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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6 votes Vote

What's right or wrong in Michael Huemer's critique of "The Objectivist Ethics"?

I found Professor Michael Huemer's essay "Critique of 'The Objectivist Ethics'" to be a very thoughtful and persuasive essay. It convinced me that Ayn Rand's ethics has a number of logical and possibly empirical flaws in it. Do you find any of...
Joshua Brownstein, 17.08.2014, 19:36
1 comment
0 votes Vote

Is charity to strangers virtuous?

In a recent podcast, you answered the following question: "Does providing voluntary, non-sacrificial help to innocent, unfortunate poor people qualify as virtuous? In a free society, would such charity be a moral obligation?" You said that it's...
Jon, 15.08.2014, 08:48
0 comments
1 vote Vote

Is voting for the welfare statist policies and politicians an initiation of force?

I come across right-wing people who proclaim to me that the State is justified to use physical force to deport undocumented Latino immigrants. They tell me this is justified because Latinos consistently vote in favor of politicians who expand the...
legendre007, 12.08.2014, 21:00
0 comments
6 votes Vote

Should scientists value philosophy?

Recently, when an interviewer asked the famous astrophysicist and science popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson about his opinion on philosophy, Tyson replied that he has low regard for the entire discipline of philosophy. Tyson said that the problem...
legendre007, 12.08.2014, 05:33
0 comments
2 votes Vote

Should medical debt be treated like any other debt in a person's FICA score?

Recently, credit scoring company FICO announced that it wouldn't treat medical debt the same as other debts. Most unpaid debts are medical debts. A FICO representative explained the change as follows: “What research has shown us is medical...
Josh Yokela, 10.08.2014, 21:28
1 comment
5 votes Vote

Are sports fans collectivists?

A friend of mine thinks that sports fans are living vicariously through the players and are thus collectivistic. I think this is an overgeneralization from contact with super-fans of pro sports. Getting mad when "my" team loses and saying things...
Josh, 04.08.2014, 14:00
0 comments
2 votes Vote

Are manners objective?

In a recent Rapid Fire Question, I think you rather too quickly dismissed the idea that manners or etiquette can be objective. You fairly quickly threw the whole lot of them over into the socially-subjective category. However, I think there's a...
Robert Garmong, 02.08.2014, 11:03
0 comments
1 vote Vote

Is it immoral or unwise to accept a better job soon after starting a different one?

I am ready to change jobs. I could probably move to another role within my company pretty quickly and easily and continue to move my career forward, but I could make more money and get better experience outside of my company. Outside job hunts can...
Trey, 31.07.2014, 09:44
0 comments
1 vote Vote

Should publicly funded abortions be opposed?

In Victoria, Australia we have fairly good laws on abortion and there are almost no legal or social barriers to access. We also however have a very generous public health care system which means that most if not all of the costs of an abortion...
MTobias, 29.07.2014, 01:41
0 comments
2 votes Vote

Why aren't people grateful for what others do for them?

I volunteer a lot, and I try to be very generous with my time and efforts in the groups that I'm involved with. Mostly, I just want people to express thanks and gratitude for what I've done for them. Mostly though, they don't thank me -- or...
Anonymous, 23.07.2014, 18:39
0 comments
5 votes Vote

How can I overcome my fear of leading a value-less life?

Ever since I was young, I've had an overwhelming fear of leading a valueless life. I saw my parent and other adult role models live this way. There was nothing in their life: they never strived for anything, never had dreams, and tended to...
Anthony J Kluska, 23.07.2014, 16:50
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Does ethical egoism discourage reconciliation after a dispute?

I believe in ethical egoism, and I think humans can validly achieve certainty in their convictions. I don't think people should apologize for their virtues or for being right. I think ethical egoists who believe in rational certainty tend to come...
legendre007, 12.07.2014, 04:03
0 comments
5 votes Vote

Was John Galt evil, or at least a jerk, for not commercializing his motor?

In "Atlas Shrugged," John Galt went on strike when the world seemed only a little worse off than today politically in America. Things got really bad so fast because Galt dismantled everything. If, instead of going on strike, he had quit the...
Joshua Job, 10.07.2014, 14:19
0 comments
4 votes Vote

What are the limits of religious freedom?

What is your opinion of the recent Supreme Court decision, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby? A friend and I were discussing the case, and we disagree on whether or not the decision is good or bad. He views it as good because Hobby Lobby regained some of...
Kevin K, 07.07.2014, 16:51
0 comments
5 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
4 votes Vote

Do artists deserve royalties from unique works with every sale?

Every time a copyrighted book is purchased, the copyright holder receives some royalties for that. The same applies to recordings of music and other intellectual property. However, if an artist sells a painting, no matter the future value of...
Sajid Anjum, 30.06.2014, 10:24
1 comment
3 votes Vote

Was Facebook's psychological experiment unethical?

Recently, Facebook allowed their network to be used for a psychological experiment on mood. They did not tell people they were participating in the experiment. Was this unethical? Do people have a right to informed consent for these kinds of...
Trey Peden, 28.06.2014, 20:45
1 comment
5 votes Vote

What is the role of free will in literature?

In your June 26, 2014 podcast, you raised the idea that what makes a story compelling is that it focuses on characters and the volitional choices they make. The idea was that if all the characters are assumed to be mere automatons with no free...
legendre007, 27.06.2014, 08:11
0 comments
6 votes Vote

Does resiliency as an adult require enduring hardship as a child?

Many people assume that having faced great hardship is a necessary part of having resiliency -- meaning: the ability to withstand great challenges in the future. These people think that if you have faced less-than-average hardship in your youth,...
legendre007, 27.06.2014, 07:44
0 comments
10 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, 07:32
0 comments
5 votes Vote

Are the police in a mixed economy worthy of respect?

The United States is currently a mixed economy -- meaning, a mixture of freedom and rights-violating government controls. Where the rubber meets the road is the police, particularly the officers that enforce the law and interact directly with the...
James, 26.06.2014, 07:55
0 comments
4 votes Vote

It is wrong to refuse to return a dog to owners suspected of neglect?

According to a recent local news report, a family's dog escaped from their backyard. It was found by another party who paid a rather large sum of money to give it medical care and then placed it in foster care. The family searched for their dog,...
Trey Peden, 25.06.2014, 17:30
1 comment
1 vote Vote

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...
Anonymous, 25.06.2014, 14:12
0 comments
7 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
8 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
5 votes Vote

Are some people unworthy of the truth?

"Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it", said Mark Twain in his Notebook (1902). Is that true? Does that justify lying -- or merely withholding information?
Hugh Myers, 18.06.2014, 09:16
0 comments
5 votes Vote

Does the virtue of pride create an infinite loop?

Pride is a response to your own virtuous moral character, but pride is also a component of that virtuous moral character. Hence, in order to have the utmost pride, a person would have to have the utmost virtue; but, in order to have the utmost...
Adam, 18.06.2014, 03:09
0 comments
2 votes Vote

Does state secrecy contradict the principle of government transparency?

In civics class, many students are taught that a classically liberal republic governs according to the principle of transparency. As every citizen has equal rights, every citizen has an equal right to know exactly what it is that the government...
legendre007, 11.06.2014, 10:26
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
2 votes Vote

How can I decide whether a business associate has crossed the line?

I am part of a very specialized marketing co-op group. Businesses provide samples to the marketer, who then sells them at his own profit, to the tune of thousands of dollars a month. The marketer also does many web promotions and a monthly set of...
Renee, 08.06.2014, 11:05
0 comments

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