Deliberately Losing a Pricey Library Book
Webcast Q&A: 14 August 2011, Question 4
I answered a question on deliberately losing a pricey library book on 14 August 2011. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
Is it moral to "defraud" a public library? There is an out-of-print book that I can't get for less than $100, a price I am not willing to pay. My library has a copy but they won't offer it for sale. Is it wrong to tell the library it is "lost" and just pay the fees, assuming they are reasonable? Does it matter that the library is an illegitimate government program that I'm taxed to support?
My Answer, In Brief: To do that would be dishonest, because you're faking reality to gain a value. Even though the library is a government entity, you're not forced to deal with it, and you shouldn't use the government to obtain a good that you're not willing to pay market rates for.
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I'm Dr. Diana Brickell. I'm a philosopher specializing in 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 book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle. 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 most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer 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 Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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