Philosophy in Action



    Posts : 61
    Join date : 2013-08-26

    Philosophy in Action

    Post by Dinwar on Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:51 pm

    I suppose this is the appropriate place to plug a blog/podcast on philosophy that I really enjoy.

    Dr. Diana Hsieh has become one of my favorite philosophers. She's found a way to be an Objectivist without being obnoxious (which has, ironically, gotten her into trouble with some Objectivists). Her podcast isn't about Objectivism, however; it's about practical applications of ethical philosophy. It's kind of like "Dear Abby" and those types of colums, but the analysis is MUCH more in-depth and technical. When was the last time you heard "Dear Abby" give a criticism of Aristotle? And the podcast doesn't focus on Objectivism. It did earlier, but she's moved more and more away from answering questions about Objectivism and towards answering practical ethical questions. She often gives arguments from competing ethical schools, and demonstrates why she thinks the stance she's chosen is the right one. It's not always terribly in-depth, but it's an hour-long show with less than 15 minutes devoted to each question, typically; what can you do, you know?

    I don't always agree with Dr. Hsieh. She's an advocate of the Paleo Diet, for example, which I consider bad science (my ancestors evolved to eat wheat; you can't say that wheat isn't food because we didn't evolve to eat it without ignoring a few thousand years of my past). And on a few issues she takes a stand that I don't agree with. That said, I can respect her opinion. It's typically very well thought-out and informed, and even if she's wrong she'll be wrong in a way that will help both of us learn. Often figuring out why something is wrong is the best way to advance one's knowledge (there are paleontologists who have made careers asking obviously wrong questions that take whole new ways of analzying data to disprove). I like to think that our disagreements are the type where we can sit down with some beer or wine and discuss the issues in an engaging and frankly fun way, rather than the typical internet disagreement which can only end in a flame-war.

    If you download the podcast you'll hear this pretty frequently, but the podcast is free. Sounds weird for an Objectivist to give something away, but she actually provided a fairly good analysis of this question at one point. She does ask for donations, but doesn't require them. I myself have not donated; that said, I do try to plug the podcast to anyone I think will be open to listenting to it. I also have absolutely no connection to this podcast. I've once submitted a question (which she answered on-air! It's the one about how one should deal with experts, if you're curious), and that's about it. I say that to emphasize that I'm honestly just passing along a fantastic podcast that I think many here will find very entertaining.

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