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Reflections on Kant and John Stewart Mill

It’s interesting to read John Stewart Mill. He is very direct and very clear, a refreshing contrast to Kant. Mill had the advantage of writing well after Kant, and being familiar with his work. Mill appears philosophically and temperamentally opposed to Kant. Where Kant wanted to discard all practical and outer considerations and reason his way directly to morality, Mill quickly discards the very approach and goes at...

Can animals possess individual virtue?

I really don’t think virtue can be applied to individual dogs, the key reason being their lack of self-consciousness. While non-human species may have certain rights (a question I don’t really want to get too far into here) I will agree with most traditional thinkers that virtue and morality are not possible to them (Aristotle took this as almost self-evident, going past it rapidly in Book 1, Chapter 13 of his Nicomachean...

Social Justice in Plato and Aristotle

Was either Plato or Aristotle a crusader for social justice? Plato and Aristotle (or any other ancient Greek) were not pursuing “social justice” in the activist sense. Could they respond, they would claim that justice is justice wherever it is to be found, and injustice is injustice in any context, and to look specifically at “social justice” in the sense of activism would be to miss the point. Aristotle, who wrote after...

Are collective moral constructs for the masses an ...

Certainly the statement that collective moral constructs for the masses is an unattainable goal stays true for any attempt to impose morals from outside. However, morality when not imposed, could result in a construct collectively shared by a mass of people. In fact, you could argue that any common culture includes a moral construct shared by a large group of people. The real question then moves to the origin of such...

Philosophical thoughts

I’ve been taking some classes, including an ethics class. The reading has been fascinating, and I was required to write a few things. Some of that seems interesting enough to stand alone, so I’ll be posting it here.

What scientists believe, but can’t prove V

Continuing from The Edge, the fundamental question, what is a human being? Is addressed inadvertently by: DANIEL GILBERT Psychologist, Harvard University In the not too distant future, we will be able to construct artificial systems that give every appearance of consciousness-systems that act like us in every way. These systems will talk, walk, wink, lie, and appear distressed by close elections. They will swear up and down...