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 →

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 →

philosophy as diplomacy

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ During a conversation with Megan Fritts of Utah State, I suggested that perhaps philosophical disputes should be conducted as negotiations rather than arguments. I’d like to develop this idea a bit more. That philosophy is a primarily argumentative business is, I trust, evident enough that I don’t need to expand... Continue Reading →

A Duty to Laugh at Oneself and the View from Nowhere

by David L. Duffy [T]he main ideas of the European Enlightenment [include]...practicing irony and especially self-irony." –Karl Popper (1) I hope my thesis is self-evident from the title: that laughter (especially directed against yourself) is a good and requires some level of distancing. I exclude "low humor" involving various types of aggression to the butt,... Continue Reading →

Hedonism

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Civilization has…no need of nobility or heroism.  These things are symptoms of political inefficiency.  In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic.  People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get. —Mustapha Mond (1) 1.... Continue Reading →

The Scope of Morality

by Daniel Tippens Every decision is a moral decision. Every dollar you spend on yourself is a dollar that could instead be donated to a good cause. Every minute you spend is a minute you could have done something more kind or helpful than what you actually did. Every person you see, you could greet... Continue Reading →

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