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:
In Frozen 2 Elsa hears a voice calling her to follow it. Should we understand this call as something that expands her identity by connecting her with something transcendent, or as something that points her inward and brings out what she already was? By combining both ideas, the movie’s answer is ambiguous.
Elsa’s story in Frozen involves both the expression of what is inside her as well as the harm she brings on others. How do these two threads fit together? The song “Let It Go” encapsulates the ambiguous advice offered by Frozen regarding the question of whether we should listen to our inner voice or to something external.
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.