• Certainly Absurd

    Certainly Absurd

    …If structuring aspects of our lives around beliefs that could be mistaken and then actually being mistaken about them is what makes a life (more) absurd, then it is not clear that being mistaken about the emotional and cognitive abilities or AIs or their moral status will lead to more lives that are absurd, or…

  • Are You a Fan of More Bands Than You Think?

    Are You a Fan of More Bands Than You Think?

    What’s the minimum percentage of a musician’s recordings you must really like to identify as a fan of that musician? (Let’s say you “really like” a piece of music if you ever desire to hear it because you like it—not just that you’d be okay with hearing it if it happened to be playing.) When…

  • The Moral Dimensions of Academic Philosophy

    The Moral Dimensions of Academic Philosophy

    “Courting controversy is instrumentally valuable towards the production of knowledge and other goods philosophy might bring about, but other things are valuable, too… So while I want to say, ‘yes, go for controversy,’ and ‘yes, have institutions protect the academic freedom and ability of philosophers to discuss controversial matters,’… there are ways to do this…

  • Philosophers on the Internet

    Philosophers on the Internet

    I had a great time earlier this month discussing philosophy and philosophers on the internet with Leigh Johnson, Richard Lee, and Charles Peterson on their podcast, Hotel Bar Sessions (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Audible, and everywhere else). This team knows how to put together a well-produced show and structure a group conversation that makes for a good listen, and I think a…

  • Grandstanding: What Kind of Problem Is It?

    Grandstanding: What Kind of Problem Is It?

    The Cleveland Humanities Festival is focused on the topic of public discourse and for one of its sessions brought on Brandon Warmke, a philosopher at Bowling Green State University, and me, to discuss “moral grandstanding.” Warmke is the co-author (with Justin Tosi) of the book, Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk. Grandstanding, as…

  • What is this AI Bot’s Moral Philosophy?

    What is this AI Bot’s Moral Philosophy?

    Delphi is an AI ethics bot, or, as its creators put it, “a research prototype designed to model people’s moral judgments on a variety of everyday situations.” Visitors can ask Delphi moral questions, and Delphi will provide you with answers.

  • Expert Moral Advice: A Dialogue

    Expert Moral Advice: A Dialogue

    Moral philosophers sometimes take it to be within the domain of their expertise to tell other people what, morally, they should do. But is moral advice something that moral philosophers are experts in? In a recent presentation, I argued that there are several reasons for thinking that being an expert in moral philosophy does not…

  • Enemies with Benefits Mini-Talk

    Enemies with Benefits Mini-Talk

    “Rival Benefit” is the phenomenon by which different parties make each other better off in virtue of a disagreement between them. It’s named after Diego Rivera’s painting, “The Rivals” (1931), whose history happens to exemplify it.

  • Complementing Defenses of Academic Freedom with Understanding & Advice

    Complementing Defenses of Academic Freedom with Understanding & Advice

    Shoring up the defenses of academic freedom with organizations that aim to level the playing field between threatened faculty and their employers is a good idea…That said, it seems that something is missing from these efforts.

  • Value of Philosophy at Brain in a Vat

    Value of Philosophy at Brain in a Vat

    Brain in a Vat is a philosophy podcast and video channel hosted by Jason Werbeloff and Mark Oppenheimer. They recently invited me on to talk about the value of philosophy…

  • Nozick’s Cavemen

    Nozick’s Cavemen

    Sometimes I come across a piece of writing and think to myself: “This. If I could just get enough people to read this.” The thought is usally followed by imagining a kind of widespread epiphany that improves something, be it a social or political issue, a way of thinking, quality of life, etc.

  • Discussing Disagreement at The Stoa

    Discussing Disagreement at The Stoa

    “The success of a disagreement is not its resolution.” That was part of my answer to one of the questions I was asked during my guest appearance at The Stoa last week.