to join or to ask any questions. If you cannot make the class this month but want me to do it again in the future, please write to let me know that too! For more on how my courses work and a fuller menu of them, see this page. Read more

Earlier this month I announced two new classes I’m launching. One on the Ethics of War and the other on Stoic Ethics. I am also going to offer a History of Philosophy class by request as well. Now, based on interested prospective students’ feedback on convenient times to run the classes, I have scheduled them for the following times. First time students in my classes get a free session, so if you’re on the fence, try a class with no risk…. Read more

Marcus Aurelius argues that a moral wrongdoing done from desire is worse than one done from anger because it’s less “manly” to be mastered by pleasure than driven by anger (which he compares instead to a bodily convulsion). In this post I critically analyze his claim from numerous perspectives, from the Nietzschean to the feminist. Read more

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