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)


Foreign Policy

  • Q&A: Proposals to Ban Muslim Immigration: 8 Jun 2014, Question 2
  • Question: Does the lack of respect for rights among some Muslim immigrants justify banning all Muslim immigrants? Sometimes, I hear people say that immigrants from Muslim countries are so illiberal (in the classical sense) that they ought to banned from entering the United States and Western Europe. The anti-immigrationists say that when people from Muslim countries are allowed to reside in the West, such immigrants remain committed to political Islam, honor-kill their own daughters, rape native-born women, and plot to impose sharia law on the West through "stealth jihad." Is the illiberalism of some (or even many) Muslim immigrants grounds for limiting immigration from Muslim countries? What is the proper response to this problem?

    Tags: Conservatism, Crime, Discrimination, Ethics, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Islam, Justice, Law, Politics, Religion, Security, Terrorism

  • Q&A: Positive Change in Islam: 24 Nov 2013, Question 1
  • Question: Can Islam change for the better? Many critics of Islam claim that the religion is inherently totalitarian, violent, and repressive – and hence, that change for the better is utterly impossible. An Islamic reformation or enlightenment will never happen, they say. Is that true? More generally, what are the limits of a religion's ties to its own scriptures?

    Tags: Bible, Christianity, Foreign Policy, Islam, Judaism, Philosophy, Qu'ran, Religion

  • Q&A: Buying from Chinese Companies: 31 Mar 2013, Question 4
  • Question: Is it moral to buy products from Chinese companies? Recently I discovered several online companies based in China that sell clothing of reasonable quality for very low prices. I've made a few purchases, and I am happy with the items received. But I wonder: is it moral to purchase goods made in a communist country? Granted China has changed a lot in the past two decades, but the communists still rule in a totalitarian fashion. Am I supporting that kind of regime by sending my money there, or am I supporting the entrepreneurial class which might exist in China?

    Tags: Business, China, Ethics, Foreign Policy, Politics

  • Interview: Robert Garmong on Should We Fear or Embrace China?: 27 Mar 2013
  • Summary: Is China the next capitalist paradise? Or is it a dangerous military threat? Perhaps it's neither. Robert Garmong explained the current state of Chinese politics, its military, and its economy in this fascinating interview.

    Tags: Business, China, Corruption, Culture, Economics, Foreign Policy, Japan, Law, Politics

  • Q&A: The Morality of Nuclear Weapons: 23 Sep 2012, Question 1
  • Question: When should nuclear weapons be used, if ever? Under what circumstances would a free society use nuclear weapons – or chemical or biological weapons? Are they so destructive that their use would never be acceptable? Or might they be used in self-defense to win a war or win a war more quickly?

    Tags: Egoism, Ethics, Firearms, Foreign Policy, Free Society, Military, Rights, Sacrifice, Self-Defense, Self-Interest, War

  • Chat: Anything Under the Sun: 29 Aug 2012
  • Q&A: Sacrifice in War: 5 Aug 2012, Question 3
  • Question: Is it a sacrifice for a soldier to fight for his country? Most people regard fighting for one's country to be a glorious sacrifice. The soldier risks life and limb, but gets little in return. Assuming a proper government and a justified war for self-defense, is serving in the military a sacrifice? And if so, is that sacrifice noble?

    Tags: Career, Egoism, Ethics, Foreign Policy, Free Society, Integrity, Military, Risk, Sacrifice, Self-Interest, Self-Sacrifice, War

  • Q&A: Justified War: 15 Jul 2012, Question 4
  • Question: When would a free society go to war? What would the attitude of a rights-respecting country be toward war? How would wars be funded and manned? Is isolationism or interventionism the proper approach?

    Tags: Ethics, Foreign Policy, War

  • Q&A: Gary Johnson for US President: 11 Dec 2011, Question 5
  • Question: Should I support Gary Johnson for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Johnson deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election? Also, should supporters of Gary Johnson vote for him on a Libertarian Party ticket?

    Tags: Abortion, Drug War, Elections, Foreign Policy, Gay Marriage, Government, Immigration, Medicine, Politics, Republican Party, Rights

  • Q&A: Ron Paul for US President: 11 Dec 2011, Question 4
  • Question: Should I support Ron Paul for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Paul deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?

    Tags: Abortion, Drug War, Elections, Foreign Policy, Gay Marriage, Government, Immigration, Medicine, Politics, Republican Party, Rights

  • Q&A: Newt Gingrich for US President: 11 Dec 2011, Question 3
  • Question: Should I support Newt Gingrinch for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Gingrinch deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?

    Tags: Abortion, Drug War, Elections, Foreign Policy, Gay Marriage, Government, Immigration, Medicine, Politics, Republican Party, Rights

  • Q&A: Mitt Romney for US President: 11 Dec 2011, Question 2
  • Question: Should I support Mitt Romney for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Romney deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?

    Tags: Abortion, Drug War, Elections, Foreign Policy, Gay Marriage, Government, Immigration, Medicine, Politics, Republican Party, Rights

  • Q&A: The Morality of Torturing Terrorists and Criminals: 18 Sep 2011, Question 1
  • Question: Is it moral to torture criminals and/or terrorists? We supposedly were able to track down Osama Bin Laden with information obtained by torturing captured Al Qaeda prisoners. Is it moral to torture criminals, terrorists or other evildoers to gain useful information to fight crime or help win a war? If so, should there be any limits on when and how torture should be used by the government?

    Tags: Crime, Ethics, Foreign Policy, Free Society, Law, Military, Politics, War

  • Q&A: Government Secrets: 20 Feb 2011, Question 5
  • Question: Should private citizens be legally obliged to keep government secrets? Should it be a crime for private citizens to divulge "top secret" information? That is, if I have no specific security agreement or contract with the government to keep information confidential if I come to possess it through no fault of my own? What if lives are at stake?

    Tags: Foreign Policy, Government, Law, Rights, Secrets

  • Q&A: What To Do about Wikileaks: 26 Dec 2010, Question 3
  • Question: What should the US government do about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange? In particular, can and should the US government go after him, given that he is not an American citizen and he apparently committed his bad acts outside of US territory?

    Tags: Crime, Foreign Policy, Law, Rights


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