Category Archives: Social and Political Philosophy

By what measures can we value human life?

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo. It can clearly be challenging to convey the magnitude of loss after a tragedy, particularly when that number is in the tens of millions, yet that is precisely what … Continue reading

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Science in the lead?

Is scientific progress outpacing progress in areas such as ethics and politics? What does progress in these areas look like?

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Privacy vs Security

Discuss.

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If it’s not right to rape a rapist, how can it be OK to kill a killer?

Discuss (1) this analogy and the (2) image below. (1) Here is the source article for the analogy. “That’s the thing. The reason why we would be hesitant to endorse it is that – what normal person would be paid to do something so … Continue reading

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Are we individual or social creatures?

How does the concept of individuality affect politics? Commentary from The Stone New York Times. Here’s a pdf Evolution and the American Myth of the Individual – NYTimes.com

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The Tale of the Slave

Robert Nozick’s dangerous question.

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What Democracy is not…

Discuss.

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The Fallacy of ‘Deepest Offence’

The Fallacy of ‘Deepest Offence’ By Peter Ellerton  image via here Nothing is so central to a liberal society as the right to discuss ideas. Not being able to do this at all is totalitarianism – the banning of discussing, … Continue reading

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When Should Science be Censored?

Calls to censor details of potential killer flu via ABC News The suppression of breakthrough research into deadly bird flu strains has been labelled scientific censorship by some, but others say it is a necessary step to prevent a possible … Continue reading

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Reasons for Reason

Via MICHAEL P. LYNCH NYTimes The Stone Rick Perry’s recent vocal dismissals of evolution, and his confident assertion that “God is how we got here” reflect an obvious divide in our culture. In one sense, that divide is just over the … Continue reading

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Philosophical Health Check

This is a fabulous online interactive to see how coherent your beliefs and values are as a whole (tpm online) Check your [philosophical]Tension Quotient! To take the philosophical health check (PHC), go through the statements below, selecting for each one … Continue reading

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Philosophy in Senior Schools

(From my appearance on ABC Radio National’s ‘Philosopher’s Zone) http://www.abc.net.au/rn/philosopherszone/stories/2007/1911312.htm Philosophy is about asking childlike questions – how do we know the world exists? How do we know it hasn’t just started existing? Why can’t we go back in time? … Continue reading

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Sweet & sour: Junior Master Chefs

Philosopher column in the Weekend Australian poses questions about this popular show. What is the fine line between not mollycoddling children vs exposing them unecessarily to pressure? Consumerism, social psychology & philosophy, rights & obligations of adults to children. Can … Continue reading

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The Role of Men in the Modern World

News article about how modern men shape up to their ancient counterparts. Social and political philosophy. Human nature. The Role of Men in the Modern World (pdf)

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Paid to not reproduce

FEMALE drug addicts in Wales could soon be offered money to use contraceptive implants to stop them falling pregnant. Political and social philosophy. TOK. Paid not to reproduce (pdf)

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Do home-schooled kids get enough social education?

Q: * Do home-schooled kids get enough social education? *Should we be concerned with the potential effects of home schooling on children’s social integration? *Are some countries, such as Germany, right to ban home-schooling? Ask the Philosopher column in The … Continue reading

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Civics should be a class act

Opinion piece about the teaching of ethics in NSW public schools, as an alternative to scripture classes. Written by Tim Soutphommasane, political theorist and author of Reclaiming Patriotism. Ask the Philosopher 2010 Mar06 Home schooling – social education (docx) (Uploaded by … Continue reading

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Cognitive Bias in Reasoning

A list of topics from Wikipedia – visit there by clicking on the links – well worth the effort. Decision-making and behavioral biases Many of these biases are studied for how they affect belief formation, business decisions, and scientific research. … Continue reading

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Psychology and Psychics – Why some people think they are psychic.

Interesting article on why people may feel psychic from New Scientist. Philosophy of mind, human nature, psychics, psychology. New Scientist Belief Special 28 January 2006 Glad to be gullible Clare Wilson It is five minutes past midnight and I am alone … Continue reading

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Why should I respect oppressive religions?

Religion and the ‘right’ to respect – comments on recent United Nations changes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Ethics, religion, social and political philosophy. Johann Hari Posted from: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-why-should-i-respect-these-oppressive-religions-1517789.html Whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents say … Continue reading

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