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Philosophy TV Managing Editors

David Killoren (Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University)
contact: david.killoren@acu.edu.au

Jonathan Lang (Wisconsin Institute for Sleep and Consciousness, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
contact: jonathanlang@wisc.edu

 

Elizabeth Brake and Simon May

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 the rights and privileges of marriage to whomever they want, so long as the purpose is to support a caring relationship. They also discuss the case for same-sex marriage (4:30), whether legal marriage should be abolished (33:48), caring relationships as Rawlsian primary goods (45:40), and May’s objection to polygamy (54:49).

Read an excerpt from Brake’s forthcoming book, Minimizing Marriage: Morality, Marriage, and the Law.

Announcement: Jeremy Garrett, Elizabeth Brake, Martha Fineman, and Simon May will participate in a group session entitled “After Marriage” at the Eastern APA meeting, Group Session XIII, Fri., Dec. 30, 1:30pm.

Continue reading Elizabeth Brake and Simon May

Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg

Owen Flanagan (left) and Alex Rosenberg (right) on the significance of naturalism.

Naturalists believe that the world is scientifically intelligible (at least in principle). Thus, naturalists doubt the reality of anything that cannot fit into a scientific worldview. How discomforting are naturalists’ doubts? Can naturalists coherently regard life as meaningful? Rosenberg is happily pessimistic about the answers to such questions. In this conversation, Rosenberg defends his pessimism, and Flanagan resists it. They discuss whether Darwin banished purpose (17:27), why naturalists get up in the morning (34:30), and morality and politics from a naturalist perspective (49:45), among other topics.

Continue reading Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg

Jason Brennan and Kevin Vallier

Jason Brennan (left) and Kevin Vallier (right) on political liberalism and religion.

According to some prominent versions of political liberalism, coercive political force is illegitimate unless it is justifiable from every reasonable point of view. But there are many reasonable points of view from which religious beliefs cannot be justified. This seems to mean that religious political convictions are in conflict with political liberalism. However, Vallier resists that conclusion; he thinks that religious reasoning can have a legitimate role in political discourse. In this episode, Brennan and Vallier discuss Vallier’s argument.

Continue reading Jason Brennan and Kevin Vallier

Matt Bedke and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Matt Bedke (left) and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (right) on ethical intuitions.

Bedke and Sinnott-Armstrong consider the extent to which we can justifiably trust our ethical intuitions. They discuss the analogy between ethical intuitions and color perceptions (2:55), a potential difference between ethical intuitions and non-ethical philosophical intuitions (19:45), Sinnott-Armstrong’s work on framing effects (27:11), and Bedke’s critique of non-naturalist ethical intuitionism (60:44), among other topics.

Continue reading Matt Bedke and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Jonathan Weisberg and Kenny Easwaran

Jonathan Weisberg (left) and Kenny Easwaran (right) on full and partial belief.

An epistemic agent might be more deeply committed to some of her beliefs (e.g., that 2+2=4) than others (e.g., that Obama will be re-elected in 2012). In light of this, many philosophers want to distinguish between full and partial belief. But what precisely is that distinction? Easwaran and Weisberg discuss the issue. Along the way, they consider the lottery paradox (6:29), Easwaran’s view of the merits of an inconsistent belief set (16:17), the motivation to reduce full belief to partial belief (32:18), and the relation between action and knowledge (53:09).

Continue reading Jonathan Weisberg and Kenny Easwaran

Graham Hubbs and Michael O’Rourke

Graham Hubbs (left) and Michael O’Rourke (right) on philosophical intervention.

The Toolbox Project, helmed by O’Rourke, applies philosophy to problems of cross-disciplinary cooperation among scientists. In this interview, Hubbs and O’Rourke discuss the goals and methods of the project, the stigma of applied philosophy, and the extent to which deep philosophical issues (e.g. in philosophy of language) are relevant in other disciplines.

Continue reading Graham Hubbs and Michael O’Rourke

Alvin Goldman and Jennifer Lackey

Alvin Goldman (left) and Jennifer Lackey (right) on social epistemology.

Can a football team know more than its individual members know? How can a non-expert tell that an expert’s testimony is trustworthy? How should we modify our beliefs in response to disagreements with others? These are some of the questions encompassed by social epistemology, which deals with social aspects of knowledge and belief. In this conversation, Goldman and Lackey provide an overview of this growing subfield.

Continue reading Alvin Goldman and Jennifer Lackey

Christopher Gauker and Kathrin Glüer

Christopher Gauker (left) and Kathrin Glüer (right) on the contents of perception.

According to one view, perceptions have propositional content: they tell us that the world is a certain way, and what they tell us can be either true or false. In this debate, Glüer defends that view against Gauker’s attack. Glüer and Gauker also consider (starting at 23:11) whether and how perceptions might justify beliefs. And Glüer interrogates Gauker (starting at 40:08) about how perceptions can be either accurate or inaccurate without having propositional content.

Continue reading Christopher Gauker and Kathrin Glüer

Norman Daniels and Leslie Francis

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 of justice in health care and the allocation of so-called “disability-adjusted life-years” (DALYs). Finally (starting at 1:04:58) they discuss whether we disparage the disabled if we conceive disability as a departure from normal functioning.

Production note: Be forewarned that the audio quality in this episode is relatively low. It will sound better on some speakers than others.

Continue reading Norman Daniels and Leslie Francis

Richard Brown and Keith Frankish

Richard Brown (left) and Keith Frankish (right) on qualia.

Suppose you’re a physicalist and you want to include qualia in your ontology. Unfortunately, “classic qualia” (intrinsic, ineffable, private properties of experience) seem incompatible with physicalism, while “zero qualia” (mere dispositions to judge that we have classic qualia) don’t seem like genuine qualia at all. After all, even zombies have zero qualia! Perhaps you can be satisfied with “diet qualia” (subjective feels of experience). But are there meaningful distinctions between diet qualia and the other two conceptions? Is the notion of diet qualia even coherent? Frankish and Brown discuss the issue.

Continue reading Richard Brown and Keith Frankish