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Further reading on reproductive risk

If you’d like read more about some of the issues we discussed with Rebecca Kukla, take a look at these two articles:

Measuring Mothering,’ Rebecca Kukla
The ethics and cultural politics of reproductive risk warnings: A case study of California’s Proposition 65,’ Rebecca Kukla

Matt Teichman

Posted in Further Reading.


Episode 59: Rebecca Kukla discusses reproductive risk

This month, we talk to Rebecca Kukla, Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University and Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, about some of her work on reproductive risk. Click here to listen to our conversation.

Rebecca KuklaA pregnant woman is usually advised to be cautious about what products to purchase, whether to drink alcohol, and which locations to frequent. We tend to think that a pregnant woman is responsible not just for her own safety–she’s also the responsible for the safety of her unborn child. And of course that’s all true. But in this episode, our guest argues that the story doesn’t end there, and that many of the further details to how we think about these issues are problematic.

Continued…

Posted in Podcast.


Further reading on vagueness

If you’d like to poke through some of the details of Shapiro’s theory, take a look at this article from a collection called Heaps and Liars:

Vagueness and Conversation,’ Stewart Shapiro

Matt Teichman

Posted in Further Reading.


Episode 58: Stewart Shapiro discusses vagueness (part II)

This month, we are delighted to make our return to the topic of vagueness, this time in conversation with Stewart Shapiro, Professor of Philosophy at The Ohio State University.  Click here to listen to our discussion.

shapiro2You may remember from our previous episode on vagueness that most of the adjectives, common nouns, verbs, and prepositions we use are vague.  To illustrate the idea, think of the adjective blue.  In the philosophical setting, to say that the adjective blue is vague is to say a couple of things. First, although some things clearly are blue (like bluejays) and some things clearly aren’t (like lemons), some things are right at the border (like this).  Should we call that last borderline case blue or not?  It’s not particularly clear.

Continued…

Posted in Podcast.


Further reading on virtue ethics

If that last episode whetted your appetite for virtue ethics (it certainly whetted mine), Julia Annas recommends the following references:

Intelligent Virtue, Julia Annas
On Virtue Ethics, Rosalind Hursthouse
Virtue Ethics: A Pluralistic View, Christine Swanton
A Theory of Virtue, Robert Merrihew Adams

Enjoy!

Matt Teichman

Posted in Further Reading.


Episode 57: Julia Annas discusses virtue ethics

This month we sit down with Julia Annas, Regents Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona, to talk about virtue ethics. Click here to listen to our conversation.

Today we’re used to thinking of ethics as the study of how to act in certain situations. Given any particular hypothetical scenario, what would be the right thing for you to do? If your friend wants you to stay up late to help him study for an exam, but you yourself need to go to bed early in order to get a good night’s sleep for the exam, what do you do? This is the sort of thing we usually have in mind when it comes to ethics: ethicists devise sophisticated theories that tell us the most general laws of good behavior.

Continued…

Posted in Podcast.


Further reading on corporate rights and responsibilities

If you’re interested to learn more about Philip Pettit’s views on corporate rights and responsibilities, take a look at this 2007 paper:

Philip Pettit, ‘Responsibility Incorporated

Matt Teichman

Posted in Further Reading.


Episode 56: Philip Pettit discusses corporate rights and responsibilities

This month, we sit down with Philip Pettit to discuss some of his work on whether corporations have rights. Click here to listen to our conversation.

Philip PettitMuch of what goes on in today’s world is the work of corporations, which command far more money and power than any individual person can. And that already puts us in challenging philosophical territory. Can corporations *do* things? Can a corporation be held responsible for what it does? Not too long ago, there were strong legal barriers to holding corporations responsible for their actions. But these days, most of us seem to think that a company should be held to account when it commits acts of negligence. (Recall the BP spill from 2010, where it was generally agreed that the company should indeed be held responsible for the disaster.)

Continued…

Posted in Podcast.


Further reading on paradoxes of consistency

To see Branden Fitelson’s notion of coherence spelled out in full detail, you can read the following two papers:

Branden Fitelson and Kenny Easwaran, “Accuracy, Coherence, and Evidence.”
Branden Fitelson, Rachel Briggs, Fabrizio Cariani, and Kenny Easwaran, “Individual Coherence and Group Coherence.”

For an interesting extension of that framework to cover cases where a person suspends judgment, you can take a look at:

Kenny Easwaran, “Dr. Truthlove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bayesian Probabilities.”

Matt Teichman

Posted in Further Reading.


Episode 55: Branden Fitelson discusses paradoxes of consistency

This month we are delighted to have Branden Fitelson back for his second appearance on the program.  The topic was some recent work he has been doing with Rachel Briggs, Fabrizio Cariani, and Kenny Easwaran on paradoxes of consistency.  Click here to listen to our conversation.

Branden Fitelson

Imagine you’re a scientist, and you publish a huge book presenting the results of your research over the past decade. You are exact in your methods, and to the best of your knowledge, everything you claim in the book is true. Nonetheless, you write the following in the preface: ‘Any mistakes in this book are mine and mine alone.’ Why think that it contains mistakes? Well, it almost certainly does; human beings are fallible, and every scientific book ever written contains some mistake or other. These things are difficult to write! But this raises an interesting paradox. On the one hand, if I were to list all the claims in the book, one by one, for each one, you would say that it was true. On the other, you readily acknowledge that there must be a mistake in there somewhere. It’s impossible for both of these things to be true: either every claim in the book is true, or at least one of the claims in the book is false. So what gives? Are you contradicting yourself?

Continued…

Posted in Podcast.