Philosophy & Critical Thinking Archives – Values of the Wise

Philosophy & Critical Thinking


The Virtue of Liberalism (V&E Chapter #7)

liberalism October 18th, 2017

The following look at liberalism is an excerpt from the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom, taken from the name of an Internet-based talk radio show I did in times past. The topic of chapter seven is literally entitled “Liberalism.” My unique and seasoned partner in dialogue is noted author and philososopher, Steven Law, Ph.D. His words are indicated by the initials S.L, and mine are J.M. For paragraphs with no initials, assume they are a continuation of the speaker who was speaking in the previous paragraph. I highlight words having to do with values and virtues by placing them in boldface type.

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Healthcare: Comparing the U.S. to the Leaders

healthcare October 15th, 2017

I came across an article that is so good, I have to take from it liberally. If the New York Times is miffed and wants me to take it down, sure, of course I will. But in the meantime, you will learn a lot about healthcare!  Basically, in this article, the authors, Aaron Carroll and Austin Frakt opine about two-way matchups between eight different countries when it comes to the healthcare systems they have in place to insure and care for the health of their respective citizens. This is like a round-robin tournament comparing the strengths and weaknesses of various healthcare systems to each other. The article does go into more detail, and is worth a read if you’re that interested. Let the games begin!

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Politics: Interview w/ Arianna Huffington (V&E6)

politics October 15th, 2017

The following is an excerpt from the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom, taken from the name of an Internet-based talk radio show I did in times past. The topic of chapter six is “Morality Applied to Politics.” My two impressive partners in dialogue are noted author and thought leader Arianna Huffington and progressive economics, politics, and philosophy expert, David Callahan, Ph.D. Discussed are progressive politics, morality in politics, government, ethics, and responsive government.

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Caring, Empathy, Love, Moral Development (V&E5)

moral development October 10th, 2017

The following is an excerpt from the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom, taken from the name of an Internet-based talk radio show I did in times-past. The topic from chapter five is “Relationships and Social Policy That Foster Moral Development and Caring.” My two impressive partners in dialogue are psychotherapist and author Marianne Preger-Simon, Ed.D. and noted philosopher and professor, Nel Noddings, Ph.D. Concepts we try to elucidate in our engaging conversation include moral development, care, caring, love, maturation, socio-emotional development, nurturance, empathy, morality, character, and responsibility.

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Contrary Notions: Michael Parenti Quotes

Michael Parenti quotes October 5th, 2017

The following are Michael Parenti quotes which I took from his wonderful book, Contrary Notions. It is expensive, but so is organic produce and beef from free-range cattle. And that is how I think of Michael Parenti: the cream of the crop. An independent scholar, he is an inspiration to me. His writings are clear, compelling, and careful. He is a liberal luminary, and I’m proud to present to you a sampling of Michael Parenti quotes from Contrary Notions and other sources as well.

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The Economic Justice (and Faults) of Capitalism

capitalism October 4th, 2017

This blog is the essay I submitted for my class on economic justice, and is entitled: The Case for, and Critique of, Capitalism as an Economically Just System. I take the position, as required, that capitalism is indeed the most just of all the economic systems. In the last section, however, I critique it. It might be confusing, then, what I personally think. Well, read the blog if you are interested in a paean to and critique of capitalism, and see if you can determine where exactly I stand.

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Quotations About Doubt and Skepticism

quotations about doubt September 28th, 2017

In the interview I conducted with the author of Doubt: A History, Jennifer Michael Hecht, many great quotations about doubt found their way into the book chapter. She is erudite and a great exponent of philosophy and literature, but quotations about doubt by great minds throughout the ages aptly supplement the discussion.

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The Case for Capitalism

capitalism September 27th, 2017

I am in a class this semester studying justice in re: to economics. That is, How do we know a given system (or aspects of capitalism, for example) are just? Meaning, right and justifiable. Libertarian capitalism has really been cooking since about 1980 in the United States. What is it all about? As Murray Rothbard put it: “The central thrust of the libertarian thought is to oppose any and all aggression against the property rights of individuals in their own persons and in the material objects they have voluntarily acquired.” Sounds pretty attractive. Even more inarguable is Richard Epstein’s characterization: “All people are not equally driven, but when it comes to the use of power, those who have excessive amounts of self-interest are apt to be the most influential – and the most dangerous.” So, is libertarian capitalism (free-market or laissez-faire capitalism) above reproach? Let me first try to at least lobby for it. I present three arguments in favor of capitalism (perhaps more specifically, a libertarian version of capitalism) and some quotations for your consideration, followed by a critique.

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A Life of Integrity and Meaning (V&E-1)

integrity and meaning September 25th, 2017

Let’s talk about the sphere of ethics: in the living room, the bedroom, the boardroom, the marketplace, media, politics, etc. I feel like you can’t be a bad person in some arena – say, work – and then come home and, all of a sudden, you’re an upstanding individual because you are nice with your family. The Nazis did this, after all. Drs. Kathleen Brooks and Gary E. Kessler, both authors, and a psychotherapist and a professor, respectively, were interviewed by me about the way to live a life of integrity and meaning – and why one should do so.

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Patriotism: Liberal & Conservative Viewpoints

patriotism September 24th, 2017

Colin Kaepernick has done what many an African American has done in America’s long and tumultuous and somewhat ignominious history: made us all look at the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and centuries of legal precedence in a new light. He has an outstanding foil in the vacuous President of the United States, I am ashamed to say. Both representatives of polar-opposite points of view tout patriotism – though of a very different stripe. It’s an interesting, critical, and telling public debate that I suggest we all weigh in on. At best, we can progress toward higher levels of legal, societal, and emotional development if we accept America’s liabilities and mistakes and move forward with dignity and grace.

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