Rapid Fire Extravaganza
Q&A Radio: Thursday, 10 October 2013
I answered questions on all sorts of topics from the Rapid Fire Queue on Philosophy in Action Radio on Thursday, 10 October 2013. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. You can listen to or download the podcast below.Remember, Philosophy in Action Radio is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because our goal is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as we do every week to thousands of listeners. We love doing that, but each episode requires our time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value our work, please contribute to our tip jar. We suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. You can send your contribution via Dwolla, PayPal, or US Mail.
My News of the Week: It's my 250th podcast! Wow! I'll be competing this weekend in another three-phase event on my horse Lila. The print version of Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame is delayed due to a problem with the cover, but the Kindle version is available on Amazon.
- Duration: 58:12
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My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook.
Does the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame? In his famous article "Moral Luck," philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters – even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the "problem of moral luck."
In Responsibility & Luck, I argue that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle's theory of moral responsibility, I explain the sources and limits of a person's responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, I show that moral judgments are not undermined by luck. In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.
Responsibility & Luck is scholarly but accessible to active-minded people interested in philosophy. You can preview the book by reading Chapter One and Chapter Three as PDFs – or by listening to my reading of Chapter One.
Segments: 10 October 2013
- In last Sunday's show, you stated that psychological egoism has a relationship to determinism. The relationship isn't obvious to me. As I interpreted the explanation of psychological egoism it seems that you are faced with options about how to behave and you deliberate, choose one, and whichever one you chose was the one you wanted. It's not clear to me how that is determinism.
- What do you think of the current mess in Washington?
- Was Ted Cruz's filibuster counterproductive?
- Is it moral for an extreme introvert to derive pleasure from having internet friends, providing that they aren't otherwise hermits? How do you morally have internet only friends?
- Who is your favorite character from an Ayn Rand novel and why?
- Was Dominique crazy?
- When do you think its egoistic to stand up for oneself in response to a snide, sarcastic boss versus just ignoring him?
- You are incredibly optimistic about our society as a whole. Philosophically, does that mean you disapprove of Preppers?
- Is comparing our own times to "Atlas Shrugged" misleading, in that "Atlas Shrugged" eventually descends into civilization's self-destruction and descent into civil war?
- What should happen for you to consider emigrating?
- Are parents overprotective of their kids these days? Or given how much worse the culture is compared to 20 years ago, are things actually more dangerous for kids?
- Do you think children should be forced to socialize with other children if they don't want to?
- Would you watch a survival show that pitted socialists and libertarians against each other? How big a group would be necessarily to show a difference in their ideas?
- Is the force involved in fraud partly the withholding someone else's property?
- Of Ayn Rand's nonfiction, I find The Romantic Manifesto the most difficult. How can I read it without the temptation to throw it at the wall? What am I not getting?
- Aren't you part of "the Objectivist movement" just by advocating what you think is compatible with it? What about Objectivist Answers and Free Objectivist Books?
- Do you think the negative reactions to Miley Cyrus twerking is a function of a puritanical suppression of female sexuality or an appropriate condemnation of self-degradation or something else?
- You said that Obama is not a nihilist, but is an egalitarian. However, Dr. Peikoff argues in his book (as far as I understand) that egalitarianism is a form of nihilism in politics. Do you disagree?
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Remember, Philosophy in Action Radio is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because our goal is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as we do every week to thousands of listeners. We love doing that, but each episode requires our time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value our work, please contribute to our tip jar. We suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. You can send your contribution via Dwolla, PayPal, or US Mail.
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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 first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting 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.
If you join us for the live broadcasts, you can ask follow-up questions and make comments in the text-based chat. Otherwise, you can listen to the podcast by subscribing to our Podcast RSS Feed. You can also peruse the show archives, where episodes and questions are sorted by date and by topic.
I can be reached via e-mail to [email protected].