Philosophy In Action

Every Sunday morning, philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh answers your questions on the principles for living a happy, virtuous, and free life in her live Philosophy In Action Webcast. It's at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at http://www.PhilosophyInAction.com. Submit your questions here!
Managers
I would like to...
by comments
by date
by popularity
Sort
Display all
or
Enable filter

16 votes Vote

What should be the limits of government spying on citizens, residents, and foreigners?

I have been getting into arguments with my friends about the ethics of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing and the ethics of NSA spying on foreigners. My friends say Snowden's disclosure is evil because it undermined legitimate spying the NSA does for...
legendre007, 19.04.2014, 01:45
1 comment
15 votes Vote

How does an aspiring writer avoid recycling the words of other writers?

I am an aspiring writer. Sometimes, the line between drawing ideas or inspiration from another writer and merely copying their formulations isn't clear to me -- particularly since I'm writing in Dutch. What would you suggest?
Yernaz Ramautarsing, 28.09.2011, 03:56
1 comment
15 votes Vote

Is the beginning of "personhood" a subjective opinion?

In my view, the age at which we feel a human being should be granted the status of "personhood" is not a simple matter of religion, but of individual conscience. Scientifically, there are infinite graduated stages of development during and after...
Glenn Shrom, 18.12.2012, 18:33
1 comment
15 votes Vote

How can a person be an effective activist?

Many people want to engage in activism for good ideas -- particularly in politics. Yet many of those people burn out or lose interest over time. Many others don't seem to have much impact. What can people do to be effective long-term activists?
Anonymous, 06.02.2013, 22:41
0 comments
15 votes Vote

Should blackmail be legalized?

In his book "Defending the Undefendable," libertarian anarchist Walter Block argues that blackmail should be legal because the blackmailer does not initiate force against person or property. If I learn that Mr. X is cheating on his wife, for...
legendre007, 13.09.2013, 00:35
0 comments
14 votes Vote

What moral transgressions require us to take action?

It has always been my understanding that if someone initiates the use of force against someone we are morally obligated to act to mitigate that force--whether that be direct physical confrontation, destroying the aggressor's economic base, or...
James, 07.04.2012, 22:06
0 comments
14 votes Vote

Should I flirt with my friends?

I tend to be physically reserved around my friends, not touching them or otherwise physically displaying affection. Should I try to be more expressive? What would be too much? Are some of my friends giving the wrong impression by being flirty...
Anonymous, 31.05.2012, 11:47
0 comments
14 votes Vote

What are the moral principles governing collaboration with other people?

What kinds of alliances with others -- particularly in cultural or political activism -- are moral and practical? What kinds are immoral or impractical? When should a person form ad hoc rather than enduring alliances? Are "big tents" sometimes...
Brandon Killen, 30.08.2012, 14:12
0 comments
14 votes Vote

Does the military ethos of honor, duty, and sacrifice have a rational basis?

Soldiers are often portrayed as acting from duty and nobly sacrificing themselves for their country and its citizens (present and future). Is this ethic completely irrational? Or does it have some rational roots?
c andrew, 29.09.2013, 09:53
0 comments
14 votes Vote

Does Ayn Rand's acceptance of Social Security payments invalidate her case for laissez faire capitalism?

I often hear leftists claim that Ayn Rand's acceptance of Social Security payments makes her a hypocrite and invalidates her criticism of the welfare state. Was Ayn Rand wrong to accept such payments? Why or why not? More generally, if...
DianaHsieh, 17.09.2013, 14:04
5 comments
14 votes Vote

Can chess be regarded as a kind of art?

Can the concept of art be legitimately expanded to domains like chess? I find some chess combinations beautiful and enjoy contemplating them. Isn't that similar to enjoying a work of art? If so, can we recognize different schools of art in...
Mike, 17.10.2012, 03:41
3 comments
14 votes Vote

Can a feminist be an advocate of individual rights?

Many feminists today are leftists, if not Marxists. Is another kind of feminism possible, where individual rights are recognized and upheld? More broadly, should a rational person want to be a feminist? What would such rational feminism look like?
Robert, 10.02.2013, 18:43
1 comment
14 votes Vote

What are the moral limits on the doctrine of collateral damage in wartime?

Collateral damage was originally applied to damage to civilian lives and property in the course of a battle. New and different modes of conflict over the past half century have extended the battlefield into more areas than merely front line...
c andrew, 12.01.2014, 09:34
0 comments
14 votes Vote

What is wrong with Immanuel Kant's essay "What Is Enlightenment?"?

On your June 26, 2014 radio show, you mentioned that Immanuel Kant's essay "What Is Enlightenment?" initially seems to be arguing in favor of independent reason and political liberty, but that it really does not. I am confused by this. I thought...
legendre007, 27.06.2014, 08:32
0 comments
14 votes Vote

Does the patent system need to be reformed?

Patents were meant to spur innovation and reward inventors financially. However, the system seems to have many flaws, such as: (1) Many patents are awarded to obvious "inventions" (such as one-click shopping) or whole problems (not just particular...
Alok, 12.10.2014, 08:09
2 comments
13 votes Vote

Should merely downloading copyrighted material without authorization be illegal?

In the United States, it is illegal not just to distribute copyrighted files without permission but also to download them. Where I live, however, only the distribution is illegal. Which system is better -- and why? Also, I don't condone...
Tjitze de Boer, 27.05.2012, 06:42
0 comments
13 votes Vote

What should a person do when part of his job involves dealing with looters?

I work for a company that promotes other companies. One of those promoted companies is extremely large, and it was bailed out with taxpayer money in 2009. In my view, my employer is profiting from theft. I'm having a terrible time dealing with...
Teresa, 10.06.2012, 09:52
0 comments
13 votes Vote

What's wrong with the government "investing" in business?

During the election debates, President Obama claimed that the government should be "investing" in science, education, alternative energy, and other worthy businesses. What is the ideal at work in such claims? What's right or wrong about it?...
Anonymous, 13.11.2012, 22:14
1 comment
12 votes Vote

What are "inalienable" rights?

The Declaration of Independence says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of...
Bil Danielson, 08.10.2012, 18:15
0 comments
12 votes Vote

What can the success of the gay marriage teach us about effective advocacy for economic liberty?

In your March 31st, 2013 broadcast, you discussed the reasons why the campaign for gay marriage has been so successful. You hinted at some lessons, particularly the need to give people concrete experiences from which to draw their own...
Anonymous, 31.03.2013, 15:48
0 comments
12 votes Vote

How can I protect myself from moral degradation during prolonged contact with destructive people?

In your 1 December 2003 discussion of the morality and legality of abandoning a roommate during a diabetic emergency, you recommend that a person extract himself from that situation as soon as possible -- and that a failure to do so might result...
Benjamin Skipper, 02.12.2013, 18:08
0 comments
11 votes Vote

Does an egoistic ethics impose unchosen obligations?

People commonly think that morality imposes obligations on a person apart from his wishes or interests -- meaning, for example, that a person has "duty" of loyalty to his country such that he is morally obligated to serve in the military or pay...
Jim May, 15.10.2011, 22:14
0 comments
11 votes Vote

Is faith compatible with reason?

Many people claim that their Christian faith is compatible with science and reason. Why do they say that? Are they wrong? How should a person fully committed to reason reply?
Anonymous, 31.01.2012, 10:58
1 comment
11 votes Vote

What kind of work can a government properly delegate to private entities?

A government enforcement agency might decline to to pursue a criminal case for various reasons, such as lack of resources or the triviality of the crime. In other cases, a private individual or business might be better suited than the government...
shlevy, 15.04.2012, 11:36
0 comments
11 votes Vote

Should causing harm to a fetus in a criminal assault be a second crime?

If a person harms or even kills a fetus while assaulting a pregnant woman, is that an additional crime, over and above the assault of the pregnant woman? If so, what should the charge be for this second crime? Alternatively, is the harm to the...
legendre007, 05.06.2013, 18:07
0 comments
11 votes Vote

How should parents choose names for their children?

My family often uses family names when naming children. Many of my childhood friends had names taken from the Bible in combination with family names. Before I developed philosophical values, I did that with my child. So my daughter has the same...
Tili, 09.06.2013, 00:34
0 comments
11 votes Vote

Should government action that would benefit everyone but violate rights be forbidden?

Suppose that the government taxed people to pay for more basic and applied scientific and technological research -- and that such could be shown to increase the standard of living of the population quicker than what would would happen under...
Peter M., 13.11.2013, 21:55
0 comments
11 votes Vote

What is the value of artistic creation?

In "The Romantic Manifesto," Ayn Rand discusses the value of art to those who experience it, but she does not say much about the value for those who create it. What is the value of artistic creation and expression to a rational person? Is artistic...
Adam, 28.02.2014, 08:59
0 comments
10 votes Vote

Could force be morally used in self-defense against people enabling violations of rights?

Suppose there is a tyrannical politician or a corrupt businessman in a semi-free society like America. The tyrannical politician drafts and campaigns for legislation that blatantly violates the rights of his constituents. The corrupt businessman...
Zak Szalewski, 18.11.2013, 09:53
2 comments
10 votes Vote

Can a black market dealer in a corrupt society be moral?

I lived in a purely free society with a night watchman state, I think that being a vigilante would be unjust, as I would not be constrained by the due-process procedures that properly constrain the government. However, imagine that I lived in a...
legendre007, 18.01.2014, 16:33
0 comments

Pages< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ...35 >