Simon Keller (left) and Valerie Tiberius (right) on well-being and social psychology.
The nature and conditions of well-being have long held philosophers’ attention, but well-being is also now a major focus of psychological research. In this conversation, Keller and Tiberius discuss the possibilities for cooperation in this area between psychologists and philosophers. Are philosophers able to reveal conceptual truths about well-being that are of value to psychologists? Can psychological research usefully correct philosophers’ naive intuitions about what makes us better off?
Ann Cudd (left) and Matt Zwolinski (right) on exploitation and oppression.
The NYT reports that some low-wage South African workers were recently angered when their factory was shut down for violation of minimum wage laws. Are such workers exploited by their employers? Do they constitute an oppressed group? To address such questions, Cudd and Zwolinski examine the concepts of exploitation and oppression. They consider whether mutually beneficial exploitation might sometimes be morally justifiable, and how much we must be willing to sacrifice in order to resist oppressive institutions, among other issues.
In the Introduction to Causation: A User’s Guide (forthcoming from OUP), Ned Hall and L. A. Paul write:
Unfortunately, the current literature [on causation] conceals its insights within a tangled landscape of conflicting approaches, driven by conflicting motivations and conflicting presuppositions about the very point of providing a philosophical account of causation, and often informed by conflicting intuitions about key cases. Our aim is to provide a map of this landscape, focused in particular on counterfactual and related analyses of causation, and using a comprehensive set of carefully chosen examples as landmarks. We intend this work to be of use both to the trained specialist and the uninitiated alike.
You can’t get the book yet, but Hall and Paul graciously offered to share its first two chapters with the audience of Philosophy TV. Here’s Chapter 1, and here’s Chapter 2. Enjoy!
The bad news is that our episode on exploitation, oppression and the market, featuring Ann Cudd and Matt Zwolinski, will have to be delayed. We aim to have it ready by next week.
The good news is that our episode on the metaphysics of causation, featuring Ned Hall and L. A. Paul, will appear tomorrow, a week earlier than previously scheduled.
Sorry for any inconvenience. Thanks for watching!
John Dupré (left) and Alex Rosenberg (right) on physicalist anti-reductionism.
According to physicalism, there is no non-physical stuff. According to reductionism, all facts can be captured by some purely physical description of the world. Nowadays, physicalist anti-reductionism is orthodox among philosophers. In this debate, Dupré defends that orthodoxy, while Rosenberg defends a considerably less popular view: physicalist reductionism.
Don Fallis (left) and Roy Sorensen (right) on lying.
This episode is about knitting. Is the previous sentence a lie? Not according to the standard analysis, which requires that a lie must involve an intention to deceive. But the standard analysis faces surprisingly many challenges. In this conversation, Fallis and Sorensen examine those challenges, and consider an alternative analysis in terms of insincere assertion. Along the way, they discuss the methodology and value of this kind of analysis.
The Pepsi commercial mentioned at 50:16 is here.
Craig Callender (left) and Sean Carroll (right) on the arrow of time and the multiverse.
According to the Past Hypothesis, the early universe was a low-entropy state, and entropy has been increasing ever since. Carroll thinks that the truth of the Past Hypothesis cries out for explanation; Callender thinks that its truth should be regarded as a brute law-like fact. They discuss this disagreement. Then (starting at 35:41) they discuss the explanatory merits of Carroll’s proposal that we inhabit a “baby universe” that is an offspring of another, higher-entropy universe.