Join me, philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh, as I answer questions on common sense versus rationality, jealousy over love lost, applying philosophy to new domains, marital infidelity in the military, and more on the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 7 July 2013. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.

The Morality and Limits of Revenge

Webcast Q&A: Sunday, 8 May 2011, Question 3

I answered a question on the morality and limits of revenge on Philosophy in Action Radio on 8 May 2011. You can listen to or download the podcast segment below – or check out the whole episode.

Is revenge ever moral? In a famous song, singer Carrie Underwood describes trashing her boyfriend's truck after she finds out that he cheated on her. Is it ever moral to seek out revenge like this on someone who has lied to you or has done something for which there are no real legal repercussions? What are the limits of moral revenge, if any?

My Answer, In Brief: It's never moral to violate a person's rights, including property rights. In addition, it's self-destructive to focus on getting one's revenge. Instead, exercise your right to free association – and cut the person out of your life so that you can pursue goals and projects that matter to you.

Tags: Ethics, Justice, Revenge, Rights

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About Philosophy in Action Radio

I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."

My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.

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I can be reached via e-mail to [email protected].

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