Author: virtueandreason

Philosophy and Science

Within the past year, the famous scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson said of philosophers, “if you are distracted by your questions so that you can’t move forward, you are not being a productive contributor to our understanding of the natural world.” This is just one of many things he’s said to attack the merit of contemporary philosophy. He believes philosophy once added to our understanding of the natural world, but it no longer does. I disagree.

First, Tyson assumes philosophers only ask questions. Philosophers are definitely concerned with the “big questions” of life: what is the meaning of life, does God exist, what is consciousness, do we have free will, etc. Philosophers will always be concerned with such questions. But philosophers do not only ask questions; we also answer them.   (more…)

About This Blog

You can find out more about me in the About section, but I wanted to take a minute and say a bit about the blog. “Reason.” I plan to use arguments to defend various different positions. “Virtue.” Many of the positions I’ll be defending are relevant to how we ought to live our lives, morally. Not all, but many. Some will be more focused on philosophy more generally; some will be more personal. I might dabble in some religion (I am an atheist). I plan to stay away from politics, choosing instead to focus on policy.

I plan to write one post a week. Here are some upcoming topics to look forward to:

  • The redistribution of wealth does not lead to corruption
  • The effects of inequality on a society
  • The war on drugs
  • The prison system (private and public)
  • Nationalism is the new racism
  • The puzzle of psychopaths and the justice system
  • The default position on capital punishment should be the right to life
  • Against libertarianism: you have to be economically free before you can be politically free
  • Why polygamy should be legal
  • What should we expect of our future artificially intelligent beings?
  • Campaign finance reform
  • Should we watch porn?
  • Atheists believe in something

And the list goes on. Occasionally I’ll take a break to give a sort of introduction to different moral theories that are informing my conclusions. I suspect my schedule will often be interrupted by contemporary events. I’ll just roll with the punches on that one.

As always, I’m ready for a debate. Comment away in a constructive, and at the end of the day kind, way. Bullies will be deleted. Enjoy!