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?
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 that, without government, life would be … Continue reading “Nasty, Brutish, and Short”: Thomas Hobbes on Life in the State of Nature
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”? This essay discusses four major philosophical theories of happiness. 1. Hedonism According to hedonism, happiness is simply the … Continue reading Happiness: What is it to be Happy?
Author: Kristin Seemuth Whaley Category: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion Word Count: 995 What are we? Philosophers often look for answers that capture what we are fundamentally—what makes us who we are. Maybe we’re non-physical souls or minds. Maybe we’re our thoughts and our memories. Or, perhaps we’re physical things like bodies or brains. According to a … Continue reading Are We Animals? Animalism and Personal Identity
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
Author: Thomas MetcalfCategory: Logic and ReasoningWord count: 1000 An argument is a set of statements (the premises) intended to provide evidence for, or prove, some conclusion. Formal logic is a tool we can use to present and evaluate arguments. Some arguments are better than others and formal logic can help us see exactly how some … Continue reading Formal Logic: Symbolizing Arguments in Sentential Logic
Author: Chris Ranalli Categories: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Historical Philosophy Word count: 1000 External world skepticism is the view that we cannot know anything about the external world: we can’t know that we have hands, that there are other people, or, in general, know that anything external to our minds exists. Such skeptics commonly argue that we … Continue reading Moore’s Proof of an External World: Responding to External World Skepticism
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. 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
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 writing during the … Continue reading African American Existentialism: DuBois, Locke, Thurman, and King
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