Show

Are Some People Better Than Others?

Week of: 
December 2, 2012
What is it: 

Egalitarian principles play an important role in our moral and political discourse. Yet there’s no doubt that some people are smarter, stronger, or more talented in certain respects than others. So was Thomas Jefferson wrong to think that all men are created equal? Might we reasonably think that some people are better than others? If so, should the “elite” be treated differently? Should we, for example, find immoral acts committed by a great artist less reprehensible than the same acts committed by a common person? John and Ken level the playing field with Thomas Hurka from the University of Toronto, author of The Best Things In Life: A Guide To What Really Matters.

Thomas Hurka, Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto

Get Philosophy Talk

Radio

Sunday at 10am (pacific) on KALW 91.7 FM Local Public Radio, San Francisco

Podcast

Individual downloads via CDBaby and iTunes. Multipacks and The Complete Philosophy Talk via iAamplify

John Perry and Ken Taylor

Continue the Conversation

Sidebar Menu

Upcoming Shows

  • May 8 : Affirmative Action - Too Little or Too Much?
    Addressing our nation’s history of racial injustice can be a truly backbreaking endeavor. Race-based affirmative action is usually thought of as one...
  • May 15 : When Is It Wrong to Save a Life? Lessons from the Trolley Problem
    A trolley is approaching a track junction, and you happen to be standing by the switch. If you do nothing, the trolley will kill a number of innocent...
  • May 22 : Altered States
    Aldous Huxley explains his conception of the brain as a "reducing valve" of consciousness in his provocative book, The Doors of Perception...
  • May 29 : The Moral Lives of Animals
    From Aristotle and Kant to Hume and Darwin, philosophers and scientists have long denied the idea that animals are capable of acting for moral...
  • June 5 : Life as a Work of Art
    We know what it means for a painting to be beautiful. But what about a life? Like great works of art, great people exhibit style, originality, and...

Support Philosophy Talk

DONATE TODAY

Philosophy Talk relies on the support of listeners like you to stay on the air and online. Any contribution, large or small, helps us produce intelligent, reflective radio that questions everything, including our most deeply-held beliefs about science, morality, culture, and the human condition. Make your tax-deductible contribution now through Stanford University's secure online donation page. Thank you for your support, and thank you for thinking!