On the next Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on compulsory vaccination, accepting voluntary sacrifices, requiting evil with good, and more. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 3 August 2014. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.


Film

  • Q&A: The Cultural Effects of Superhero Movies: 27 Jul 2014, Question 3
  • Question: Do good ideas in superhero movies and television change people's philosophy? I have really enjoyed the pro-freedom and pro-personal responsibility messages of some recent superhero movies. However, I wonder whether those messages do any good. Rationally, I believe that a person can enjoy these superhero characters and then relate their qualities to a normal human standard. However, for the average viewer, I wonder whether the gulf between their superpowers and ordinary human powers creates a moral gulf too, so that people see the moral ideals of the superheroes as beyond the reach of us mere mortals. Is that right? Can these movies really affect people's ideas?

    Tags: Art, Culture, Culture, Ethics, Film, Literature, Politics

  • Q&A: The Value of Horror Movies: 6 Feb 2014, Question 2
  • Question: Do horror movies or books have any redeeming value? In The Romantic Manifesto, Ayn Rand argued that horror was the worst genre of art, "belonging more to psychopathology than to esthetics." Is that right? Might a rational person find some value in a horror film or book? Don't some horror movies have heroic characters – such as Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator?

    Tags: Aesthetics, Art, Emotions, Ethics, Film, Psychology, Psychology, Values

  • Interview: Chris Mortensen on Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged: 20 Feb 2013
  • Summary: Chris Mortenson directed the excellent documentary, Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged. How did that project get started? What was required to make it a reality? How was it received? What's next?

    If you haven't yet seen the documentary... don't delay! It's available on NetFlix (streaming and DVD) and Amazon (streaming and DVD). If you enjoy the documentary, be sure to pick up the new book with the full text of the interviews, including much material that wasn't included in the documentary. That's available in paperback or for kindle.

    Tags: Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Film, Literature, Objectivism

  • Q&A: Rooting for Antiheroes: 25 Nov 2012, Question 2
  • 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?

    Tags: Aesthetics, Character, Culture, Ethics, Film, Judgment, Justice, Literature, Personality, Progress, Psychology, Respect

  • Q&A: Product Placements in Art: 9 Oct 2011, Question 3
  • Question: Is product placement in art a breach of artistic integrity? Given that an artist must select every aspect of an artistic work, does delegating some selection to the highest bidder breach the integrity of the work? Does the type of artwork matter? Would it be okay in movies, television, and literature but not paintings? Why?

    Tags: Art, Business, Ethics, Film, Integrity, Literature

  • Interview: Ari Armstrong on Values of Harry Potter: 12 Jul 2011
  • Summary: In preparation for the release of the final Harry Potter movie, I interviewed

    Tags: Ethics, Film, Harry Potter, Literature, Politics, Religion

  • Q&A: Personal Art Recommendations: 22 May 2011, Question 5
  • Question: Can you give some art recommendations? Specifically, what would say would be your two or three favorites in the following categories, and why? (1) literature, (2) paintings/sculpture, (3) music, (4) movies, and (5) television.

    Tags: Art, Film, Literature, Music, Television

  • Q&A: Review of the Movie Atlas Shrugged, Part 1: 17 Apr 2011, Question 1
  • Question: What did you think of the movie Atlas Shrugged, Part 1?

    Tags: Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Film

  • Q&A: Recommending the Upcoming Atlas Shrugged Movie: 20 Mar 2011, Question 5
  • Question: Assuming the Atlas Shrugged movie turns out to be decent, would it be immoral to recommend it to others since the movie is backed by a trustee of The Atlas Society?

    Tags: Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Film, Sanction


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