A Foolish Impartiality is the Hobgoblin of Morality

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Philosophy professors like to think that ours is a clarifying business, so some may be surprised to discover that we can be confused about things that most ordinary people are not. One of these things is partiality and impartiality and how they affect ethical questions. Certainly, the average person thinks... Continue Reading →

Bits and Pieces: The Obligatory; The Supererogatory; Prudential Cases; Arguments.

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ [1] Philosophers sacralize moral obligation and maintain that moral considerations are always overriding of all others, and yet ordinary people (as well as philosophers in their ordinary lives) hold actions done from earnest desire in much higher esteem than those done from duty. “Don’t just do it out of a... Continue Reading →

Kant and Bad Parking

by Robert Gressis ____ Today, I was dropping my son off at school when I saw a desirable parking spot. Like just about every parking spot near my son’s school, it required parallel parking. So, I rolled past the spot, put on my turn-indicator, and waited for the cars behind me to clear so that... Continue Reading →

What’s Money?

by Robert Gressis ____ David Dick (of the University of Calgary) and Robert Gressis talk about the differences between American and Canadian universities (as usual, the Canadians use funny words); what it's like to teach in a business school (David often has to sprinkle ethics on papers); David's research in the philosophy of money (does... Continue Reading →

Being Moral

By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ On several occasions, I have described moral ‘oughts’ directed towards others as an invitation to self-governance. Moral Realism is a bust, so these oughts don’t derive from some transcendent moral order, and regardless, whether or not morals can be construed as objective or “Real” turns out not to matter. [1]... Continue Reading →

Morality and Distance

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ There are two conceptions of distance that I am interested in with respect to moral questions: Emotional distance: the distance from sentiments and feelings that results when one adopts a disinterested stance, in response to morally significant situations. Theoretical distance: the distance from the particularities of circumstances, people, and relationships... Continue Reading →

On our Use of the Moral Idiom

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ 1. An unpopular, overweight teen – call her “V” – is in her high school cafeteria, eating alone. Several other girls taunt and humiliate her, to the point that she bursts into tears and begs them to cease their torments, crying, “You’re hurting my feelings, please stop!” 2. What would... Continue Reading →

three lectures on ethics and animals

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Three lectures from my Ethics and Contemporary Issues course on the subject of animals and ethics.  I cover material from Peter Singer, Cora Diamond, and Bernard Williams. First Lecture: Peter Singer on Our Ethical Obligations to Animals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYe6z7EUXaQ&list=PLYpFt8HxKBGvo2CSBGfHUx2_sm6zcZMvg&index=8&ab_channel=AravisTarkheena Peter Singer, a contemporary philosopher at Princeton University, is most famous for... Continue Reading →

Crispin sartwell: humans are animals. get over it.

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ On the latest episode of Sophia, Crispin Sartwell and I talk about Crispin’s article for the New York Times, “Humans are Animals: Let’s Get Over It” (2/23/2021).  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/23/opinion/humans-animals-philosophy.html Topics include: Humanism and its roots; Racism; Hume’s Naturalism; and Normativity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnvzCH1PqGM&t=26s&ab_channel=ElectricAgora 0:00​ Crispin and Dan catch up after a hiatus 7:50​... Continue Reading →

Two Introductory lectures on ethical theory

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ This semester, I am once again teaching all-online [hopefully for the last time].  Here are the two opening lectures for my Ethics and Contemporary Issues course, in which I give a brief overview of ethical theory.  Below them you will find the lecture notes that accompany the videos and which... Continue Reading →

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