For previous series, see the list of all series.
For posts that are not part of a series, see the list of one-offs. The most recent are:
A few personal reflections on the ways that fathers shape their sons.
Moana explores three sources of identity: a role, a calling, and an inner voice. The movie internalizes the two external sources of identity by subordinating them to the voice inside, but this raises the question of what precisely the inner voice is.
In trying to be myself, should I turn inward or look externally? Pinocchio presents a vision of the self as something we strive for by turning to our conscience, which points us outward at morality.
In the wake of a fire in my apartment, I was torn between devastation and apathy when it came to thinking about the things that were ruined. The better response, however, is not materialism or stoicism, but faith.
As a conclusion to the series on desires, I look at a few of the key points from previous posts. The Bible’s accounts of fearing God and loving my neighbor tie the points together and explain why I should be moral in the face of my conflicting desires.
One reason I might be moral is because I have some good desires that overrule my problematic ones. Nel Noddings gives an answer along these lines to the question of moral motivation. In this fifth part of the series I examine her account of the ideal self as a person who is caring.
Basing morality upon desires is problematic, but if we do not do so, then we must explain why we should be moral. This fourth part of the series thinks about how we might motivate morality without appealing to desires, by looking at Immanuel Kant’s principle of autonomy.
If doing the right thing is not simply trying to satisfy everyone, then acting morally is different from acting on my desires. This third installment examines Immanuel Kant’s discussion of motives and the good will.
One way to think about desires is to try to satisfy everyone (or as many people as possible). This second part of the series considers whether John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism is a good approach to desires.
This first part of the series thinks about the way that desires can conflict between an individual and the majority in the society. It considers whether John Stuart Mill’s harm principle is a possible solution.