Monthly Archives: May 2010

A thought on psychology

It occurred to me today that if I had to name what I consider the single most important area for human understanding, I would probably say ‘psychology’. In particular, psychology interests me because it offers the prospect of tying together … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Snippet

“Because in all ages, as long as mankind has existed, there have also been human herds (family alliances, communities, tribes, peoples, states, churches), and always a great number who obey in proportion to the small number who command – in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Humans Good ‘by Nature’?

Occasionally, while sailing upon the sea of discourse, you can find the idea of ‘humanity’s natural goodness’. Sometimes people are denying it (and attributing it to their opponents), and other times people are affirming it (and attributing its negation to … Continue reading

Posted in Political Philosophy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Against the Social Contract

It’s typically thought that a contract agreed to under duress is void. Philosophers who have seen the basis of political obligations as something like a contract, therefore, have had to suppose, explicitly or implicitly, that people are not ‘under duress’ … Continue reading

Posted in Society and the Social Contract | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Decency, Nakedness, and the Social Contract

What is it to see a body? What mental structures are involved in seeing a physical object as the body of a person? I think there are two, potentially opposed, aspects to this. On the one hand, the other’s body … Continue reading

Posted in Society and the Social Contract | Tagged , | 3 Comments

A Point about Principles and Paradigms

Are human lives more important than profits? Is scientific progress more important than people’s psychological comfort? More challengingly, is stability more important than justice? Is wisdom more important than happiness? Questions of this sort – taking two good things and … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Is Freudianism Crazy?

I found myself discussing Freud today, who I find difficult to evaluate. When people bring him up or ask me what I think of his psychology, I’m usually at a loss how to answer. I think partly this ie because … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Reply to David Benatar on Sexual Ethics

A couple of months ago I came across a provocative article by David Benatar, entitled ‘Two Views of Sexual Ethics: Promiscuity, Pedophilia, and Rape.” It argues that a certain position – that promiscuity is morally fine, pedophilia is always wrong, … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Liar Paradox, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and the Concept of Political Authority

Most students of philosophy will be familiar with ‘the liar paradox‘, which in its simplest form goes: “this sentence is false”. Other versions might include someone who always lies saying “I am currently lying”, or similar. Is the sentence false? … Continue reading

Posted in Society and the Social Contract | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Should I be Vegan or Vegetarian?

I read an article today arguing that vegetarianism is a morally better choice than veganism (via.this commentary by Jean Kazez). The author, Tzachi Zamir, distinguishes ‘vegans’ strictly from ‘tentative vegans’: the former think that no animal farming can be ethical, … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments