Friends and Fans — I have retired from my work as a public intellectual, so Philosophy in Action is on indefinite hiatus. Please check out the voluminous archive of free podcasts, as well as the premium audio content still available for sale. My two books — Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame and Explore Atlas Shrugged — are available for purchase too. Best wishes! — Diana Brickell (Hsieh)

Rapid Fire Extravaganza

Q&A Radio: 29 January 2015

I answered questions on all sorts of topics from the Rapid Fire Queue on 29 January 2015. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.

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.

My News of the Week: I've been frantically preparing to depart for Aiken, which happens in the wee hours of Friday morning!


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Segments: 29 January 2015


Rapid Fire Questions (2:44)

In this segment, I answered questions chosen at random by Greg Perkins impromptu. The questions were:
  • What is your view of common-law marriages?
  • Are smart animals like the sign-language-using ape, math-speaking African Grey parrot, dolphins, and some crows using concepts?
  • What are some good sources of humor that are consistent with and supportive of a rational, Objectivist worldview?
  • So, habitual drug use is bad. And so is impairing one’s mind in as much as our minds are our primary means of survival. I don’t do such drugs on principle, and am very happy this way. The question is: do you think it is rational to accept the offer to partake in a safe one-time experience using a relatively safe psychedelic drug that is similar to psilocybin, i.e. mushrooms? The intention would be to have a deep bonding experience with a trusted loved one (who is initiating the request).
  • Should emotions be subjected to moral judgment?
  • I can't comprehend how some people care more about animals more than humans. Could it be that they've just met lots of jerks?
  • Can a person be justly blamed for not doing something he should have done, when the thought of doing it never occurred to him, but he would have done it if the thought had occurred to him?
  • Is love really a battlefield, or did Pat Benatar get it wrong?
  • Have you read any Kafka? If so, do you think interpreting his work as dark humour makes it seem more acceptable?
  • Is limiting the use of water during a drought a proper function of government? What about under normal circumstances?

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Conclusion (1:04:38)

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio! If you enjoyed this episode, please contribute to contribute to our tip jar.


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The vast majority of Philosophy in Action Radio – the live show and the podcast – is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because my mission is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as I do every week to thousands of listeners. I love producing the show, but each episode requires requires the investment of time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value my work, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, regular contributors enjoy free access to my premium content.

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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.

You can listen to these 362 podcasts by subscribing to the Podcast RSS Feed. You can also peruse the podcast archive, where episodes and questions are sorted by date and by topic.

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.

You can also read my blog NoodleFood and subscribe to its Blog RSS Feed.

I can be reached via e-mail to diana@philosophyinaction.com.

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