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!
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10 votes Vote

Should fashion be protected by copyright?

In France, it is somewhat (really, just a wee bit) possible to obtain copyright over certain aspects of apparel and accessory design. Yet in the US, there is no protection for new garment design, only for textile innovations and processes. But if...
Tili Thompson, 27.09.2013, 22:51
0 comments
10 votes Vote

Should individuals try to avoid online surveillance by the government?

In a recent comment thread on NoodleFood, there was a debate over the extent to which a person's use of Internet tools such as cloud storage, password managers, wifi, smartphones, etc. exposes him to surveillance by the federal government. It...
asdalton, 25.04.2013, 18:54
0 comments
10 votes Vote

What should I do if I think someone I know is a potential murderer?

With the mass shootings that gained great news coverage, I was intrigued to read upon the visible psychological warning signs of such personalities, and it disturbed me to remember that I once lived with a person who casted off these signs. He...
Benjamin Skipper, 01.12.2013, 14:51
0 comments
10 votes Vote

What should a person do when another person is likely to go insane or commit suicide if others cut him off?

At one point in my life, I knew a person who led such a self-destructive life that he essentially reached the point where he had to have evasions in place and enablers around him in order to keep sane, for if he fully realized how self-destructive...
Ben, 17.10.2013, 13:01
0 comments
10 votes Vote

Is performing sex act via webcam for pay a form of prostitution?

On some internet pornography sites, a person can pay models to strip on webcam. Most of these sites allow the customer to appear on his own webcam and engage in cyber-sex acts with the host. Is this a form of prostitution -- or just pornography?...
Name Witheld!, 24.10.2013, 21:46
0 comments
10 votes Vote

Was the Civil War fought for just reasons?

Typically, we hear that the American Civil War was fought to free the slaves in the South. A competing narrative is that the South was fighting for state's rights. It would seem to me that neither of these are strictly true, the North was...
Thomas Marshall, 26.08.2014, 07:57
0 comments
10 votes Vote

If a victim of child molestation doesn't feel harmed were his rights still violated?

Recently, Richard Dawkins spoke of an incident in which an adult supervising him sexually molested him. Dawkins said that, at the time, he didn't understand what happened, and that he didn't physically struggle against the molester. Nor did he...
legendre007, 14.11.2013, 19:21
2 comments
10 votes Vote

Should an egoist refuse an overly generous, altruistic tip?

Recently, I read a news story about the former president of PayPal leaving huge tips for servers at restaurants around the country. On the receipt, he would write "TipsForJesus," and the tip was often exorbitant. For example, on a bill of $88.78...
Zak Szalewski, 10.12.2013, 11:20
0 comments
9 votes Vote

Should corporations give to charity?

In Your Jan 8th webcast, you suggested that much charitable giving from corporations is misguided. How so? What kinds of charities should corporations contribute to, if any? Why?
Anonymous, 08.01.2012, 10:51
0 comments
9 votes Vote

Is it wrong for cigarette companies and their employees to promote cigarette consumption?

If a person recognizes the serious health risks of smoking cigarettes, is it wrong for him to promote smoking through advertising and other marketing? Does the CEO of a cigarette company have an obligation to his shareholders to maximize the...
George, 05.11.2012, 08:25
0 comments
9 votes Vote

Do free markets impose a form of rationing?

Advocates of free markets often observe that government controls over medicine, food, gasoline, and other consumer goods result in rationing, whereby government bureaucrats decide who can obtain the goods necessary for life. In response, I've...
Anonymous, 07.11.2012, 15:16
0 comments
9 votes Vote

Will Obama usher in dangerous cultural change in America?

With another four years of Obama in office, I'm not too worried about the coming tax hike, war decisions, and so on. Rather, I'm worried about the cultural changes that the Obama administration will instill in society over the next four years, as...
Anonymous, 14.11.2012, 20:45
3 comments
9 votes Vote

Can a person like other people but not want to be around them due to too much empathy?

I enjoy people when I am around them, but at the same time I don't want to be around them. I prefer to be alone because around people I feel overly empathetic. As long as the experience with them is happy, I'm good. But anything bad for them...
Michael, 15.01.2013, 02:34
1 comment
9 votes Vote

Are some jobs morally and psychologically hazardous?

My first job out of college was working for a DRG decoder, meaning that we'd correct the Medicare codes applied by doctors' offices in order to increase the amount the government would pay out. Although our company was mostly honest, I felt there...
friscodog, 26.03.2013, 15:50
0 comments
9 votes Vote

Do unfit parents have a right to procreate?

Courts today seem to hold the view that people have a right to procreate. As a result, wholly unfit parents can produce child after child. Even if the court removes the latest child from the home when very young, some abuse or neglect must have...
Anonymous, 23.04.2013, 12:09
0 comments
9 votes Vote

How can I defend gay rights as individual rights?

Recently, a Colorado court issued a cease and desist order to a local bakeshop which refused to bake a cake for a gay couple's wedding. Being a gay person myself, I find the refusal of the bakeshop to be annoying and idiotic, but I vehemently...
Zak Szalewski, 09.12.2013, 10:22
0 comments
9 votes Vote

Is Immanuel Kant's distinction between noumenal and phenomenal realms valid?

In the past, I've dismissed Kant's distinction between noumenal and phenomenal realms simply because Kant seems to suggest that the noumenal realm is unknowable. If that were true, then not only can he not say anything about the noumenal realm,...
AlfredStappenbeck, 28.01.2014, 11:47
0 comments
9 votes Vote

How can I become more comfortable advocating free market ideas?

In the past, I have found opportunities to express free market opinions to friends and acquaintances. However, I have found that in doing so, I lose focus on what matters most to me (i.e. my work and family) and my stress level spikes. For...
AlfredStappenbeck, 07.02.2014, 13:28
1 comment
9 votes Vote

Is force truly "anti-mind" and "anti-life"?

Objectivism argues that the initiation of force is anti-mind and anti-life. How does this apply to the perpetrator as it does to the victim? Why is evil to apply force to human beings as opposed to any other animal? One wouldn't criticize a...
tylerashby, 19.06.2014, 19:18
0 comments
9 votes Vote

How could criminals be identified in a system of open immigration?

You've in favor of open immigration, but not for criminals. However, governments can make mistakes about who's guilty or not and of what. What measures should the government take to exclude criminals? How much trouble and expense should the...
Nancy Lebovitz, 09.06.2014, 10:09
1 comment
9 votes Vote

Is the fact that a name is racist a good reason to cancel or refuse trademarks for it?

The US Patent & Trademark Office recently cancelled the trademarks for the Washington Redskins on the basis that the name is "disparaging to Native Americans." Putting aside whether or not it's a good idea for a business to have offensive terms...
Trey Peden, 18.06.2014, 15:37
1 comment
9 votes Vote

Are magic shows a form of art?

Ayn Rand said, "Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments." Do magic shows, such as those performed by Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, and Penn & Teller, count as "art"? Their magic acts,...
legendre007, 01.07.2014, 10:00
0 comments
9 votes Vote

Do prisoners have a right to religious freedom?

I recently saw an article about a prisoner suing for the right to worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as well as another about an upcoming Supreme Court case for a Muslim who would like to grow his beard longer than rules allow. My question is,...
Drew Fridley, 05.10.2014, 13:27
1 comment
8 votes Vote

How can I estimate the time required for work more accurately?

I'm self-employed, and I'm routinely frustrated by my inability to estimate how much time a project will require of me. For example, I'll think that a programming project will require two days, but by the time I'm done with all the little...
Anonymous, 31.05.2012, 10:50
0 comments
8 votes Vote

Should police attempt to collect the DNA of everyone in the vicinity of a serious crime?

In 2012, Jessica Ridgeway was abducted from a Denver suburb. (She was murdered.) During the search for her, the police voluntarily collected the DNA of about 500 people who made cell phone calls around the time and location of the abduction....
Kelly Valenzuela, 27.11.2012, 12:40
0 comments
8 votes Vote

Are reparations for once-oppressed ethnic groups ever proper?

Periodically, we hear calls for reparations by the government to be paid to certain ethnic groups due to past racism, oppression, or slavery. Are such reparations ever ethical or necessary? If so, who should receive them and who should pay for...
Erica, 21.01.2013, 19:29
0 comments
8 votes Vote

Is it wrong to lie when filling out personality questionnaires when seeking employment?

Here's an example of a common question: “True or False—Do you know anyone who has ever stolen anything?” The answer is obviously true, but It seems that my honest answers have not been getting me interviews. If I keep answering honestly, I...
Marc, 29.08.2013, 14:43
0 comments
8 votes Vote

Can naturally occurring genetic material be intellectual property?

The US Supreme Court will soon rule on a case concerning patents on parts of the genome. Should a person be able to patent something in nature that he discovered? What about artificially created genetic products/sequences? Is a person's own...
Bill Callahan, 27.05.2013, 18:22
1 comment
8 votes Vote

Is Aristotle right that ethics is not an exact science?

In Book 1, Chapter 3 of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle says that ethics does not enjoy the clearness and precision of other subjects, in part because even positive values may be harmful in some circumstances. Hence, we must "indicate the...
Anonymous, 09.07.2013, 14:16
0 comments
8 votes Vote

Is evil is necessary for good to exist?

Often people -- particularly religious people -- say that evil exists so that we know what good is. I think this is wrong, because a thing is what it is regardless of whether it can be contrasted with an opposite. Also, this idea seems to imply a...
Katarina, 01.02.2014, 15:19
0 comments

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