Almost everyone fears death. But is this fear rational? Should we fear death? In this Wireless Philosophy video, Travis Timmerman (Seton Hall University) discusses the Symmetry Argument against the badness of death. He explains why one of the most popular responses to the argument fails. He also offers his own response, one that preserves the judgment that death can be bad for the one who dies.
Chris Surprenant (University of New Orleans) discusses the account of human well-being and the good life presented by Friedrich Nietzsche in his moral, political, and religious writings. He explains why Neitzsche believes that living a full human life requires rational reflection and taking a cautious attitude toward conventional moral categories. JP Messina (UC San Diego) assisted in the production of content for this video.
In this video, Molly Gardner (Bowling Green State University) discusses six different strategies for solving the nonidentity problem. This problem arises in cases where an individual appears to be wronged by the very action upon which his or her own existence depends.
Chris Surprenant (University of New Orleans) discusses the account of human well-being and the good life presented by Immanuel Kant in the his moral, political, and religious writings. He explains why Kant believes that the highest good for a human being is the conjunction of happiness and complete virtue and how it is possible for an individual to attain these two things at the same time.
Chris Surprenant (UNO) discusses the account of human well-being and the good life presented by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics. He explains why Aristotle believes that a human being lives well when he acts rightly and possesses all virtues, both intellectual and those relating to good character.
Chris Surprenant (UNO) discusses the account of human well-being and the good life presented by Socrates in Plato's dialogues. He explains why Socrates closely connects his account of the good life with justice, a concept understood not just as a political arrangement but also as a state of a well-ordered individual's soul.
Victor Kumar (Michigan) introduces the problem of moral luck and surveys potential solutions. We see how the problem arises out of a clash between intuitive reactions to cases and an abstract principle of moral responsibility.
In this video, Molly Gardner (UNC) introduces the nonidentity problem. This problem arises in cases where an individual appears to be wronged by the very action upon which his or her own existence depends. We’ll see why this problem has implications for reproductive choices, genetic engineering, and whether we should take care of the environment for the sake of future generations.
What is human nature? Is human nature good or bad? Can human nature be good even if the world contains some notably bad people? Matthew Walker (Yale-NUS College) looks at the views of the early Confucian thinker Mengzi (Mencius).
What makes our life go best? Is being happy all that matters? Is a life of blissful ignorance a good life? Or is there more to a good life than this? Richard Rowland (University of Oxford) discusses whether we should take the blue pill in 'hedonism and the experience machine’.
In this video, Tyler asks why it is morally permissible to kill animals for food. He offers a few explanations that seem unsatisfactory. So, he asks you for help answering this question about animals ethics.
Jeff discusses the nature of moral status. What does it take for someone to be a subject of moral concern? Do they have to be human? Rational? Sentient? Alive? And how does our answer to this question affect how we should act in everyday life?
Part 2 of a pair. Stephen considers the relationship between morality and God. Specifically, he asks: is morality the same thing as the commands of God? Is there no morality if there is no God? Stephen thinks the answer to both these questions is 'no'. He argues that, if you believe God exists and that we should follow his commands *for certain reasons*, then you should *not* think that morality just is whatever God commands.
Tom asks whether it is moral to believe something even when you have no evidence that it is true. He discusses a classic debate on that subject, between philosophers William James and William Clifford.
Part 1 of a pair. Stephen considers the relationship between morality and God. Specifically, he asks: is morality the same thing as the commands of God? Is there no morality if there is no God? Ultimately, Stephen will argue that morality and God's commands are distinct, even if there is a God and she commands moral things. However, in this first video, Steve considers why you might like the view that morality just is God's commands.