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)


Moral Character

  • Q&A: The Nature of Character: 1 Mar 2015, Question 1
  • Question: What is the nature of character? What is meant by a person's "character"? Is that broader than moral character? What is the relationship between character (moral and otherwise) and personality? Are they distinct? Do they overlap?

    Tags: Character, Emotions, Ethics, Mind, Moral Character, Personality, Values

  • Q&A: Punishing Yourself: 4 Jan 2015, Question 2
  • Question: Should a person punish herself for wrongdoing by depriving herself of a value? A friend of mine destroyed her phone in a fit of anger over a difficult situation that wasn't her fault. Now my friend feels guilty about her outburst. She thinks that she doesn't deserve to properly replace her phone, as that would reward her irrational outburst. She wants to either buy a cheap phone or go without a phone for a while. That seems needlessly self-destructive. How can I explain to her that she really ought to replace her phone?

    Tags: Ethics, Honesty, Independence, Integrity, Justice, Moral Character, Moral Wrongs, Pride, Punishment, Values

  • Interview: Kelly Elmore on Why Growth Mindsets Matter: 28 Aug 2014
  • Summary: Carol Dweck's book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success offers a new perspective on learning. People with a "fixed mindsets" believe that traits like intelligence or social skills are fixed and cannot be changed much. People with "growth mindsets" believe that humans have the potential to change the traits they possess and constantly learn and improve. As a part of the research for her dissertation, Kelly Elmore has explored the psychological research conducted by Dweck and other cognitive psychologists that led to Dweck's development of the concept of "mindsets." In this interview, Kelly explained what mindsets are, how they impact our lives, and how we can develop growth mindsets in ourselves and encourage them in others.

    Tags: Academia, Education, Ethics, Hobbies, Mindsets, Moral Character, Moral Judgment, Parenting, Psycho-Epistemology, Psychology, Skills, Values

  • Q&A: Conning Jerks and Blowhards: 24 Aug 2014, Question 3
  • Question: Is it wrong to con jerks and blowhards? I know that dishonesty is wrong, but conning jerks and blowhards out of their money (as seen here) seems like justice at its best. So is it wrong?

    Tags: Emotions, Ethics, Fraud, Justice, Moral Character, Moral Habits, Revenge, Rights


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