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)


Fitness

  • Q&A: The Ethics of Care for the Body: 12 Apr 2015, Question 3
  • Question: What is the moral status of actions aimed at tending to one's body? In an egoistic ethics, the ultimate end of moral action is the growth and continuation of one's own life. Ayn Rand discussed many of the kinds of actions required to achieve this goal, but she didn't discuss matters of "bodily care," such as cleaning your teeth, eating well, exercising regularly, tending to a wound, and seeking necessary medical care. These constitute a whole universe of actions necessary for the maintenance of one's body and, hence, one's life. Are such actions moral and virtuous? Should bodily care itself be considered a virtue? Or are these actions already subsumed under the virtues? (If so, I would love to know how to brush my teeth with integrity and pride!)

    Tags: Ambition, Body, Character, Diet, Fitness, Health, Integrity, Mind-Body Connection, Mindsets, Pride, Rationalism, Values, Virtue

  • Q&A: Cultivating a Healthy Body Image: 30 Mar 2014, Question 2
  • Question: How does a person cultivate a healthy body image? Suppose that a woman realizes that she has been unconsciously influenced by unrealistic body images – as portrayed in movies, magazines, and so on? She is basically healthy, and so it would be good for her to feel good about how she looks. But a person can't always change everything about herself: she can't change her height, however much she dislikes it. Even if a person can make changes, most people need to accept that they will never look like movie stars. So how does a person cultivate a healthy body image? How might a person notice and combat an unhealthy obsession with appearance?

    Tags: Body Image, Ethics, Fitness, Health, Self-Esteem

  • Q&A: Body Acceptance: 16 Mar 2014, Question 1
  • Question: Is "body acceptance" rational and healthy – or dangerous? Many people are divided on the issue of accepting one's body for whatever it is. Some think that a person should be proud to be "healthy at any size" (or even just a larger-than-average size). Others say that such views perpetuate unhealthy lifestyles and destroy standards of beauty and health, perhaps out of envy. What is a rational view of body acceptance? Is "fat shaming" or "fit shaming" ever acceptable? More generally, what are the boundaries of morally acceptable comments on such matters between acquaintances, friends, and strangers?

    Tags: Benevolence, Body Image, Ethics, Fitness, Health, Justice, Shaming

  • Interview: Christian Wernstedt on Your Health Versus Stress: 4 Sep 2013
  • Summary: What are some of the common ways that stress impairs a person's health? What can a person do to resolve those problems? Personal health coach Christian Wernstedt helped me recover from adrenal insufficiency, leaky gut, and other problems stemming from my 2009 crash into hypothyroidism. In this interview, he shared his basic approach and insights with us.

    Tags: Diet, Fitness, Health, Medicine, Stress

  • Interview: Nell Stephenson on Paleo for the Endurance Athlete: 27 Feb 2013
  • Summary: What is the paleo diet? How can athletes and others benefit from it? What kind of training and nutrition is required for endurance competition? What's wrong with the standard methods of training and nutrition for athletes?

    Tags: Diet, Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Paleo, Sports

  • Interview: Dr. Doug McGuff on Strength Training Using Body by Science: 5 Dec 2012
  • Summary: Most people suppose that fitness requires long "cardio" sessions of running, biking, stair-climbing, or the like. In contrast, Dr. Doug McGuff advocates brief, infrequent, and high-intensity weight training using slow movements. Does this approach work? What are its benefits and costs compared to other fitness regimens?

    Tags: Diet, Evolution, Fitness, Health, Paleo, Science, Sports


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