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)


Relativism

  • Q&A: The Reality of Mental Illness: 21 Apr 2013, Question 1
  • Question: Is mental illness nothing more than a myth? It seems that many members of the free-market movement are enthused about the theory, promulgated by the likes of Thomas Szasz and Jeffrey A. Schaler, that there is no such thing as mental illness. They say that if one cannot pinpoint a direct physiological cause for behavior considered "mentally ill," there are no grounds for referring to that behavior as a symptom of some "illness." Furthermore, they argue that the concept of "mental illness" is simply a term that the social establishment uses to stigmatize nonconformist behavior of which it does not approve. Is there anything to these claims? If not, what's the proper understanding of the basic nature of mental illness?

    Tags: Ethics, Health, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Meta-Ethics, Philosophy, Psychology, Relativism, Subconscious, Subjectivism

  • Q&A: Multiculturalism and Tolerance: 15 Jul 2012, Question 1
  • Question: What's wrong with multiculturalism? Many people think that "multiculturalism" just means being tolerant of people with different cultural practices than your own. Is that right? What is multiculturalism? What are some examples of it? What's wrong with it, if anything?

    Tags: Culture, Ethics, Judgment, Justice, Multiculturalism, Politics, Race, Relativism

  • Q&A: Religious Morality: 10 Apr 2011, Question 1
  • Question: Does morality require God? Many devoutly religious people claim that morality requires God. They say that without a supernatural lawgiver, anything would be morally permissible. Is that right? Are relativism or subjectivism the only alternatives to religious morality?

    Tags: Atheism, Ethics, Relativism, Religion

  • Q&A: Toleration as a Virtue: 12 Dec 2010, Question 3
  • Question: Is toleration (or tolerance) a virtue?

    Tags: Ethics, Judgment, Justice, Relativism, Tolerance

  • Q&A: Cultural Equality: 28 Nov 2010, Question 6
  • Question: Are all cultures equal? How can you prohibit or restrict anyone's cultural norms or say they're better or worse than our culture? Is there an objective barometer by which this can be achieved?

    Tags: Culture, Ethics, Judgment, Justice, Multiculturalism, Politics, Relativism


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