Reparations for Historic Injustice

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Montgomery, Alabama.

Author: Joseph Frigault Category: Philosophy of Race, Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics Word Count: 996 History is marked by large-scale injustice. In the United States alone, Native Americans were violently displaced, Africans were enslaved and their descendants subject to lynchings and Jim Crow laws, and Japanese Americans were interned during World War II, among other … Continue reading Reparations for Historic Injustice

Camus on the Absurd: The Myth of Sisyphus

Albert Camus and The Myth of Sisyphus

Author: Erik Van Aken Category: Phenomenology and Existentialism, Ethics Word Count: 1000 “There is only one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy." –  Albert Camus It might seem flippant to remark that the essential question in philosophy is … Continue reading Camus on the Absurd: The Myth of Sisyphus

Ignorance and Blame

Author: Daniel Miller Categories: Ethics, Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 Sometimes ignorance is a legitimate excuse for morally wrong behavior, and sometimes it isn’t. If someone has secretly replaced my sugar with arsenic, then I’m blameless for putting arsenic in your tea.[1] But if I put arsenic in your tea because I keep arsenic and sugar … Continue reading Ignorance and Blame

Theories of Punishment

Sisyphus rolling a boulder, as punishment.

Author: Travis Joseph Rodgers Category: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy Word Count: 995 Criminals are punished with fines, public scorn, imprisonment, death and more. Philosophical theories of punishment ask what justifies punishment, both in general and what justifies particular punishments. Most theories appeal to punishment’s effects on the future or facts about the past. This essay … Continue reading Theories of Punishment

Manipulation and Moral Responsibility

Image of string puppets, to illustrate manipulation.

Author: Taylor W. Cyr Category: Ethics, Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 Consider a case of manipulation:[1] Beth is a talented student with a well-rounded life. Her professor wants her to focus all her energies on school, at the expense of Beth’s hobbies and relationships. After failing to convince Beth to spend all of her time studying, … Continue reading Manipulation and Moral Responsibility

Social Contract Theory

Author: David Antonini Category: Social and Political Philosophy, Historical Philosophy, Ethics Word Count: 997 When you make an agreement of some significance (e.g., to rent an apartment, or join a gym, or divorce), you typically agree to certain terms: you sign a contract. This is for your benefit, and for the other party’s benefit: everyone’s … Continue reading Social Contract Theory

John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice’

John Rawls' A Theory of Justice

Author:  Ben Davies Category: Social and Political, Ethics Word Count: 999 Some people are multi-billionaires; others die because they are too poor to afford food or medications. In many countries, people are denied rights to free speech, to participate in political life, or to pursue a career, because of their gender, religion, race or other factors, … Continue reading John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice’