Sexual Harassment, Anti-Heroes, Kids, and More
Radio Q&A: 25 November 2012
I answered questions on sexual harassment laws, rooting for antiheroes, child beauty pageants, teaching children philosophy, and more on 25 November 2012. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.
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Segments: 25 November 2012
Question: Are laws against sexual harassment proper? We already have laws against sexual assault and sexual battery, so do sexual harassment laws protect or violate rights? Also, what kind of sexual harassment policies should private companies have, if any? Should people be more skeptical of sexual harassment claims of the kind levelled against Herman Cain during the Republican primary?
Answer, In Brief: Certain kinds of sexual harassment, along with other shocking, appalling, and immoral demands in the workplace, might be grounds for damages in the form of a severance package due to wrongful termination.
Question: Is it wrong to root for antiheroes in movies? I often root for characters like Daniel Ocean (of Ocean's 11, 12, etc.), Erik Draven (of The Crow), Harry Callahan (a.k.a. Dirty Harry), and "Mad" Max. Should I instead seek out movies with more consistently good heroes?
Answer, In Brief: Characters are more complex than just heroes and antiheroes. Judge the gray characters accurately, recognize that they're just fiction, and know why you like or dislike them!
Question: Are child beauty pageants wrong? The TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras is a reality show that follows child beauty pageant contestants and their parents. Putting aside the often-questionable behavior of the people on this show who may not represent typical pageant contestants or parents, these events ask children to compete based on beauty and talent. So are child beauty pageants immoral?
Answer, In Brief: Some, and perhaps many, child beauty pageants sexualize young children and teach them to focus on pleasing adults. Parents should avoid those kinds of pageants, instead seek out more appropriate activities to do with their kids!
Question: Why isn't philosophy taught to young children? It seems that teaching philosophy to young children – as young as kindergarten – might result in much better reasoning skills, as well as greater willingness to think independently and question what they've been taught. So is philosophy not taught to the young just because some parents and politicians might not like those good results?
Answer, In Brief: Children can and must learn the abstract principles and skills of philosophy inductively – meaning, through subjects like history, literature, science, and mathematics. Only later can they learn philosophy explicitly.
Rapid Fire Questions (1:04:39)
- Do you consider it plausible that the most current escalation by Hamas in Gaza is covering for and diverting attention from Iran entering a critical phase in its nuclear program?
- Was Obama's defeat a referendum on free markets in general and Ayn Rand's ideas in particular?
- If someone requests that you remove your shoes in their house, but you have terribly stinky feet, what should you do?
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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.