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Examining Ethics

An ethics podcast hosted by the Prindle Institute for Ethics

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Is It Possible to Be Too Good?

Is it possible to be too good? Is it possible that thinking about morality could cause clinical levels of emotional and mental distress? On today’s show (hi, it’s been a while!), Christiane talks to two philosophers who explore a disorder known as Scrupulosity. People with Scrupulosity are obsessive about morality, checking and re-checking to make sure they haven’t done something wrong. Our guests, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Jesse Summers, explore the philosophical implications of these obsessions with moral behavior. Christiane also talks to Dr. Laura Crosskey, who treats patients with Scrupulosity. Send questions or comments to examiningethics@gmail.com. For the episode’s transcript, click here. Don’t forget to check out the Prindle Institute’s newest podcast, Getting Ethics to Work! Shownotes Jesse S. SummersWalter Sinnott-ArmstrongClean Hands: Philosophical Lessons from ScrupulosityDr. Laura CrosskeyMore on “genuine belief“More on “moral judgment“If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness, Mental Health America has lots of resources to provide helpIf you’re in crisis and need help right away, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center, or text MHA to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for designing our logo. Our featured image was found here. “Partly Sage” by Blue Dot Sessions, from sessions.blue (CC BY-NC 4.0)“Cloudline” by Blue Dot Sessions, from sessions.blue (CC BY-NC 4.0) To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com. The post Is It Possible to Be Too Good? appeared first on Examining Ethics.

36mins

29 Jan 2020

Rank #1

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28: Philosophy and #MeToo with Emily McWilliams

In late 2017, women’s stories of sexual assault, abuse and harassment took the center stage on social media with the hashtag MeToo. But this isn’t the first time people have shared these stories–tales of these experiences have been around for hundreds of years. The MeToo movement itself has been around since 2006. But last fall, the MeToo hashtag went so viral that mainstream media couldn’t ignore it. Today’s guest, the philosopher and the Prindle Institute’s Schaenen scholar Emily McWilliams, explains the connections between the MeToo movement and the philosophical concept known as hermeneutical injustice. Examining Ethics producers Eleanor Price and Christiane Wisehart join Emily for a discussion of the ways movements like MeToo might address the problem of epistemic injustice around sexual violence and harassment. Questions? Comments? Shoot us an email at examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics. Follow us on Instagram @examiningethicspodcast. You can also find us on Facebook–for the time being. Click here for the episode’s transcript! Show Notes: Emily McWilliams Emily has been the Schaenen Scholar at the Prindle Institute for Ethics this year, and is organizing a research retreat (applications are still open!) Tarana Burke, the creator of the MeToo movement Activist Tarana Burke Started the “Me Too” Movement 10 Years Ago Just Be Inc., Burke’s youth organization for young women of color Alyssa Milano’s October 2017 tweet Epistemic Injustice Miranda Fricker’s 2007 book Epistemic Injustice Interview on Philosophy Bites about epistemic injustice Rachel McKinnon, “Epistemic Injustice“ Episodes where we cover testimonial injustice 6: The “Burden” of Whiteness 13: Distrusting the Narrative 22: Gaslighting, PTSD and Testimonial Injustice with Rachel McKinnon Hermeneutical Injustice Hermeneutics Miranda Fricker, “Powerlessness and Social Interpretation“ Elizabeth Barnes, “Hermeneutical Injustice and Disability Pride“ Key points in the history of sexual harassment The History of Sexual Harassment Law List of people taken down by sexual assault and harassment allegations MeToo in the media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyMG0hXMR6g https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWFUQt1MbU4 Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Featured image by Backbone Campaign, CC BY 2.0. Music used in this episode (in order of appearance): “Cases to Rest” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Are We Loose Yet” by Blue Dot Sessions (sections of the song have been looped) From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Soothe” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Thannoid” by Blue Dot Sessions (sections of the song have been looped) From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com The post 28: Philosophy and #MeToo with Emily McWilliams appeared first on Examining Ethics.

27mins

28 Mar 2018

Rank #2

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24: The Art of Listening with Krista Tippett

Deep, meaningful conversations require active listeners. It’s obvious that part of what makes a good discussion is listening. But as it turns out, being an ethical listener requires effort. Krista Tippett joins us to share her insight into what makes a good listener. She’s the host of a public radio show and podcast called On Being. She’s been on the radio for almost two decades, and in that time, she’s become one of the best interviewers on the air. And it’s not because she asks hard-hitting, clever questions or goads people into saying something controversial. It’s because she is so clearly present, and has so clearly cultivated a kind of listening superpower. We’ll also hear an essay by the philosopher and ethicist Bob Fischer, who explores what it means to do this real work of being present for one another and for the causes we believe in. What do you think? Send us a comment or a voice memo to: examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics. You can also find us on Facebook. Show Notes: Krista Tippett’s public radio show and podcast On Being The Civil Conversations Project Better Conversations Starter Guide Why Act When It Doesn’t Make a Difference by Bob Fischer More about our narrator Joe Heithaus Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Music used in this episode (in order of appearance): “Cases to Rest” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “A Palace of Cedar” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Highway to the Stars” by Kai Engel From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Summer Days” by Kai Engel From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Heliotrope” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com SaveSave The post 24: The Art of Listening with Krista Tippett appeared first on Examining Ethics.

22mins

29 Nov 2017

Rank #3

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40: Morality Scaled Up with Joshua Greene

We often discuss individual morality and ethics on the show–how people should or should not behave on an interpersonal level. But what about groups of people? How should they make sense of their competing value systems? On this month’s episode, we’re talking to Joshua Greene, who has an idea about how groups–what he calls modern tribes–should get along. He thinks people should develop something he calls a metamorality. And for him, the best contender for this metamorality is utilitarianism. He also describes how our brains make moral decisions–and why this matters when we’re thinking about morality amongst groups of people. Contact us at examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics. Follow us on Instagram @examiningethicspodcast. You can also find us on Facebook. For the episode transcript, click here. Show Notes: Joshua GreeneMoral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and ThemHis work on moral cognition, or how our brains process moral decisionsThe Trolley ProblemChristiane thinks that if you are not squeamish, you should watch The Good Place’s take on the trolley problem. But we’re not going to link it because it’s gory.Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of the CommonsJohn Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham and UtilitarianismCare ethics Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Featured image, “Village de Bourgogne” is by Jeanne Menjoulet and can be found here. “Thannoid” (1 minute variation) by Blue Dot SessionsFrom sessions.blueCC BY-NC 4.0Inamorata” by Blue Dot SessionsFrom sessions.blueCC BY-NC 4.0 To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com. The post 40: Morality Scaled Up with Joshua Greene appeared first on Examining Ethics.

27mins

29 May 2019

Rank #4

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27: Perceiving Morality with Preston Werner

Can you see goodness with your eyes or feel immorality in your heart? The philosopher Preston Werner thinks so. He defends an idea called moral perception, which means that just like you are able to see or feel things like the color of an orange or the softness of a sweater, you’re also able to perceive, or feel, morality. Some philosophers argue that perceiving morality is a key part of how we make moral judgments about situations. There are a lot of people who are skeptical of this idea. And as you’ll hear in this conversation with Preston Werner, our producer Christiane Wisehart also needs some convincing to believe that moral perception might be true. Preston explains what moral perception is, and also explains why it’s an idea worth defending. What do you think? Send us a comment or a voice memo to: examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics. You can also find us on Instagram @examiningethicspodcast or on Facebook. Show Notes: Preston Werner Preston Werner, “Moral Perception without (Prior) Moral Knowledge“ Preston Werner, “Moral Perception and the Contents of Experience“ Our own resident ethics expert, Andy, also defends the idea of moral perception! Moral facts and moral realism Moral knowledge How some philosophers think about perception PEA Soup hosted an online discussion of Preston’s “Moral Perception without (Prior) Moral Knowledge” David Faraci, “A Hard Look at Moral Perception“ Implicit Bias Prindle Institute ethics scholarships Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Music used in this episode (in order of appearance): “The Zeppelin” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Borough” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com The post 27: Perceiving Morality with Preston Werner appeared first on Examining Ethics.

26mins

28 Feb 2018

Rank #5

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Ethics Education with Thomas Wartenberg and Chris Robichaud

We often take for granted the active process of learning about ethics and morality, so today’s show focuses on the source of ethics education: the educators themselves. We hear from two superstar teachers: Chris Robichaud is a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School with an interest in creating moral simulations for education, and Thomas Wartenberg is the creator of the Teaching Children Philosophy program and website. Both share their ideas on learning philosophy and ethics, fiction, and more. Contact us at examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics. Follow us on Instagram @examiningethicspodcast. You can also find us on Facebook. For the episode’s transcript, click here. Shownotes Thomas WartenbergTeaching Children Philosophy – a website that provides modules and courses for teaching kids philosophy through picture booksBig Ideas for Little Kids – Tom’s bookChris RobichaudChris’s TwitterChris’s TedTalk on moral simulations Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for designing our logo. “Lahaina” by Blue Dot SessionsFrom sessions.blueCC BY-NC 4.0 To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com. The post Ethics Education with Thomas Wartenberg and Chris Robichaud appeared first on Examining Ethics.

20mins

26 Jun 2019

Rank #6

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31: Exploring Intellectual Property Rights with Adam Moore

We all interact with intellectual property on a daily basis, and you probably already have some general idea of what intellectual property is and why it might be an important thing to think about. But if you’re anything like us, you’ve never really thought beyond the surface. On this episode, we talk to intellectual property expert and philosopher Adam Moore to learn about some of the most important ethical issues related to intellectual property. Then, independent producer Sandra Bertin brings us the fascinating story of a fight for collective intellectual property rights in Guatemala. And we want to hear from you! Do you think we got intellectual property completely wrong? Do you have something to add to our discussion? Let us know! We’re going to start producing bonus episodes featuring your responses to the show. Just send a voice memo to us at examiningethics@gmail.com. If you’re shy about the sound of your voice, you can just send your thoughts in an old-fashioned email and we’ll read it on-air. However you share your thoughts, don’t forget to include your first name and where you’re from. Contact us at examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics. Follow us on Instagram @examiningethicspodcast. You can also find us on Facebook. Click here for the episode’s transcript! Show Notes: Adam Moore Adam Moore’s body of work on intellectual property Intellectual property You only have legal protection over intellectual property that is fixed in physical form Justifications for intellectual property: Utilitarianism Deontology Further justifications for intellectual property Common objections to intellectual property: Non-rivalrous argument Free speech argument Some more objections to intellectual property Copyright Act of 1976 (term of protection) Independent producer Sandra Bertin More on the National Movement of Mayan Weavers More on Angelina Aspuac Free Music Archive, a site that provides access to free, Creative Commons-licensed music Creative Commons Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Featured image from Library and Archives Canada. “The Zeppelin” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 Clips from “A Comic’s Life Radio” (originally aired on KCAA in Loma Linda, CA Friday, January 22, 2016.) “Are We Loose Yet” by Blue Dot Sessions (sections of this song have been looped) From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Lakeside Path” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Great Great Lengths” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com. The post 31: Exploring Intellectual Property Rights with Adam Moore appeared first on Examining Ethics.

24mins

27 Jun 2018

Rank #7

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25: What’s the Deal with Philosophers?

We’re talking about the culture and quirks of the world of moral philosophy on this episode. Specifically, we’re asking questions about the parts of the field of ethics and philosophy that confuse us the most. First, independent producer Sandra Bertin roams the streets of New York City, looking for people who can correctly define moral philosophy jargon. Then, producer Christiane Wisehart sits down with our resident ethics expert Andy and another ethicist, Emily McWilliams, to ask them some questions she’s always had about the world of ethics and philosophy. What do you think? Send us a comment or a voice memo to: examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics. Follow us on Instagram @examiningethicspodcast. You can also find us on Facebook. Click here for the episode’s transcript! Show Notes: Sandra Bertin Jargon Quiz Show Moral relativism Nonmaleficence Naturalistic fallacy Contractarian ethics Emily McWilliams Why do philosophers use Latinate language all the time? Prima facie A priori Why do ethicists always use weird cases like the trolley problem? Why are there so many men in philosophy? “Perception of philosophy as masculine” (Daily Nous) “In the Humanities, Men Dominate the Fields of Philosophy and History” (The Chronicle of Higher Education) Implicit bias and explicit bias Why aren’t ethicists any more moral than anyone else? Prindle Institute Ethics Scholarships at DePauw University Plato’s beard Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Music used in this episode (in order of appearance): “The Zeppelin” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 “Slotcar” by Podington Bear From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 3.0 “Floating Whist” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com The post 25: What’s the Deal with Philosophers? appeared first on Examining Ethics.

27mins

27 Dec 2017

Rank #8

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The Ethics of Privacy Online

We’ve long considered privacy on the internet to be a privilege we can freely give up, at no harm to ourselves. But in light of the recent Cambridge Analytic scandal, that perspective is beginning to change. Our resident ethics expert Andy explains why we should all protect our privacy online — for our own sakes as well as for others. Questions or comments? Send us an email or voice memo: examiningethics@gmail.com. You can also find us on Twitter (@examiningethics), Facebook, and Instagram (examiningethicspodcast). Download a copy of the transcript here! Shownotes: Cambridge Analytica explainer Target example Recommended actions for protecting your privacy online Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Music used in this episode: “Master” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 The post The Ethics of Privacy Online appeared first on Examining Ethics.

14mins

24 May 2018

Rank #9

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23: Frankenstein and His Creation: Who’s the Real Monster?

Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein introduced the world to archetypes we’re still familiar with: the mad scientist and his terrifying creation. But the novel is more than just a horror classic. It also asks questions about the ethics of scientific and technological innovation–questions that we still struggle with today. On this episode, we explore one of these questions: is it wrong for scientists and innovators to work or create in isolation? First, we introduce you to “sociability,” an important, behavior-shaping idea in the scientific community of the nineteenth century. Then, we discuss whether scientists and innovators working today have similar ethical obligations. We cover things like the importance of transparency in the ethics of scientific and technological innovation. We also explore the value of democratic oversight to the world of science and technology. For this show, we partnered with Indiana Humanities, whose One State, One Story: Frankenstein programming invites Hoosiers to consider how Mary Shelley’s classic novel can help us think about the hard questions at the heart of scientific investigation. One State/One Story: Frankenstein is made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. (Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.) What do you think? Send us a comment or a voice memo to: examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics and Instagram @examiningethicspodcast. You can also find us on Facebook. Read or download the transcript of this episode here. Show Notes: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Jason Kelly Monique Morgan Mary Shelley’s interest in Luigi Galvani Grave robbery and body snatching in the nineteenth century Jean-Jacques Rousseau John Basl Bioethics International WalMart begins selling organic food Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Featured image credit: Giovanni Aldini,  Essai theorique…sur le galvanisme uploaded to Wikimedia by user FAE, CC BY 4.0. Music used in this episode (in order of appearance): “Partly Sage” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0 As the Creatures Unravel From Within/Vampyr” by thisquietarmy From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US “The Three Witches” by tara vanflower From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US  “Hickory Interlude” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0  “Tuck and Point” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 4.0  “Beautocracy” by Podington Bear From the Free Music Archive CC BY-NC 3.0 To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com The post 23: Frankenstein and His Creation: Who’s the Real Monster? appeared first on Examining Ethics.

34mins

25 Oct 2017

Rank #10

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36: Facing the Synthetic Age with Christopher Preston

We’re in an age known as the Anthropocene, an era in which humans have been the dominant force on earth. We’ve impacted the climate, we’ve shaped the land and in recent years, we’ve made changes on the atomic and genetic levels. Today’s guest, the philosopher Christopher Preston, discusses his book The Synthetic Age, which explores technologies that have the potential to radically reshape the world as we know it. We’re attempting to cool the surface of the earth by brightening clouds. We can introduce traits into wild species through gene drives and create entirely new organisms in the lab. While these new technologies are interesting and in many cases, potentially helpful, Christopher writes that we need to see them for what they are: a “deliberate shaping” of the earth and the organisms in it. He wants us to think carefully about what it might mean for humans to live in a world that they have intentionally manipulated. Contact us at examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics. Follow us on Instagram @examiningethicspodcast. You can also find us on Facebook. Click here for the episode’s transcript! Show Notes: Christopher Preston The Synthetic Age Explaining the Anthropocene “We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe” Synthetic biology at the Venter Institute Malaria is a public health crisis Gene drives, mosquitoes and malaria More on living in a post-wild world 2015 fatality at Yellowstone National Park “Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions” Joel Reynolds “Infinite Responsibility in the Bedpan: Response Ethics, Care Ethics, and the Phenomenology of Dependency Work“ Emmanuel Levinas Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Featured image “A nanotube” is by CSIRO, CC BY 3.0. “Zeppelin” by Blue Dot Sessions From sessions.blue CC BY-NC 4.0 “Soothe” by Blue Dot Sessions From sessions.blue CC BY-NC 4.0 “A Certain Lightness” by Blue Dot Sessions From sessions.blue CC BY-NC 4.0 “Heliotrope” by Blue Dot Sessions From sessions.blue CC BY-NC 4.0 To contact us, email examiningethics@gmail.com. The post 36: Facing the Synthetic Age with Christopher Preston appeared first on Examining Ethics.

28mins

30 Jan 2019

Rank #11