Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

War Crimes

After assassinating Soleimani, Trump went on Twitter to threaten a “disproportionate response” to any Iranian retaliation and to destroy Iranian cultural sites. Intentionally targeting cultural property violates the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. As such, Trump seems to have been threatening to commit a war [More]

The Ethics of Assassination

The United States recently assassinated Iran’s Qassem Soleimani which raises, once again, moral questions about targeted killings of this sort. While it is easy to get bogged down in the particulars of this assassination, I will focus on the general matter of the ethics of assassination. While the definition of “assassination” can be debated and [More]

Why Aren’t Ethicists More Ethical?

By Michael J. Sigrist Eric Schwitzgebel, a philosopher at University of California, Riverside, and a prolific blogger, has stirred up some controversy by studying whether ethics professors are morally better than others. As you might imagine, this is not a straightforward task. How do you measure how moral someone is? Schwitzgebel looks at indicators that [More]

Can’t Say Anything Anymore

Some claim that political correctness has gone to far and that one cannot say anything anymore. As evidence, people point to examples of celebrities who have gotten in trouble for saying things that some regard as racist, homophobic or sexist. They also point to existence of trigger warnings, safe spaces and cases in which speakers [More]


When billionaires are criticized for having an excess of unearned wealth, their defenders like to point out that many billionaires are philanthropists. Bill Gates is famous for his foundation, Jeff Bezos has given millions to his charities, and the Koch brothers have spent lavishly in such areas as higher education and medical research. One stock [More]

How to address the enigmas of everyday life

Here are some hard questions: Is the value of human life absolute? Should we conform to the prevalent values? The questions are hard because each has reasonable but conflicting answers. When circumstances force us to face them, we are ambivalent. We realize that there are compelling reasons for both of the conflicting answers. This is not an abstract problem, but a predicament we encounter when we have to make difficult decisions whose consequences affect how we live, our relationships, and our attitude to the society in which we live. The post How to address the enigmas of everyday life appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesOur souls make us who we arePhilosopher of the Month – A 2019 ReviewHow hip hop and diplomacy made an unlikely [More]

A Collection of Stories for Teaching Ethics

Luc Bovens, professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has created a website that gathers together and organizes various “short stories in world literature by both classical and contemporary writers” that may be useful in teaching a range of questions in ethics and social and political philosophy. The site is called TESS: Teaching Ethics with Short Stories. Aimed primarily at college and high school students in humanities courses, it gives visitors the option of browsing through its collection of stories geographically or thematically. The themes include “autonomy & dignity,” “luck & irony”, “gender & relationships,” “truth & deception,” and others, as you can see on the image of the theme menu, below: The site is not just useful but also beautifully designed, with artwork by Fiorella Lavado. If you click on a tile, you’re brought to a page with brief descriptions of various relevant stories. For example, if you click on “truth & deception”, you get the following: Clicking on any of the stories will bring you to a page with a link to that story, links to some relevant news articles, and a set of questions. The site is supported by the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has also received funding from the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and from the Centre for the Philosophy of the [More]

Crying Voter Fraud

After winning the electoral college and losing the popular vote, Donald Trump alleged voter fraud. He went on to promise a “major investigation” into voter fraud, which failed to support his claim. As it stands, there is no evidence of rampant voter fraud in the 2016 election. It must be noted that absence of evidence [More]

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