Philosophy TV Managing Editors

David Killoren (Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University)

Jonathan Lang (Wisconsin Institute for Sleep and Consciousness, University of Wisconsin-Madison)


David Enoch and Mark Schroeder

David Enoch (left) and Mark Schroeder (right) on moral realism.

Enoch and Schroeder are moral realists of different kinds: Schroeder defends a form of naturalist reductionism, while Enoch defends a form of Moorean non-naturalism. In this conversation, they compare their two brands of realism, discuss their shared opposition to error theories and expressivism, and address a few of the standard objections to realism. Then (at 53:40) they reveal their answers to a question that should be disturbing to any realist: If it turns out that realism is false, what would you believe instead?

Continue reading David Enoch and Mark Schroeder

Ned Hall and L. A. Paul

Ned Hall (left) and L. A. Paul (right) on causation.

Suzy throws a rock which causes a window to break. That is token causation: a particular event c causes another particular event e. According to a simple counterfactual account of token causation, c is a cause of e exactly if e wouldn’t have occurred if c hadn’t occurred. In this episode, Hall and Paul discuss why the pursuit of a counterfactual account is attractive, and consider problems for such an account raised by preemptive causes, preventive causes, the transitivity of causation, and overdetermination.

Continue reading Ned Hall and L. A. Paul

Technical difficulties

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!

–Philosophy TV

Roger Crisp and Daniel Star

Roger Crisp (left) and Daniel Star (right) on normative reasons.

Reasons for action occupy an increasingly central place in recent moral philosophy. Why? Crisp and Star address that question, and provide a handy taxonomy of different kinds of reasons, before they turn to two interrelated issues. First, they discuss the prospects for an analysis of reasons. Star offers an analysis in terms of evidence: a reason to φ is evidence that one ought to φ. Then (at 42:55) they discuss the buck-passing account of goodness — the view that reasons are provided by features of an object that make the object good, but not by its goodness itself — and Crisp explains why he finds fault with that account.

Continue reading Roger Crisp and Daniel Star

John Dupré and Alex Rosenberg

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.

Continue reading John Dupré and Alex Rosenberg

Don Fallis and Roy Sorensen

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.

Continue reading Don Fallis and Roy Sorensen

Craig Callender and Sean Carroll

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.

Continue reading Craig Callender and Sean Carroll

Richard Brown and Pete Mandik

Richard Brown (left) and Pete Mandik (right) on higher-order theories of consciousness.

The higher-order approach aims to explain consciousness in terms of some relation between a conscious state and a representation of that state. Fans of this approach hope that it can pave the way to an account of consciousness that is both informative and amenable to naturalism. Yet higher-order theories face a wide range of interesting problems. In this conversation, Brown and Mandik discuss some of these problems and look for solutions to them.

Continue reading Richard Brown and Pete Mandik

Eric Schwitzgebel and Brie Gertler

Eric Schwitzgebel (left) and Brie Gertler (right) on introspection.

How well do we know our own minds? According to an optimistic view associated with Descartes and Locke, introspection is a reliable and profoundly special source of self-knowledge. According to a pessimistic view associated with Wittgenstein and Ryle, introspection is like ordinary perception: a confluence of fallible processes, and therefore not especially trustworthy. In this conversation, Gertler defends a version of the optimistic view, while Schwitzgebel defends a version of the pessimistic view.

Continue reading Eric Schwitzgebel and Brie Gertler

Jason Brennan and Neil Sinhababu

Jason Brennan (left) and Neil Sinhababu (right) on political liberties and hedonism.

In this episode, Brennan and Sinhababu air two different arguments on two different topics. First, Brennan argues, contrary to a widely held view, that a given individual’s political liberties should not be considered valuable for that individual: he contends that political liberties do not achieve the ends that would give them such value. Then (starting at 35:21) Sinhababu presents his argument in favor of universal hedonism: he contends that emotional perception (which often seems contrary to hedonism) is unreliable, whereas phenomenal introspection (which he thinks supports hedonism) is reliable.

Continue reading Jason Brennan and Neil Sinhababu