Defining Capitalism and Socialism

Image of a finger pointing at an entry in a dictionary.

Author: Thomas Metcalf Category: Social and Political Philosophy Wordcount: 999 Editor’s Note: This essay is the first in a two-part series authored by Tom on the topic of capitalism and socialism. The second essay, on evaluating capitalism and socialism, can be viewed here. Should our society be capitalist, socialist, or something in between? To adjudicate … Continue reading Defining Capitalism and Socialism

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 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 could Aristotle … Continue reading Aristotle’s Defense of Slavery

Mill’s Proof of the Principle of Utility

Cartoon drawing of John Stuart Mill

Author: Dale E. Miller Category: Ethics, Historical Philosophy Wordcount: 999 It may seem obvious that happiness is valuable, but is it the only thing valuable for its own sake, as opposed to being useful as a way to get something else? The 19th-century utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) argues that it is.[1] His argument … Continue reading Mill’s Proof of the Principle of Utility

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: 1000 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