The long history of just war theory concentrates on nation states rather than individuals. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Cécile Fabre discusses how moral cosmopolitans, those who foreground individual rights, can approach questions of war.
In the UK BBC4 will be showing a number of programmes featuring Michael Sandel from the end of January 2011 onwards as part of their Justice season. These include the documentary, co-funded by the Open University and the BBC, A Citizen's Guide to the 21st Century.
You can also still listen to Michael Sandel's 2009 Reith lectures 'A New Citizenship' and watch his Justice lectures on YouTube:
What is up to us? Are we just the product of the things that happen to us, or do we have some control over what we do? Paul Russell grapples with questions about the role of fate and luck in our lives for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Why study Humanities subjects? Isn't studying Philosophy, for example, just a luxury of no obvious value to a democracy? Martha Nussbaum thinks not. In her recent book, Not For Profit, she has made a passionate defence of the Humanities. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast she discusses these issues with Nigel Warburton.
How do groups act? We hold them morally and legally responsible, but are their decisions simply a majoritarian sum of individuals' decisions? Princeton philosopher Philip Pettit, who has written a book on this topic with the LSE's Christian List, explores these questions in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
What is philosophy? Who needs it? Writer and podcaster Nigel Warburton, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University, discusses the relevance of philosophy to life today. From questions about the limits of free speech to the nature of happiness, from what art is to the impact of new technology, philosophy offers insights into questions that matter. Warburton will explore how the thoughts of some of the great philosophers of the past shed light on our present day predicament.
Adam Smith, the great thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment, is best known as an economist, and in particular for his idea of the 'invisible hand' which operates to bring about beneficial results that may not have been sought by the people trading. But even his economic thinking is perhaps best understood as part of a broader philosophical project of a science of human beings. Nicholas Phillipson, his acclaimed biographer, discusses Adam Smith's view of human beings in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.