Aristotle’s Defense of Slavery

Enslaved people working in a mine in Laurium, Greece.

Author: Dan Lowe Categories: Historical Philosophy, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Race Word Count: 999 Listen here Aristotle (384-322 BC) is one of the greatest philosophers, and his moral and political philosophy remains especially influential. But he also believed that, for some people, being enslaved was just and even beneficial for them. How … Continue reading Aristotle’s Defense of Slavery

The African Ethic of Ubuntu

Nelson Mandela on the concept of ubuntu.

Author: Thaddeus Metz Categories: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, African Philosophy Word Count: 998 Listen here The word “ubuntu” is from some southern African languages and it literally means “humanness.” To have ubuntu is to be a person who is living a genuinely human way of life, whereas to lack ubuntu is to be missing … Continue reading The African Ethic of Ubuntu

The Death Penalty

The “death chamber” at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit.

Author: Benjamin S. Yost Category: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy Word Count: 992 The death penalty—executing criminals, usually murderers—is more controversial than imprisonment because it inflicts a more significant injury, perhaps the most serious injury, and its effects are irreversible.[1] Some advocates of the death penalty, or capital punishment, argue that it is justified because murder … Continue reading The Death Penalty

Wu-Wei: Acting without Desire

Cook Ding Cuts Up an Ox

Author: Henrique Schneider Categories: Chinese Philosophy, Historical Philosophy Word Count: 997 Wu-wei (無爲, wúwéi) is a central concept in early Chinese philosophy. However, different schools of thought conceptualized the notion differently, so it is difficult to briefly capture its multiple senses and uses. Our focus here will be on one sense of wu-wei in the … Continue reading Wu-Wei: Acting without Desire

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

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

Hannah Arendt’s Political Thought

Arendt

Author: David Antonini Category: Social and Political Philosophy, Phenomenology and Existentialism Word Count: 1000 Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), born in Hanover, Germany, was a public intellectual, refugee, and observer of European and American politics. She is especially known for her interpretation of the events that led to the rise of totalitarianism in the twentieth century. Arendt … Continue reading Hannah Arendt’s Political Thought

John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice’

John Rawls' A Theory of Justice

Author:  Ben Davies Category: Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics Word Count: 999 Listen here 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 … Continue reading John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice’

How to Establish Social Order? Three Early Chinese Answers

The Impressive Battle of Gaixia: Chinese Reunification Emerges from Chaos

Author: Henrique Schneider Categories: Chinese Philosophy, Historical Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics Word Count: 998 Way, Chaos, and Order are central to (early) Chinese philosophy. The Way is not a metaphor, but a natural structure to be uncovered by thinking and action. Chaos happens when people do not find a Way. Not finding a … Continue reading How to Establish Social Order? Three Early Chinese Answers

Mary Astell’s “A Serious Proposal to the Ladies” (1694)

Mary Astell’s “A Serious Proposal to the Ladies” (1694)

Author:  Simone Webb Category: Historical Philosophy, Philosophy of Sex and Gender, Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophy of Education Word Count:  978 Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) is established in the popular imagination as the “first feminist,” but another philosopher provided a systematic analysis of women’s subjugated condition and a call for female education nearly a century before … Continue reading Mary Astell’s “A Serious Proposal to the Ladies” (1694)