Calls for Moderation
Webcast Q&A: 17 July 2011, Question 1
I answered a question on calls for moderation on 17 July 2011. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
What's right or wrong about calls for "moderation"? Many things are black and white, but sometimes moderation seems like the right course. For example, you don't want to stuff yourself full of every food that strikes your fancy, nor deny yourself foods that you enjoy. So you should eat moderately. Similarly, you don't want to agree to or deny every favor asked by a friend, but rather do some moderate amount. Is moderation a good guide in some areas of life?
My Answer, In Brief: The supposed ideal of "moderation" ignores the complex array of values at stake in our decisions. Too often, it's just an excuse for unthinking adherence to the status quo. Instead, a person ought to identify the proper standards of value based his purposes and the means of achieving them, then act accordingly... even if that requires doing something quite "extreme" by conventional standards.
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- The discussion of temperance in Chapter 10 of Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics by Tara Smith
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to email@example.com.