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)


America

  • Q&A: The Future of the United States: 27 Sep 2015, Question 1
  • Question: Is the United States finished as a free country? Lately, I have seen a lot of people in my circles claim that the United States as a free country is dead and done, that tyranny advances each day and it's not isolated, it's everywhere. These are mostly reactions to articles reporting seeming home invasions by police, the FBI's forensic hair match scandal, and other government abuses. The common claim is that the United States now has an inherently corrupt justice system where policemen can end the lives of citizens with impunity and get away with it. My inner skeptic makes me feel that, while this is evidence of a lot of bad things that shouldn't be tolerated, the reaction itself seems disproportionate. While there are systemic problems, I have the impression that it is not all-pervasive and not hopeless. Then again, that could be also my inner optimist trying to tell myself that things are not as bad as they first appear. What is your take on the current climate of the United States? Do you think it is as finished as others claim it is? What kind of tools could you recommend for someone to use in gauging the state of the country more accurately?

    Tags: Activism, America, Apocalypticism, Business, Culture, Epistemology, History, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Politics, Rights, Rule of Law, Technology

  • Q&A: Displaying the Confederate Flag: 15 Mar 2015, Question 2
  • Question: Is displaying the Confederate flag racist? I've been told by southerners that displaying the flag of the Confederate States amounts to a display of "southern pride." I think it amounts to a display of racism, given the history of the south. That flag was used in a time when the agricultural economy of the southern states relied on slave labor. Many southern states seceded from the Union, largely because of their nefarious interests in preserving slavery. The Confederate flag represents these states and their ideology. Hence, I think it's morally questionable (at least) to display it. I don't think the south should take pride in or honor the Confederacy. Am I right or wrong in my thinking? What should I think of people who choose to display the Confederate flag?

    Tags: America, Civil War, Culture, History, Moral Judgment, Pride, Slavery

  • Interview: Eric Daniels on Why Small Government Isn't the Answer: 31 Jul 2013
  • Summary: Is "big government" the fundamental problem of American politics? Historian Eric Daniels will explain why this common formulation is misleading, wrong, and even dangerous to liberty.

    Tags: Activism, America, Anarchism, Crime, Culture, Epistemology, Government, History, Law, Libertarianism, Politics, Racism, Rights, Self-Defense, Sexism

  • Interview: Scott Powell on History is Dead, Long Live History: 17 Jul 2013
  • Summary: Why is knowledge of history important? How have historians failed to teach it? What's the proper approach? How can adults educate themselves about history?

    Tags: Academia, America, American Revolution, Children, Economics, Education, Epistemology, Great Depression, Herodotus, History, Thucydides

  • Interview: John P. McCaskey on Libertarianism's Moral Shift: 10 Apr 2013
  • Summary: As the libertarian movement has become more mainstream in recent decades, its justification for liberty has changed. How so – and is that change for the better? Is the libertarian movement today capable of offering a vigorous and compelling defense of liberty?

    Tags: America, Conflicts of Interest, Egalitarianism, Ethics, Friedrich Hayek, History, John Rawls, Libertarianism, Objectivism, Politics, Rights

  • Q&A: The Good in American Culture: 30 Dec 2012, Question 1
  • Question: How is American culture better today better than people think? I've heard lots of depressing claims about the abysmal state of American culture lately, particularly since Obama won the election. You've disputed that, arguing that America is better in its fundamentals that many people think. What are some of those overlooked but positive American values? How can they be leveraged for cultural and political change?

    Tags: Activism, America, Apocalypticism, Business, Culture, Ethics, Politics, Rights, Technology

  • Q&A: The 2012 Election Results: 11 Nov 2012, Question 1
  • Question: What should we think of the results of the 2012 election? Many free-market advocates are despairing over the election results, particularly the re-election of President Obama. They claim that America has sunk to a new low in re-electing an openly socialistic and egalitarian hater of America. Do you think that such despair is warranted? Also, how can intellectuals, activists, and others effectively promote individual rights over the next four years?

    Tags: Alcohol/Drugs, America, Apocalypticism, Democratic Party, Elections, Gay Marriage, Immigration, Politics, Progress, Republican Party, Rights

  • Interview: Dr. Eric Daniels on Progress in American History: 5 Sep 2012
  • Summary: 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.

    Tags: America, Culture, Elections, Ethics, History, Honor Ethics, Law, Politics, Progress, Regulations, Rights


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