Podcast #308: Rescuing Pets, Large Egos, and More

 Posted by on 12 September 2014 at 8:00 am  Podcasts
Sep 122014

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I answered questions on rescuing other people’s pets, large egos, and more. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Whole Podcast: 11 September 2014

Listen or Download:

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Podcast Segments: 11 September 2014

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.


My News of the Week: I’m preparing to compete on my horse Lila in Oklahoma this weekend!

Question 1: Rescuing Other People’s Pets

Question: Should a person be prosecuted for property damage when committed in order to rescue the property owner’s pet from harm or death? Recently, I heard a story about a man who smashed the window of a stranger’s car in order to rescue a dog left inside. It was a very hot day, and the dog would have died or suffered brain damage if it had not been rescued. Was it moral for the man to do this? Should he be charged with criminal damages for smashing the window? Should the owner of the dog be charged with leaving the dog to die in the car?

My Answer, In Brief: You should rescue a pet in serious danger of permanent injury or death, even if you must damage the owner’s property in doing so. The owner should pay for that damage, not you, because he created the emergency and benefits from the rescue.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: Large Egos

Question: Can an egoist have too big an ego? People often speak disapprovingly of “big egos.” The idea seems to be that a person is not supposed to think too well of himself or be too assertive. Is this just the product of altruism, including the idea that a person should be humble? Or can a person really be too big for his britches?

My Answer, In Brief: Big egos can be big in two very different ways: they can be brittle (based on second-handed fakery) or robust (based on honest self-valuing). The rational egoist should not develop a big ego: he should aim for a robust ego, backed up by the virtues, as that person will be respectful of himself and others.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions


  • Does the principle of intervening (from the first question) apply only to living entities or does it apply to inanimate types of property?
  • What do you think of the Ray Rice situation?
  • Is there any value to formal debates, or are they merely publicity stunts?
  • How does one reach out and be a better friend to someone who’s dealing with depression, loneliness, or poor self-esteem? What boundaries should one observe?
  • Would you ever consider doing an Explore The Fountainhead podcast series?
  • What do Dagny and Galt mean when they say: “We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?” To what does the “it” refer?
  • What is cruelty? Could cruelty ever be necessary?
  • Do you think Howard Roark would have a Facebook account?

Listen or Download:

  • Start Time: 37:38
  • Duration: 23:27
  • Download: MP3 Segment

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.


Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!

  • Start Time: 1:01:06

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