Dec 222014
 

On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on the relationship between philosophy and science, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Whole Podcast: 21 December 2014

Listen or Download:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


Podcast Segments: 21 December 2014

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.

Introduction

My News of the Week: If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift, consider my book Responsibility & Luck, my course Explore Atlas Shrugged, my podcast on Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship.

Question 1: The Relationship between Philosophy and Science

Question: What is the proper relationship between philosophy and science? People commonly assert that science proves that the traditional claims of philosophy are wrong. For example, they’ll say that quantum mechanics proves that objective reality and causality are just myths and that psychology experiments disprove free will. In contrast, other people claim that philosophy is so fundamental that if any claims of science contradict philosophical principles, then the science must be discarded as false. Hence, for example, they say that homosexuality cannot possibly be genetic, whatever science says, since philosophy tells us that people are born “tabula rasa,” including without any knowledge of “male” versus “female.” So what is the proper view of the relationship between philosophy and the sciences? Does either have a veto power over the other? Is science based on philosophy or vice versa?

My Answer, In Brief: Neither philosophy nor science has priority over the other. Philosophers should strive to be more familiar with the full range of scientific facts, and scientists should strive to be more aware of their philosophic assumptions. Everyone should be focused on the facts, rather than defending theory.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions

Questions:

  • Are practical jokes wrong?
  • If someone insults or attacks my spouse online, e.g. on Facebook, should I cut ties with that person?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 54:44
  • Duration: 8:32
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:03:17


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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Podcast #324: Paul Hsieh on Radiology in Practice

 Posted by on 19 December 2014 at 8:00 am  Podcasts
Dec 192014
 

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I interviewed Dr. Paul Hsieh about “Radiology in Practice.” The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

Remember, you can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Podcast: 18 December 2014

Most people have seen cool medical imaging devices such as CT and MRI scanners on TV shows. But what do those machines really do? Advanced medical imaging has revolutionized patient care in the past 25 years, allowing doctors to make diagnoses more accurately, quickly, and safely than ever before. Radiologist Dr. Paul Hsieh discussed the basics of modern radiology (x-rays, MRI, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine), how these different tests work, what they show about the human body, and how they help doctors take better care of patients.

Dr. Paul Hsieh is a radiologist in practice in South Denver. He received his MD from the University of Michigan, then completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, and an MRI fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Prior to entering private practice, he was an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine. He is the co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM). He has written scores of columns, mostly on health care policy, as well as articles for The Objective Standard. He blogs offbeat tech news at GeekPress.

Listen or Download:

Topics:

  • About radiology
  • The different imaging modalities
  • X-rays
  • CAT Scans
  • MRI Scans
  • Ultrasound
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • PET Scans
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Radiation dangers
  • Medical education
  • Access to the radiologist
  • Specialization in radiology
  • Paul’s work
  • Paul’s choice of radiology

Links:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on managing differences with family, forbidding the sale of dangerous goods to minors, worthy charities, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Whole Podcast: 14 December 2014

Listen or Download:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


Podcast Segments: 14 December 2014

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.

Introduction

My News of the Week: I’ve been busy celebrating my birthday! Earlier this week, I resumed my podcast series on Philosophy of Religion.

Question 1: Managing Differences with Family

Question: How should a young adult manage persistent differences with his family? As I grew up, I turned out radically different from what my family expected. They think college is necessary for success in life. I didn’t, and I dropped out. They eat the Standard American Diet and hate fat. I eat Paleo, and I glorify fat. And so on. Basically, we diverge on many points. I’ve never committed the mistake of attempting to preach to my family in order to persuade them, but many of them grew unduly concerned with these differences between us. They would argue with me on the subject for months, if not years, no matter what good results I had to show them. Assuming that the relationship is otherwise worth maintaining, how should an older child or young adult handle such contentious differences with his family? How can he best communicate his point of view to them – for example, on the question of college, after they’ve saved for two decades for his college education?

My Answer, In Brief: Persistent differences with your family are to-be-expected for a thinking, independent adult. Discuss them in a rational way to air your differences, then make your own choice. If the other family members won’t let it go, kindly but firmly refuse to discuss the matter with them any further.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: Forbidding the Sale of Dangerous Goods to Minors

Question: Should minors be forbidden from buying dangerous goods? Under current law, minors are often restricted from buying goods regarded as dangerous, such as cigarettes, alcohol, fireworks, or firearms. In a free society, should those restrictions be abolished or upheld? Should parents be allowed to permit their children to buy such goods?

My Answer, In Brief: The default for adults should be that they’re competent to buy dangerous goods, but that can be overridden. Minors should be assumed incompetent, although that can be overridden too, most obviously by parental consent.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 3: Worthy Charities

Question: What kinds of charities are worthy of support? Many people laud donating to charities, but they don’t seem particularly concerned with which charities they support. However, I’d like my charitable dollars to do some good in the world – and do me good in return. So when is it proper to donate to charity? What kinds of charities are worthy of support or not? How can I judge the effectiveness of a charity? Are local charities better than national or international charities?

My Answer, In Brief: The worthiness of charities can and should be judged by the worthiness of their cause, their effectiveness at achieving their goals, and their efficiency in the use of money.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:06:45


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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Dec 122014
 

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I discussed “Design Arguments for the Existence of God, Part 4″ with listeners. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

Remember, you can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Podcast: Design Arguments for the Existence of God, Part 4

Does the complexity, delicacy, and purposefulness of living organisms prove the existence of God? William Paley argues that it does in his Analogical Argument from Design. Here, we explore philosophical objections to his argument, as well as the alternative explanation of evolutionary theory.

This podcast is part of ReligionCasts – my series of podcasts on the philosophy of religion.

Listen or Download:

Topics:

  • About the podcast series
  • Review of Design Arguments
  • Philosophical objections to Objections to Paley’s Analogical Argument for Design
  • The alternative of Darwinian evolution
  • Evolution and chance
  • Evolution versus design
  • Objections to evolutionary theory
  • Questions

Links:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar


 

On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on the reality of karma, responsibility for pets, meaningless gift exchanges, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Whole Podcast: 7 December 2014

Listen or Download:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


Podcast Segments: 7 December 2014

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.

Introduction

My News of the Week: I resumed the chapter-by-chapter discussions of my book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, this week! Today, I’m testing out broadcasting on the way to foxhunting, where I have much faster internet.

Question 1: The Reality of Karma

Question: Is karma real? Although the concept of “karma” has religious roots, it seems to contain a grain of truth, namely that people will, in the end, get what they deserve. So if a father is mean to his children, he will find them unwilling to help him when he suffers a health crisis in his old age. In contrast, children raised with love and kindness will be eager to help their ailing father. Is this understanding of karma true? Is this a concept that rational people might or should use in their moral thinking?

My Answer, In Brief: Because the concept of “karma” lumps together moral causality and matters of luck, it’s mysticism cannot ever be fully shed. Use it colloquially or tongue-in-cheek, but not for serious thinking about ethics.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: Responsibility for Pets

Question: Should I put my cat down rather than leave him in a shelter? After listening to the podcast question about the person who lived in Philadelphia and wanted to get out of the ghetto, I got the motivation to land a great new job in Seattle. I am moving to a new city in a few weeks and will be traveling quite a bit. I will not be able to take care of my cat with all of the traveling. I don’t have the money to hire people to watch my pet while I am gone. I have put the cat up on billboards and ebay classifieds with no responses. The cat isn’t friendly to anyone but me, so I doubt a prospective adopter would choose to take him after meeting him. As my move date grows closer, I am wondering if it would be better to have my cat put down than to leave him with a shelter. What should I do?

My Answer, In Brief: You have an obligation to this cat, and please explore some more options before you put him down. There are ways that you could find him a new home or enable him to stay with you.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 3: Meaningless Gift Exchanges

Question: How can I stop exchanging meaningless holiday presents with my siblings? My siblings and I are friendly but not close, but we still exchange Christmas presents. Mostly, that means that we buy each other stuff that we really don’t want. That seems like a waste of time and money. I’d like to stop exchanging gifts with them, but how can I do so without hurting their feelings?

My Answer, In Brief: You have lots of options besides the traditional models of gift-giving. Broach the topic with your family in a spirit of benevolence and goodwill about how to improve the holidays for everyone.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions

Questions:

  • Does the typical usage of Karma have an altruistic implication – that your good standing in the world is based on doing good for others?
  • What do people mean when they tell you you’re being ‘harsh’? Is it the same as being unjust?
  • What do you think of Interstellar?
  • What modern fiction writer would you recommend?
  • How can a person be objective in evaluating the people that he dates?
  • What’s wrong with the nihilistic argument that life is meaningless because death is inevitable?
  • I’ve begun reading Dr. Leonard Peikoff’s new book, “The DIM Hypothesis.” If you’ve read it I’d be very interested to hear what you think of it. Might it represent a “new” philosophy or “turning point”?
  • Why have Objectivists (including Ayn Rand) tended to use deontic language (“right” and “wrong”) to describe actions rather than virtue ethics language (“good and “bad”)?
  • Should the independent creator of a technology be barred from using or producing it due to an existing patent? Should it matter if the independent inventor lives in a different state or country?
  • Is it moral to allow a young child extremely fascinated with the human body to watch simple surgery videos to learn what doctors do, provided the parent prescreens the video for gruesomeness?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 33:51
  • Duration: 26:32
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:00:23


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on the objectivity of manners, fighting words, obsessing over past conversations, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Whole Podcast: 30 November 2014

Listen or Download:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


Podcast Segments: 30 November 2014

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.

Introduction

My News of the Week: I’ve been busy catching up on work.

Question 1: The Objectivity of Manners

Question: Are manners objective? In a recent Rapid Fire Question, I think you rather too quickly dismissed the idea that manners or etiquette can be objective. You fairly quickly threw the whole lot of them over into the socially-subjective category. However, I think there’s a lot that’s not at all subjective, nor even optional, about manners. I happen to live in a country, China, which is much-renowned for its lack of basic human decency, and I would argue that this is a fair claim. For example, it’s quite regular for a parent to pull his child’s pants down and facilitate his or her urinating or defecating all over a vehicle of transportation, up to and including an international flight. It’s also quite normal to hawk in such a way as to clear every cavity in one’s upper torso, admire a particular piece of ground, and splat the results of one’s personal nasal expiration for all to admire and tread upon. After a home-cooked meal, a guest is expected to belch massively. A small belch is a sign of dissatisfaction. To me, the latter seems quite a matter of optional cultural choice. What you said before about manners applies quite nicely to that issue: it’s fairly arbitrary whether you should or you should not belch after your meal. At my in-laws’ place, please do. At my mom’s place, please don’t. However, when I think about other ways in which Chinese people are “rude” to an American, I can think of a thousand examples where it’s not just subjective. Pissing or shitting on a public bus is not just arbitrarily unacceptable to us silly overwrought Westerners. It’s objectively rude. For another example, today when I was trying to get onto a bus, hale and hearty Chinese twenty-somethings were pushing in front of me in a giant triangle of evil. Nobody cared if I was there before them, nobody cared if the signs all said to line up respectfully, they just elbowed each other out of the way in order to get on the bus. So are manners objective, at least in part?

My Answer, In Brief: Manners are objective: good principles of manners are well-grounded in facts. Many are an application of proper moral principles to social interactions, and others are matters of efficiency. However, etiquette is often a matter of optional convention.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: Fighting Words

Question: Do verbal insults sometimes justify a response of physical violence? In a recent discussion of bullying, most people agreed that the child in question should not have hit the kids bullying him, given that those bullies were merely making awful remarks, as opposed to being violent or threatening. However, one person suggested that a physically violent response might be justified if all other avenues were exhausted – meaning that the bully was told to stop, efforts to enlist the help of the authorities failed, and a warning was given. Is that right? Is it ever right to respond to purely verbal insults with physical violence?

My Answer, In Brief: Unless the words are implicitly threatening or inviting a fight, a person can and should walk away from merely verbal harassment. That applies to kids as much to adults, but in the case of kids, parents and teachers have a responsibility to protect kids from situations in which verbal bullying can only be stopped by physical violence.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 3: Obsessing over Past Conversations

Question: How can I stop obsessing over past conversations? After having a conversation with someone, I often obsess about what I said to them and the way that I said it. I think about they ways they could have misinterpreted what I meant, and I worry that they thought I was being rude or disrespectful. Most of the time, of course, whatever nuances I thought would offend them were either non-existent or just went straight over their head. How can I overcome this obsessiveness, while still maintaining a healthy level of concern for how what I say may be interpreted?

My Answer, In Brief: It’s not healthy to obsess over past conversations, and you can help your brain overcome that tendency by noticing when you do it, seeking out objective feedback, and more. If you can’t do it alone, seek therapy.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions

Questions:

  • Could you ever be friends with an IRS agent?
  • Should ‘cleanliness’ be classed as a virtue? If so, is it minor or major?
  • Ayn Rand called the military-industrial complex ‘a myth or worse’. Was she right? What is the military industrial complex? What would it look like in a free society?
  • What role do you think insurance plays in the ever-increasing regulatory environment in our culture?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 52:30
  • Duration: 12:31
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:05:02


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar


 

On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on the moral arguments for veganism and vegetarianism, courage as a struggle against fear, ungrateful people, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Whole Podcast: 23 November 2014

Listen or Download:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


Podcast Segments: 23 November 2014

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.

Introduction

My News of the Week: I posted two new podcasts as compensation for Sunday broadcasts that I missed: The Cultivation of Character and Ayn Rand’s Philosophy: Myth Versus Reality.

Question 1: The Moral Arguments for Veganism and Vegetarianism

Question: Are the moral arguments for veganism (and vegetarianism) rational? People often argue for vegetarianism on the grounds that a person can (and perhaps should) regard the lives of animals to be a higher value than the advantages to eating meat such as taste or nutrition. Is this a rational moral outlook, consistent with rational egoism?

My Answer, In Brief: If concerned about your health, the environment, and cruelty to animals, don’t eat vegan or vegetarian. Don’t eat the Standard American Diet either. Instead, be a conscious carnivore: buy humanely-treated and pastured-raised meat and dairy, preferably direct from farmers.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: Courage as a Struggle Against Fear

Question: Does the virtue of courage require struggling against the temptation to succumb to fear? In your 16 September 2012 show, you argued that “it is far better for a person to cultivate a virtuous moral character so that right actions are easy for him, rather than constantly struggling against temptation.” How does this apply to the virtue of courage? The common understanding of courage is that it requires acting rightly in spite of fear. So the courageous person struggles to do the right thing in face of the temptation to retreat in fear. Is this a correct formulation? If so, wouldn’t that mean that a courageous person must constantly struggle against fear, not overcome it? If this view of courage is wrong, how would you define the virtue and its relation to fear?

My Answer, In Brief: The virtue of courage is not about struggling against fear, but rather about overcoming fear to act in your own best interests. By doing that, you gain the requisite skills and confidence to move on to new (and often harder) challenges.

Listen or Download:

Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 3: Ungrateful People

Question: Why aren’t people grateful for what others do for them? I volunteer a lot, and I try to be very generous with my time and efforts in the groups that I’m involved with. Mostly, I just want people to express thanks and gratitude for what I’ve done for them. Mostly though, they don’t thank me – or their thanks just seem perfunctory. Why is that? Am I wrong to want a little gratitude? Right now, I feel taken advantage of, and I want to tell everyone to go to hell. Is that wrong?

My Answer, In Brief: When you’re volunteering or helping others, you must have self-interested motives – whether learning something new, developing your skills, or accomplishing something meaningful to yourself. Thanks and gratitude from others can only be a bonus. If it’s a primary motivation, you’ll always feel taken advantage of. If that happens, find something more personally meaningful to do with your time!

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions

Questions:

  • Is foxhunting cruel to the fox? How can you justify doing it given your overall views about how humans should treat animals?
  • What should art-like things that are not, strictly speaking, art (according to Ayn Rand’s definition) be called?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 59:30
  • Duration: 11:18
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:10:49


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar


Nov 212014
 

For Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I posted a podcast on “Ayn Rand’s Philosophy: Myth Versus Reality.” That podcast is now available for streaming or downloading.

Remember, you can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Podcast: 20 November 2014

What are some common confusions about Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism? In this talk, I briefly survey Ayn Rand’s basic principles, then explore six common but false views about her, namely: (1) Ayn Rand was primarily concerned with politics. (2) Ayn Rand was an elitist: she despised everyone except super-high achievers. (3) Ayn Rand’s ethics tells people to do whatever the heck they feel like doing. (4) Ayn Rand supported charity: she just thought it should be voluntary. (5) Ayn Rand’s advocacy of reason and logic excludes any concern for emotions. (6) Ayn Rand’s ideas are compatible with belief in God and Christianity. This talk was given to the Free Minds Film Festival on 8 October 2011.

Listen or Download:

Topics:

  • Why care about the myths about Ayn Rand’s ideas
  • Ayn Rand’s views on politics, ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics
  • Myth #1: Ayn Rand was primarily concerned with politics
  • Myth #2: Ayn Rand was an elitist: she despised everyone except super-high achievers
  • Myth #3: Ayn Rand’s ethics tells people to do whatever the heck they feel like doing
  • Myth #4: Ayn Rand supported charity: she just thought it should be voluntary
  • Myth #5: Ayn Rand’s advocacy of reason and logic excludes any concern for emotions
  • Myth #6: Ayn Rand’s ideas are compatible with belief in God and Christianity

Links:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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Podcast #316: The Cultivation of Character

 Posted by on 20 November 2014 at 8:00 am  Podcasts
Nov 202014
 

For Wednesday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I posted a podcast on “The Cultivation of Character.” That podcast is now available for streaming or downloading.

Remember, you can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Podcast: 19 November 2014

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle speaks of cultivating virtues by repeatedly doing certain actions in certain ways. However, he never clearly explains the relationship between a person’s thoughts, emotions, actions, and character. So, we must ask: What is character? How is a person’s character formed? And what is the role of character in a person’s life? This lecture draws on my dissertation, now published as Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, to answer these criticial practical questions of ethics. This lecture was originally given at SnowCon in March 2011, then re-recorded in April 2011.

Listen or Download:

Topics:

  • The story of Tony
  • The nature of moral character
  • The formation of character
  • The effects of character

Links:

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The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar


 

On Sunday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on anarchism’s case against government, the value of sportsmanship, sleeping around, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:


Whole Podcast: 9 November 2014

Listen or Download:

Remember the Tip Jar!

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life… far and wide. That’s why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.


Podcast Segments: 9 November 2014

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.

Introduction

My News of the Week: The “personhood” measures lost in North Dakota and Colorado!

Question 1: Anarchism’s Case Against Government

Question: Does the government monopoly on the use of force violate rights? Anarchist libertarians have long argued that a rights-respecting government is a contradiction in terms. A government, by its very nature, must have a monopoly on the use of force. That must be a coercive monopoly, since the government will not permit competition in the form of any competing defense agencies advocated by anarchists. Hence, government will always violate rights. What is wrong – if anything – with this argument? I’ve never gotten a good answer, despite often inquiring about it. Moreover, what assurances do we have that this government monopoly will not behave like other monopolies, such that it gets out of control, increases costs, and eventually fails?

My Answer, In Brief: The anarchist argument that government violates rights by outlawing competing defense agencies is deeply rationalistic, imagines an unrealistic market in force, and ignores the threat to rights posed by competing defense agencies.

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Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: The Value of Sportsmanship

Question: What is the meaning and value of sportsmanship? Kids are often taught – or not taught – to be “good sports.” What does that mean? What’s the value in that? More broadly, what’s a healthy versus unhealthy attitude toward competition in life – not just in sports, but also work, hobbies, friendship, and so on?

My Answer, In Brief: The root of good sportsmanship is a growth mindset. That’s what parents and coaches should encourage above all else.

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Links:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 3: Sleeping Around

Question: Why would anyone even want to sleep around? Ayn Rand used Francisco D’Anconia to describe her view of sexuality in Atlas Shrugged, but while her explanation was easy enough to understand, there were some things she left out. Namely: why would someone, anyone, sleep around? I’ve met, and read articles by, women who describe their experiences in the “hookup” culture, and across the board they agree that most of the men they slept with were poor lovers who cared little for them once the act was finished. I know men like this in real life who seem surprised at how unfulfilling their sex lives (admittedly much more active than mine) really are. So I have to ask: why would someone choose to have sex with someone when they know, or at least have good reason to believe, that the person has no actual interest in them personally?

My Answer, In Brief: Casual sex might not be the best sex out there, but it can be of value, and it can be moral.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions

Questions:

  • Was Oskar Schindler an altruist?
  • Could you give a brief overview of Stoicism and its good versus bad points?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 57:09
  • Duration: 8:37
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:05:47


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio focuses on the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. It broadcasts live on most Sunday mornings and many Thursday evenings over the internet. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar


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