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

Simon Keller and Sarah Stroud

Simon Keller (left) and Sarah Stroud (right) on partiality.

Keller and Stroud (starting at 13:40) discuss their controversial view that good friendship requires the violation of epistemic norms. Then (at 21:03) they discuss Stroud’s work on plural agency and partiality. Next (at 34:40) Keller explains why he rejects the widely held view that our reasons to put loved ones before strangers should be understood in terms of personal projects or relationships. Finally (at 58:26) they discuss the analogy between partiality to people and partiality to countries.

Continue reading Simon Keller and Sarah Stroud

Roy Sorensen & Michael Weisberg

Roy Sorensen (left) and Michael Weisberg (right) on idealization and scientific realism.

Idealization is the intentional introduction of distortion into scientific theories. If science aims at the truth, as scientific realists believe, then why are scientific theories routinely idealized? To answer that question, Weisberg take a pluralistic approach. He distinguishes three kinds of idealization (Galilean, minimalist, and multiple-models), and recommends that realists pursue different accounts of each kind. In contrast, Sorensen proposes that realists can develop a unified account of idealization if they can show that idealized scientific theories are merely supposed rather than asserted.

Continue reading Roy Sorensen & Michael Weisberg

Technical difficulties

Several recordings took place this week, but they all face tech problems. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that we’ll have new content before next week. But it’s still possible that we’ll have something ready by tomorrow (Friday), so stay tuned, and thanks for watching.

Update: It’s official: nothing new until next week.

Further update (2/4): Sorry for the additional delays, everyone. We promise that we’ll have new content soon!

Randolph Clarke and Stephen Kearns

Randolph Clarke (left) and Stephen Kearns (right) on the problem of free will.

It’s not easy to find room in the world for free will. In the first part of this exchange, Clarke and Kearns discuss whether free will can have a place in a deterministic universe. Then (starting at 23:22) they discuss problems for free will that are posed by indeterminism. In the course of their conversation, they consider related issues concerning the conditions for moral responsibility and the nature of intention.

Continue reading Randolph Clarke and Stephen Kearns

Maureen Eckert and Graham Priest

Maureen Eckert (left) and Graham Priest (right) on deviant logic.

According to classical systems of logic, anything follows from a contradiction: the relation of logical consequence is explosive. But recent decades have seen growing interest in “deviant,” paraconsistent systems that include non-explosive relations of logical consequence. Further, some deviant logicians, such as Priest, assert the existence of dialetheias (true contradictions). In this conversation, Eckert and Priest discuss whether and how deviant logic should be studied in the undergraduate classroom. Then (starting at 29:40) they look for dialetheias in the areas of emotions, legal norms, and contradictory fictions.

Continue reading Maureen Eckert and Graham Priest

Trying out a slower posting rate

Before our winter break, we posted episodes at a rate of 2/week. During the next month or so, we’ll see what it’s like to post just 1/week. In mid-February, we might return to 2/week or we might stick to 1/week. As several viewers have pointed out to us, a slower posting rate will direct more attention to each episode, which might encourage more participation in the comments sections (among other benefits). However, a higher posting rate has the obvious advantage of making more conversations available more quickly.

Viewers: What do you think? Is it better to publish one episode per week or two?

New episodes coming Jan. 10

We’re taking a short break to do some site maintenance, roll out a few new site features, and catch up on our other work. Thanks to everyone who recorded conversations for us this year, and to everyone who tuned in. 2010 was great for Philosophy TV and we’re excited about what’s in store for 2011.

As always, if you’re a philosopher who would like to appear on this site, please be in touch: contact@philostv.com.

Happy new year!

On Christmas #5

Richard Brown on Santa, agnosticism, and Christmas.

This is the fifth and final monolog in our series on Christmas. Visit Brown’s homepage here.