Reason is the Slave to the Passions: Hume on Reason vs. Desire

David Hume

Author: Daniel Weltman Category: Ethics, Historical Philosophy, Logic and Reasoning, Epistemology, or Theory of Knowledge Word Count: 998   Imagine you’re offered a delicious piece of cake. You know it’s very unhealthy. Your stomach tells you to eat it, but your brain tells you to refuse. Maybe you listen to your brain and you ignore both … Continue reading Reason is the Slave to the Passions: Hume on Reason vs. Desire

Rousseau on Human Nature: “Amour de soi” and “Amour propre”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Author: Corey McCabe Category: Historical Philosophy, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy Word Count: 995 Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) was a Swiss philosopher who described the state of nature—what life was like before governments were instituted—as the state “most suitable to mankind.”[1] He broke sharply with his contemporaries by arguing that people were good prior to the … Continue reading Rousseau on Human Nature: “Amour de soi” and “Amour propre”

Videogames and Philosophy

Videogame controllers and screen.

Author: Alex Fisher Category: Ethics, Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art, Metaphysics Word Count: 999 Videogames allow people to live out their sporting dreams, explore other worlds, complete puzzles for hours on end, and more. But videogames aren’t just fun: they raise serious philosophical and ethical issues, some of which are reviewed here. 1. The Ethics … Continue reading Videogames and Philosophy

Longtermism: How Much Should We Care About the Far Future?

The Milky Way galaxy.

Author: Dylan Balfour Category: Ethics Word count: 1000 Imagine you’ve been given a million dollars to donate to charitable causes of your choice. How would you spend the money? Perhaps you’d donate it to a cause close to your heart, like a local community project. Or perhaps you’d try to help the global poor by … Continue reading Longtermism: How Much Should We Care About the Far Future?

Happiness: What is it to be Happy?

"Mr. Happy" on the beach.

Author: Kiki Berk Category: Ethics, Phenomenology and Existentialism Words: 992    Do you want to be happy? If you’re like most people, then yes, you do. But what is happiness? What does it mean to be “happy”?[1] This essay discusses four major philosophical theories of happiness.[2] 1. Hedonism According to hedonism, happiness is simply the … Continue reading Happiness: What is it to be Happy?

Ethics and Absolute Poverty: Peter Singer and Effective Altruism

Peter Singer on absolute poverty and effective altruism.

Author: Brandon Boesch Category: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy Word Count: 998 Imagine you are walking by a shallow pond and see a drowning toddler. Do you have a moral obligation to save the child, even if it means ruining your clothes? It seems so. Now consider that there are millions of people suffering and … Continue reading Ethics and Absolute Poverty: Peter Singer and Effective Altruism

Principlism in Biomedical Ethics: Respect for Autonomy, Non-Maleficence, Beneficence, and Justice

Author: G. M. Trujillo, Jr. Category: Ethics Wordcount: 999 Suppose that you have an ethical problem in medicine or science. How would you solve it? Some ethicists appeal to an ethical theory, a general explanation of when and why actions are wrong or not.[1] For example, Kantians argue that you should treat all people with … Continue reading Principlism in Biomedical Ethics: Respect for Autonomy, Non-Maleficence, Beneficence, and Justice

African American Existentialism: DuBois, Locke, Thurman, and King

W.E.B. DuBois, Alain Locke, Howard Thurman, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Author: Anthony Sean Neal Category: African American Philosophy, Phenomenology and Existentialism, Historical Philosophy, Philosophy of Education, Philosophy of Race, Ethics Word Count: 996 Race today is often presented as a social construct. But social constructions, as Black people know all too well, can create real existential crises. Philosophers of the Black Experience[1] writing during the … Continue reading African American Existentialism: DuBois, Locke, Thurman, and King

“Hell Is Other People”: Sartre on Personal Relationships

A "Far Side" cartoon of people in hell; one asks, "Hot enough for ya?"

Author: Kiki Berk Category: Phenomenology and Existentialism, Ethics Word Count: 989 “Hell is other people” is a famous line from No Exit (1944), a philosophical play by the French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). No Exit is popularly understood as arguing that human relationships are essentially fraught with conflict. This interpretation seems to be supported by … Continue reading “Hell Is Other People”: Sartre on Personal Relationships