Dr. Eric Daniels on Progress in American History
Radio Interview: 5 September 2012
I interviewed Dr. Eric Daniels on "Progress in American History" on 5 September 2012. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.
Many people on the political right regard America as steadily decaying since the founding era. Yet in fact, America has improved in many ways – not just in technology, but also in its culture, economy, and laws.
Dr. Eric Daniels is a research assistant professor at Clemson University's Institute for the Study of Capitalism. He has a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin.
- Duration: 1:12:25
- Download: MP3 File (16.6 MB)
You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
- Evaluating the past
- What life was like in early America
- Cultural changes in America, including for women and marriage
- Federal versus state and local governments now and then
- The 14th Amendment
- Improvements in the law, including marriage law, morality regulations and cultural mores, blasphemy law, and obscenity law
- The American north versus south
- Andrew Jackson's duel
- The caning of Charles Sumner
- Today's Republicans and Democrats
- The value (or lack thereof) of voting
- NoodleFood: Amazing Progress
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My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle
Does the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame? In his famous article "Moral Luck," philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters – even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the "problem of moral luck."
In Responsibility & Luck, I argue that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle's theory of moral responsibility, I explain the sources and limits of a person's responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, I show that moral judgments are not undermined by luck. In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.
Responsibility & Luck is scholarly but accessible to active-minded people interested in philosophy. You can preview the book by reading Chapter One and Chapter Three as PDFs – or by listening to my reading of Chapter One.
About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase 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 radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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