We have a right not to be tortured, a human right. But what does that mean? Is this simply a legal right? What is the relationship between human rights and morality? John Tasioulas (@jtasioulas on Twitter) explores the nature of human rights in conversation with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast
You might expect ethics professors to behave more morally than other sorts of professor. But Eric Schwitzgebel, who has conducted extensive research on this topic, has discovered that that isn't the case. What does this show about ethics generally? Philosophy Bites investigates.
Philosophy Bites podcast has now had over 19.5 million downloads. Links to 280 Bites interviews (including Social Science Bites, Ethics Bites, Bioethics Bites, Multiculturalism Bites, and Free Speech Bites). This list was updated in November 2013. Philosophy Bites is currently unfunded and we are very grateful for any donations or subscriptions via the PayPal buttons on this weblog.
In his Treatise (Book 1, Part 4, sec. 6) David Hume suggested that the idea of an enduring discoverable self was unfounded. Introspection revealed 'nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement.' Many people have noticed the similarity between Hume's position here and Buddhist discussion of the self. Alison Gopnik has discovered a possible route of influence.
Is it ever morally acceptable to kill one person to save five? Most people think that it can be. But are we consistent in this? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Nigel Warburton interviews David Edmonds (co-creator of Philosophy Bites) about the subject of his new book, Would You Kill the Fat Man?, an investigation of the ethics of killing and letting die.
Special Offer@DavidEdmonds100's Would You Kill the Fat Man for only $15! (or£10) here: http://bit.ly/12APQs6 enter P05444 in catalog keycode box during checkout. Your discount will be applied when the order is processed. Special offer expires January 31, 2014.
Praise for Would You Kill the Fat Man?
"Lucid, witty, and beautifully written, this book is a pleasure to read. While providing an introduction to moral philosophy, it also presents engaging portraits of some of the greatest moral philosophers from Thomas Aquinas to the present day, and it makes the case for the relevance to ethics of the new experimental moral psychology. It is a tour de force."--Kwame Anthony Appiah, author of The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen
"This is a splendid work. You shouldn't expect it to resolve all your trolley problems but you can look forward to a romping mix of fine humor, intriguing anecdote, and solid argument. It's a sheer joy to read."--Philip Pettit, Princeton University and Australian National University
"David Edmonds has a remarkable knack for weaving the threads of philosophical debates into an engaging story. Would You Kill the Fat Man? is a stimulating introduction to some key ethical issues and philosophers."--Peter Singer, author of The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty
"David Edmonds's new book, Would You Kill the Fat Man?, is both highly informative and a delight to read. Written in a clear, engaging, and witty style, it succeeds admirably in making various fascinating and important debates in philosophy and psychology accessible to a broad readership."--Jeff McMahan, Rutgers University
"This is a highly engaging book. David Edmonds?s reflections are full of insight and he provides fascinating biographical background about the main players in the history of the trolley problem, in a style reminiscent of his very successful Wittgenstein's Poker."--Roger Crisp, University of Oxford
You think you know what's best but do something else instead. What's going on? Plato and Aristotle had different approaches to this phenomenon of weakness of will ('akrasia' in Greek). Jessica Moss who has recently moved to New York University discusses their different approaches in this episode of the Philosphy Bites podcast.
David Hume's 'Of the Standard of Taste' addresses the question of whether we can, with any authority, judge one writer to be genuinely better than another. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Mike Martin gives a clear analysis of that essay.
You can read David Hume's 'Of the Standard of Taste' here (click on the white triangle in the red box on the right hand side of the screen, select 'Contents' from the drop down menu, and then scroll down to Essay XXVl).
What gives value to what we do? If all sentient life were to end a few minutes after my death, how would that affect the meaning of what I'm doing now? Samuel Scheffler discusses this sort of question with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.