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”

“Nasty, Brutish, and Short”: Thomas Hobbes on Life in the State of Nature

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679).

Author: Daniel Weltman Category: Historical Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy Word Count: 995 What would life be like without any government? Would it be a utopia, or would it be miserable? The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) famously leaned in the latter direction. He argued in his book Leviathan[1] that, without government, life would be … Continue reading “Nasty, Brutish, and Short”: Thomas Hobbes on Life in the State of Nature

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

Distributive Justice: How Should Resources be Allocated?

Distributing the good of watching a game.

Authors: Dick Timmer and Tim Meijers Category: Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics Word Count: 994 As we write this, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is worth $188 billion.[1] That is about $1 billion more than the day before. And $1 billion is more money than you would have had you earned $1,000 a day, every day, … Continue reading Distributive Justice: How Should Resources be Allocated?

Conspiracy Theories

"The Pigpen Cipher" by Matthew Phelan.

Author: Jared Millson Category: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics Word count: 997 NASA faked the first moon landing.[1] The US government orchestrated the attacks on 9/11.[2] A cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles running a global child sex-trafficking ring is plotting against Donald Trump, who is battling them. [3] Each of these claims … Continue reading Conspiracy Theories

Feminism Part 3: The Dominance Approach

A feminine-looking crash test dummy head.

Author: Chelsea Haramia Category: Philosophy of Sex and Gender, Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics Word Count: 1000 Editor’s Note: This essay is the third in a three-part series on the topic of philosophical feminism. The first two parts, on the Sameness Approach to feminism and the Difference Approach to feminism, are by Annaleigh Curtis; this … Continue reading Feminism Part 3: The Dominance Approach

Epistemic Injustice

Author: Huzeyfe Demirtas Categories: Epistemology, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Sex and Gender, Philosophy of Race, Logic and Reasoning Wordcount: 996 Suppose a jury rejects a Black defendant’s testimony because they believe that Black people are often untrustworthy. Or suppose the male members of a board reject a female colleague's suggestions because they … Continue reading Epistemic Injustice

Ethics and the Expected Consequences of Voting

An "I Voted" sticker.

Author: Thomas Metcalf Categories: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy Word count: 995 Your vote normally only has a very small chance of changing the outcome of any election for a public office.[1] For your vote to make that difference, thousands or millions of other votes would need to end up in a tie, which is … Continue reading Ethics and the Expected Consequences of Voting