Do I Look Pleased?

Intro The question of the nature of well-being tends to raise a few standard responses. Among the most prevalent are desire satisfaction theory, pluralism, and hedonism. Each of these presents a unique argument about the foundational basis of what makes a person better or worse off. The necessity of the question, however, is clear and […]

Why “Good Art” tends to be Art with Goodness

Introduction   In examining the ethical criticisms of art, we are left with a curious puzzle, and one that deserves some attention. Why is art that manifests ethically reprehensible attitudes generally not perceived to be “good art”? Or perhaps, why does “good art” tend to be art that has goodness. While each of these terms, in […]

Ordinary Language and Moral Markets

The tradition of western analytic philosophy has instilled a deep seeded necessity for precise language. Because of this, Philosophers concern themselves with description, precision, and meaning as much (if not more) than the general theories they propose. After all, what good is a general theory if the language is so imprecise that it renders the […]

A Philosophical Short Story

She was sitting in her apartment, a fourth-floor walkup, alone with little more than her thoughts to keep her company. Chief among these, the thoughts that is, were her recollections of an event she had witnessed earlier that day. It was an odd day, but she could recall so few days that couldn’t be considered […]

Educational Endogamy in the US

Introduction It seems clear that inequality in the United States has been growing. According to the World Bank website, the GINI index score for the US has risen from 38 in 1991 to 41 in 2019. It further seems that the mobility availability to people has become more stratified in decades past. Classical institutions that […]

Income as a Predictor of Party Identification

Introduction The assumptions we make about the way the world works often go unchecked. We rely on extrapolation and some logic to lead us to conclusions that seem reasonable, but in actuality, the counterfactual might be just as likely. This quarter we have developed some of the data analytics skills to delve into the data […]

Currency in Anarchy

In his book The Problem of Political Authority Michael Huemer presents a world that appears to provide the same goods and services as the one in which we currently live but does so without the use of a coercive paternalistic government. This, he argues, is a better system than the one we have now because […]

Plausibility of the Original Position: Rationality and Risk Aversion

In his book, A Theory of Justice, John Rawls develops a conception of a just society. He uses philosophical tools to illustrate a just ordering of society and what, if any, combination of institutions would constitute justice. The foundational philosophical tool that Rawls uses is his version of the Original Position (OP). The OP allows […]

The “Same Shop, Same Maker” Critique of the BIV Argument

The Brain-In-A-Vat argument (biv), which can be traced back to Descartes as the Evil Demon Argument, is a skeptical argument which says that you don’t know that you have hands. The biv argument seeks to disprove all elements of the material world, with hands being the most basic example. The Evil Demon Argument seeks to […]