I've developed a "game" for young people that I'm calling “Real Life: This is not a Game,” a learning activity for young people about income and expenses, needs and wants and the jobs and careers needed to pay for daily life and beyond. While not quite philosophy, strictly speaking, it's very much related insofar as money-related concerns influence our lives so much, for better and worse. Any feedback is welcome!
Paper draft! Comments welcome on Dropbox [most current version] or Academia.edu or here or by email!
Subsistence Hunting & the Pursuit of Health:
Lessons for Animal
Rights-Based Vegan Advocacy For the Between the Species special issue in honor of Tom Regan.
I argue that if animal
experimentation is wrong, since it violates animals’ moral rights, then killing
animals for food is wrong also, even when
animals are the only available food source, and so subsistence hunting is
wrong. And if it is wrong to kill animals to stay alive, then it is also wrong
to kill animals to be healthy and feel well: if it’s wrong to kill animals to achieve
some prima facie more important good
(e.g., life), then it’s wrong to kill them for some prima facie comparably less important good (e.g., health). I
discuss these arguments’ implications for animal rights-based vegan advocacy,
insofar as some people claim that they don’t feel their best on vegan diets and
so their eating meat is morally justified.
I have been working on trying to get McGraw Hill to reduce the price of James and Stuart Rachels The Elements of Moral Philosophy textbook.
Allegedly, it might be available at a lower price ($48) if this ISBN is used: 9781307026900
If this works for you, let me know. I am trying to get them to set up some kind of way for it to be ordered online at this lower price.
Someone recently asked me how to have philosophical conversations or discussions. Here are some quick guidelines, focusing on philosophical discussions about moral issues:
You need to clearly identify a topic or issue. Sometimes that's easy, sometimes people "dance around" a topic -- raising related issues about a topic -- before getting an exact topic.
You need to identify a conclusion(s)about the topic. Sometimes you need to think about what various words in those conclusions mean: ask, "What do you mean?"
You need to identify a premise(s) or reason(s) given in favor of that conclusion. For many moral issues, at least one premise is often an empirical or scientific claim, and at least one premise is a moral principle, that is, a claim about when an action is wrong or not. Sometimes you need to think about what various words in those premises mean: ask, "What do you mean?"
4. Unstated Premises?
You need to identify an unstated premise(s) or reason(s) given in favor of that conclusion: these are part of the argument, but are sometimes not yet stated. (However, sometimes they are!) These premises need to be identified so the full argument is stated. Doing this is often called stating the argument in logically valid form. This handout and this video give guidance on doing that:
Once the full pattern of reasoning is stated, i.e., it is in logically valid form, you need to evaluate the argument as sound or not: are the premises true or false, supported by good evidence or not? If at least one premise is false, then the argument is sound and does not provide a good reason to accept the conclusion. You need to check the facts to see if any factual claims are true, and try to identify any strong counterexamples to any moral principles.
This process can and should be repeated with any and all premises given in favor of a conclusion, and for different conclusions and the premises given in their favor. You must focus on one and only one argument at a time.