In Sunday morning’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I’ll answer questions on nihilism, radical honesty, less than full effort at work, philosophy versus psychology, and more with Greg Perkins.

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • What: Philosophy in Action Internet Radio: Nihilism, Radical Honesty, Psychology, and More
  • When: Sunday, 9 December 2012, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action’s Live Studio

This week’s questions are:

  • Question 1: Nihilism: What is philosophic nihilism? What is the definition of philosophic nihilism? Some people seem to be quick to apply the label “nihilistic” to a broad range of phenomena, particularly art and ideas. So how should the term be used? Can a philosophy be very harmful and destructive without it being nihilistic?
  • Question 2: Radical Honesty: Is “radical honesty” moral and wise? Psychotherapist Brad Blanton claims that people should be “radically honest” – meaning that they should say what they think all the time. (See http://www.esquire.com/features/honesty0707) Is that a life-serving policy – or simply an excuse for rudeness? For example, if my friend is telling me a story that I don’t care to hear, should I tell her of my disinterest? Would that foster a more authentic and valuable relationship? Should I try to gently signal my disinterest? Or should I try to cultivate some interest in her story? In other words, is tact a value – or a destructive form of pretense?
  • Question 3: Less Than Full Effort at Work: Is it wrong for me to do less than my best at my job? At work, I used to go above and beyond my basic obligations routinely. However, I was never recognized or rewarded for my superior performance. Instead, I was paid the same as those who barely functioned in their jobs. To this day, my employer uses only collective or team recognition; he does not appreciate individuals. Also, those who do poorly or make serious mistakes are not being disciplined, while those of us who work hard are given more duties. My response has been to lower my own work output. While I meet the minimum standards of my employment and still do far more than my equally paid coworkers, I am not performing nearly close to the level I could. Is that wrong of me? Should I do my best at work, even though my employer doesn’t seem to value that? Should I continue to suggest ideas for improvement – and perhaps work on them on the side, in secret, if ignored?
  • Question 4: Philosophy Versus Psychology: What’s the proper distinction between philosophy and psychology, if any? Given that psychology concerns the mind, I don’t see how to clearly distinguish it from philosophy. For example, when would emotions be of philosophic versus a psychological concern? In other words, where is the dividing line between philosophy and psychology? Can they be separated?

After that, we’ll tackle some impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”

To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action’s Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you’ll find the audio podcast from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 9 December 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

   
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