A conversation with Prof. Jason Thibodeau – Episode 22

The coronavirus outbreak: How Jesus or Mother Teresa would act vs. how most people do act. Are we obligated to do what is ideal? Should unrealistic ideals be ideals? Ought implies can. Giving lip service to selflessness as an ideal without really believing it: a tension in many people’s view. The moral and the practical. How to assess practicality. Is practicality a purely relative issue? Or is it objective? The meaning of “objective.” Is there an objective standard of the good? Of what’s worth pursuing? Ayn Rand’s view vs. intrinsicism and subjectivism. Are there intrinsic oughts? What one ought to do understood as what one has most reason to do. Is pleasure an intrinsic good? Is it ever good to avoid pleasure? The pleasure/experience machine. Would you do anything to get pleasure? Morality as relativized to something’s nature. Political implications of ethical views. The nature of a society as dependent on a notion of what is “normal.” What’s best for the world as a dependent on what’s best for individuals. Is pleasure valuable apart from life? Does my own pleasure matter the most? Does “what matters” depend on there being an agent to whom “what matters” matters? Can pleasure be a value apart from its being experienced? Selves and values across time, and how this relates to Galen Strawson’s, Buddhist, and Hindu views, and to valuing others. Is hunger in itself reason-giving? Experiencing pleasure while believing one doesn’t deserve it or that it isn’t valuable—is that coherent? ( 2 hrs 46 min. )

Selfishness and Indian philosophy – Episode 21

Is Indian philosophy anti-selfishness? Aamir’s view of selfishness and Ayn Rand. Indian philosophy/religion versus personal desires and material possessions, and Aamir’s view of this. Buddha, Lord Krishna, and Lord Rama. Parallels to, and differences with, Christianity. The “middle path” vs. asceticism. Aamir’s view of the ego. Jesus and Mother Teresa. Psychological egoism, and a possible counterexample; selfishness and the long-run, and weakness of will cases. ( 1 hr 1 min. )