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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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
1 vote 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
1 vote Vote

It is wrong to keep my pet a secret from my landlord?

My fiancée and I own a cat. By the rules of our apartment, we should notify our landlord and pay monthly pet rent and deposits. However, we keep a cleaner apartment than the majority of people without pets. If the cat’s not tearing up carpet...
Jeff Romeo, 16.07.2014, 16:37
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
4 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
3 votes Vote

How should I introduce my teenagers to "Atlas Shrugged" and Objectivism?

I'd like to introduce my teenagers to Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged," as well as to the principles of her philosophy of Objectivism. How should I do that? My concern is that I'll bungle it up and bore them to death or succeed too well and...
Adam, 08.07.2014, 10:05
0 comments
3 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
4 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
3 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
4 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
7 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
8 votes Vote

Is accepting voluntary sacrifices from others moral?

Imagine that someone offers you a way to increase your wealth, lengthen your lifespan, or achieve your goals at great personal cost to and even sacrifice of himself. Is it wrong to accept that? What if you've tried setting them straight and...
Eric Nunley, 25.06.2014, 17:28
0 comments
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
3 votes Vote

How can a person make better hard choices?

How to make hard choices was the subject of a recent TED talk from philosopher Ruth Chang. ( https://www.ted.com/talks/ruth_chang_how_to_make_hard_choices ) Her thesis is that hard choices are not about finding the better option between...
Ranj, 23.06.2014, 04:45
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
6 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
4 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
1 vote 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
8 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
6 votes Vote

Is there any validity to the concept of "the friend zone"?

The "friend zone" is used to describe the situation of a man who is interested in a woman, but she's not interested in being more than friends with him. Then, he's "in the friend zone," and he can't get out except by her say-so. So "nice guys"...
Carnalus Vidal, 05.06.2014, 09:50
4 comments
9 votes Vote

Can I reclaim lost personality traits?

When I was a kid (probably until the age of about 12 or 13), my personality had a strong 'I' element (as in the DISC model I). I was fun, energetic and confident. I was willing to express myself openly (and loudly) and do silly things for the sake...
Adam, 01.06.2014, 07:18
0 comments
1 vote Vote

How can I create more realistic expectations about the trajectory of my job?

I've really only worked for two companies in my 15 years of work experience and I am presently on the hunt for a new job. In both cases, my job hunt has been initiated by the simple fact that I'm long past my breaking point in terms of being...
Plain Tired, 30.05.2014, 14:15
0 comments
4 votes Vote

Should I attend religious ceremonies in support of my friends?

I am an atheist, and I tend to stay away from any religious gatherings. I graduated high school 3 years ago, and one of my friends is graduating this year. He asked me if I would go to him to his baccalaureate ceremony, as his family and...
Zak Szalewski, 28.05.2014, 15:58
0 comments
3 votes Vote

Is karma real?

Although the concept of "karma" has religious roots, it seems to contain a grain of truth, namely that people will, in the end, get what they deserve. So if a father is mean to his children, he will find them unwilling to help him when he suffers...
Anonymous, 28.05.2014, 08:02
0 comments

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