What’s the difference between a lawyer and a philosopher? No, this isn’t a joke. It’s a genuine question. In fact, puzzling over this distinction has ancient roots extending all the way back to Socrates. While Socrates doesn’t use the word lawyer, he uses the term “sophist” which, for my purposes here, amounts to the same […]Read More The Impeachment Trial and the Philosopher’s Stance
The words ‘rational’ and ‘reasonable’ are often used interchangeably in everyday language. But for philosophers they have specific meanings. These distinct meanings are important because they help to articulate the desirable features of a policy response to Covid-19 and vaccines. As with anything in philosophy (or any subject, for that matter) there isn’t unanimous agreement […]Read More The Rational, The Reasonable, and Covid-19 Vaccine Policy
In this post I cover moral arguments vaccine skeptics make for non-medical exemptions. Skip to Part 3 if you’re just interested in the argument. In Part 1, I briefly make some general comments on the norms and practices for engaging vaccine skeptics and hesitants. In Part 2, quickly outline the strongest possible interpretation of medical […]Read More Vaccine Skeptics are Pro-Vaccine: Moral Arguments Part 2
The very first thing you’re taught about writing in philosophy is to narrow your focus. Before every assignment, every professor will plead, “pick just one idea and develop it!” I tell my students the exact same thing. But today, I am going to do exactly the opposite. Don’t do as I do, do as I […]Read More Problems with Pandemic Policy
Is Trump legally responsible for the death of a man who misunderstood then acted on Trump’s unfounded proclamations? That depends on your theory of causation and legal responsibility. Let’s learn about causation and responsibility in the law! The Case During his address to the nation on Friday March 19, Trump claimed that chloroquine was a […]Read More Trump, Death by Chloroquine Phosphate, and Legal Responsibility
*Record scratch* *Freeze frame* Yup. That’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up home on Saturday night writing about toilet paper and game theory in the middle of a pandemic that causes respiratory failure. Even more perplexing is why, despite no drop in production or disruptions in the supply line, toilet paper is sold […]Read More Toilet Paper, Game Theory, and The Leviathan
We’re entering election season in the US of A, so it’s time to pollute the internet’s comments sections with fear mongering, bad arguments, strawmen, and knee-jerk reactions. Of course, these rhetorical techniques and fallacious argument forms pervade all domains of discourse. But when it comes to political discourse in ‘Murica, expect to find these cranked […]Read More IF YOU LIKE SOCIALISM SO MUCH, WHY DON’T YOU MOVE TO VENEZUELA?