Author: Bob Fischer Categories: Epistemology, Metaphysics Word Count: 998 Alice hits Betty, and Betty gets mad. Is her anger justified? Betty thinks so. After all, Alice didn’t need to hit her; Alice could have controlled her temper. This justification for Betty’s anger seems reasonable. However, it isn’t reasonable unless we know that Alice could have behaved differently, and we don’t know that … Continue reading Modal Epistemology: Knowledge of Possibility & Necessity
Abortion involves the intentional killing of a human being. Killing human beings is often deeply wrong, so is abortion wrong? If so, when? And why?
We’ve already discussed some of the experimental phenomena that inspire competing interpretations or theories of what’s going on in the real world during quantum-mechanical experiments. In this final installment of a three-article series, we’ll look in very broad strokes at some of the philosophical implications of these views of quantum mechanics.
Author: Rebecca Renninger Category: Ethics, Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 Intuitively, a person is morally responsible for what she has done only if she could have done otherwise. This is the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP): for any person and any action, that person is morally responsible for performing or failing to perform that action if … Continue reading Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility
Author: Chelsea Haramia Category: Ethics, Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 You probably shouldn’t steal. Common sense tells us that stealing is wrong. But sometimes stealing seems less wrong, or not wrong at all, after we discover the cause of the stealing behavior. For example, if the fact that your family is starving causes you to steal … Continue reading Free Will and Moral Responsibility
Author: Chad Vance Category: Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 Could you have been an alligator? Or a roller skate? Is there a possible scenario where you were never born as a human being, but where someone builds a roller skate, and you are that roller skate? Probably not. Most people think that you could not have … Continue reading Origin Essentialism: What Could Have Been Different about You?
Author: Ian Tully Category: Ethics Word Count: 1000 Though we often disagree about which actions are morally wrong, most of us would agree that at least some actions are actually wrong. An obvious example is abusing children for fun. Yet according to the meta-ethical theory known as error theory, it is false that abusing children for fun is … Continue reading Moral Error Theory
Author: Jonah Nagashima Category: Metaphysics Word Count: 997 An auctioneer opens the bidding on a painting. A moment later, your hand raises. Now, consider three backstories: You had no intention to bid, but a spasm caused your hand to raise. You don’t value the painting, but someone put a gun to your head, telling you … Continue reading Free Will and Free Choice
Author: Spencer Case Category: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion Word Count: 1000 Assuming God exists, what is the relationship between God's commands and morality? Assuming that God is morally perfect and so commands all and only good things, we may distinguish between two claims: a. God commands what He does because it is good. b. … Continue reading Because God Says So: On Divine Command Theory
Author: Duncan Purves Category: Ethics, Metaphysics Word Count: 1000 Consider the following scenario: Wilma is interested in having a baby. Wilma’s doctor tells her that she has a condition such that if she conceives now, any child she conceives will suffer from incurable blindness. However, her doctor also tells her that this result is not unavoidable. If … Continue reading The Non-Identity Problem