–Arts and letters for the modern age–

Cathode Ray Zone

–Arts and Letters for the Modern Age–

Daniel A. Kaufman

Loved, not Owed

Loved, not Owed

Philosophers sacralize moral obligation and maintain that moral considerations are always overriding of all others, but ordinary people (as well as philosophers in their ordinary lives) hold actions done from earnest desire in higher esteem than those done from duty....

Morality Everywhere?

Morality Everywhere?

Over the last few years, I’ve been having a certain kind of argument, over and over again. It always starts with feeling compelled to defend something that I really like and which I would have thought it quite normal to like against emphatic moral criticisms from...

Caring and Catering

Caring and Catering

As I was nearing retirement, I found myself in an exchange on social media with several philosophers on the subject of conversations between ethical vegans and meat eaters about the rightness or wrongness of eating meat. The following remarks by one of the...

On Our Use of the Moral Idiom

On Our Use of the Moral Idiom

An unpopular teen – call her “D” – is in her high school cafeteria, eating alone. Several other girls taunt and humiliate her, to the point that she bursts into tears and begs them to cease their torments, crying, “You’re hurting my feelings, please stop!” What would...

Reasons, Causes and Social Science

Reasons, Causes and Social Science

This is a much-discussed topic in philosophy, and a number of classics inform my views here, including: Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (1949); Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (1953); Peter Winch, The Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to...

Intuition and Morals

Intuition and Morals

I want to say a few things about morality and intuition and the relationship between the two. One is that some variety of what is commonly called “moral intuitionism” must be true; that is, if there are such things as moral obligations and duties, however conceived....