Bertha Alvarez Manninen and Jack Mulder on abortion.
Manninen defends a pro-choice view, while Mulder defends a pro-life view. In this conversation, they discuss whether the Roe v. Wade decision is philosophically defensible (2:11); Judith Thomson’s famous pro-choice argument (6:58); the right to refuse aid vs. the right to kill (13:42); the analogy between […]
Avram Hiller (left) and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (right) on anthropogenic climate change.
Earth’s climate is changing as a result of human emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). How much of this is your fault? For instance, suppose you go on a Sunday drive in a gas-guzzling car just for fun. Then have you done any harm? […]
Elizabeth Brake (left) and Simon May (right) on marriage.
As same-sex marriage gains acceptance, a greater number of caring relationships enjoy legal recognition. But what about polygamous and polyamorous relationships? What about non-romantic relationships, such as friendships? In this episode, Brake and May discuss Brake’s controversial view that individuals should be allowed to assign […]
Norman Daniels (left) and Leslie Francis (right) on justice and disability.
Daniels and Francis (starting at 5:43) distinguish between impairments, disabilities, and handicaps. They discuss the issue of special education (starting at 25:53) and consider what we owe to the disabled in a world of scarce resources. Then (starting at 50:34) they discuss problems […]
Kimberley Brownlee and David Lefkowitz on civil disobedience.
To begin, Brownlee and Lefkowitz characterize civil disobedience and distinguish it from common crime, conscientious objection, and revolution. Then (starting at 22:58) they consider a series of moral issues. Do citizens in a liberal democracy have a moral right to engage in civil disobedience? Should civil […]
Don Marquis (left) and Michael Tooley (right) on abortion and personhood.
According to Tooley, abortion is morally permissible: a fetus is not a person, so it cannot have a right to continued existence. To support his view, he defends a neo-Lockean account of personhood grounded in psychological continuity. Against Tooley, Marquis defends an animalistic […]
Elizabeth Anderson (left) and David Schmidtz (right) on equality.
Anderson and Schmidtz begin with a critical assessment of Amartya Sen’s influential view that every theory of justice must strive for equality of something. Then they discuss Anderson’s form of egalitarianism, which privileges social relations over mere distributive equality (although it also allows that […]
Tony Coady (left) and Stephen Nathanson (right) on terrorism.
What is terrorism? Do all terrorist acts aim to terrify? Is it possible for terrorism to be morally justifiable? Can state actions (such as the controversial Allied bombings of World War II) count as terrorist acts? Coady and Nathanson consider such questions in the course […]
Michael Boylan (left) and Rosemarie Tong (right) on reproductive rights and artificial reproduction.
Boylan and Tong begin by discussing Mary Beth Whitehead, a surrogate mother who decided, after her baby was born, not to uphold her agreement to give the child to adoptive parents. As Boylan and Tong show, this case raises difficult questions […]
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 […]