On the next Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, living joyfully, defending abortion rights, and more. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 20 April 2014. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.


Aristotle

  • Q&A: Choosing an Ultimate End: 29 Sep 2013, Question 2
  • Question: Can a person choose an ultimate value other than his own life? Ayn Rand claims that each person's life is his own ultimate value. Similarly, Aristotle says that each person's final end is his own flourishing or well-being. Does that mean that a person cannot have a different ultimate value or final end? Or just that they should not?

    Tags: Aristotle, Ethics, Life, Meta-Ethics, Objectivism, Values

  • Interview: Kelly Elmore on The Value of Rhetoric: 21 Aug 2013
  • Summary: What is rhetoric? Why does it matter? How can the basic concepts of rhetoric help us write more effectively, understand advertising better, or speak more persuasively?

    Tags: Activism, Aristotle, Communication, Epistemology, Politics, Relationships

  • Q&A: Achieving Practical Certainty: 18 Aug 2013, Question 1
  • Question: What must I do to reach certainty about a course of action? Suppose that I'm being careful in my thinking about a practical matter – perhaps about how to solve a problem at work, whether to move to a new city, whether to marry my girlfriend, or whether to cut contact with a problem friend. When can I say that I'm certain – or at least justified in acting on my conclusions? Given my personality type (INTP), I tend to leave questions open for far too long, when really, at some point, I need to close them. Are there any general guidelines or principles around figuring out what that point of closure should be? Even then, when should I revisit my conclusions, if ever?

    Tags: Aristotle, Deliberation, Epistemology, Ethics, Personality, Planning, Psycho-Epistemology, Rationality, Values

  • Q&A: Aristotle on the Final End: 30 Jun 2013, Question 1
  • Question: Is Aristotle's argument for flourishing as the final end valid? In the "Nicomachean Ethics," Aristotle argues that flourishing (or happiness) is the proper final end. What is that argument? Does it have merit? How does it differ from Ayn Rand's argument for life as the standard of value?

    Tags: Aristotle, Ethics, Flourishing, Happiness, Hedonism, Meta-Ethics, Objectivism

  • Q&A: Cultivating Powers of Self-Control: 23 Jun 2013, Question 1
  • Question: Should a person cultivate his powers of self-control? What is self-control? Is strong capacity for self-control of value? Does self-control have a downside or limits? How can a person develop more self-control?

    Tags: Aristotle, Ethics, Moral Amplifiers, Psychology, Rationality, Responsibility, Self-Control, Temptation, Virtue, Willpower

  • Q&A: Recommended Works of Aristotle: 20 Jan 2013, Question 2
  • Question: What works of Aristotle do you recommend reading? As a layperson interested in philosophy, I'd like to educate myself on the philosophy of Aristotle. I'm particularly interested in developing a better understanding of epistemology and metaphysics. What works should I read, and where should I start? Do you recommend any secondary sources?

    Tags: Aristotle, Philosophy

  • Q&A: The Nature of Happiness: 22 Jul 2012, Question 3
  • Question: What is happiness? When philosophers such as Aristotle, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, and Ayn Rand speak of happiness, what do they mean? Is happiness just a fleeting sensation of pleasure? Or is it something more enduring and stable?

    Tags: Aristotle, Ethics, Happiness, Objectivism, Objectivism, Pleasure, Utilitarianism

  • Q&A: Tenacity in Pursuit of Goals: 8 Jan 2012, Question 1
  • Question: How can I become more tenacious in pursuit of my goals? I find that I give up too easily on some of my goals, particularly when success is far away and much effort is required now. What can I do to make myself more tenacious?

    Tags: Aristotle, Character, Ethics, Objectivism, Productivity, Psycho-Epistemology, Psychology, Tenacity, Virtue

  • Q&A: Calls for Moderation: 17 Jul 2011, Question 1
  • Question: 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?

    Tags: Absolutes, Aristotle, Ethics, Nutrition, Relationships

  • Q&A: Virtue as a Mean: 1 May 2011, Question 6
  • Question: Is Aristotle's concept of virtue as a mean between extremes of vices valid? In philosophy class my professor attributed the idea of the "Golden Mean" to Aristotle. I understand the concept, and I agree with the principle to some extent, but it still does not sit right with me somehow. (Perhaps the problem is the idea of moderation for moderation's sake.) Is this idea valid as is, or is the essence right with a sloppy framework?

    Tags: Aristotle, Ethics, Philosophy

  • Podcast: Friendship after Romance, Philosophy in Romance, and Finances in Marriage: 21 Oct 2009
  • Summary: I answer three questions on romantic relationships concerning (1) friendship after a failed romance, (2) romance between people of very different philosophies, and (3) managing finances in marriage.

    Tags: Aristotle, Character, Ethics, Finances, Friendship, Marriage, Objectivism, Personality, Philosophy, Relationships, Romance, Values


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