May 2005

Evolutionary Psychology: A Defense -- Sort of!

It's amazing how divided opinions are about evolutionary psychology.    Some very fine philosophers and cognitive  scientists are  really big fans of  the genre.    Other equally fine philosophers and cognitive scientists appear to  see little of merit in it.   The philosopher of biology John Dupre, who was a guest on our show a few weeks back talking about genetic determinism, says the following about the  evolutionary psychology of sex and gender:

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Sex, Prostitution, and Well-lived Lives

Having sat with this topic for the last couple of weeks, I’m still pretty unsettled on my own final take on things. I’m pretty convinced -- I think -- that criminalizing prostitution – either on the supply side or on the demand side – is unworkable. I tend to side with those who think criminalization probably makes what is already a bad situation for many much worse.

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Prostitution

The American Heritage Dictionary defines prostitution as “the act or practice of engaging in sex acts for hire.” This definition may be a little obsolete. First, while people of my generation include such things as oral sex under the term “sex acts,” the term now is often restricted to sexual intercourse. Whether this is the effect of President Clinton’s use, or he was in fact simply very up-to-date, I do not know.

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Confucianism: Intelligent kindness

Posted by Paul Kjellberg The Master said, “At fifteen, I set my mind on learning. At thirty, I took my stand. At forty, I was free of doubts. At fifty, I understand heaven’s command. And at seventy, I could follow my heart’s desire without crossing the line.” (Analects 2.4)

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Kjellberg to Guest Blog

We at Philosophy Talk are pleased to announce that Paul Kjellberg who will be our on-air guest this coming week for a discussion  of Confucius and the philosophical heritage of ancient China, has agreed to guest blog on "Philosophy Talk: the Blog."  We are grateful to Paul for agreeing both to be our on-air guest and to help us extend the conversation to the blog sphere.  Please make Paul feel welcome here b

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Forgiveness Deserved, not Demanded

I admit to still being puzzled by the question why, when forgiveness is deserved, one can only request forgiveness and aren't really in a position to demand it. I thought I'd ponder that question just a little bit more in this post. My hunch is that what's wrong with demanding forgiveness, even when it's morally deserved, has to do with what I'll call the dialectical character of the relation between the forgiver and the to be forgiven.

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Forgiveness - the discussion continued....

Many thanks to all of you who called during Tuesday's Philosophy Talk (May 3). We very much appreciated your interest! There are a number of fascinating issues we touched upon, and some we did not. Among the latter is the relationship between interpersonal forgiveness and political forgiveness.

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To blog is to forgive?

In the movie “The Interpretor” Nicole Kidman stars as Silvia Broome. She grew up among the Ku, in the fictional nation of Matobo. When someone commits murder among the Ku, they are allowed to live for a year. Then they are dumped in a lake with their hands tied. The victim's family members must decide whether to plunge into the water and save them, or let them drown.

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Griswold to Guest Blog on Forgiveness

We at Philosophy Talk are pleased to announce that Charles Griswold, our guest for today's show on the topic of forgiveness,  has agreed to guest-blog.   It should be a fun show on a topic much discussed in religion and politics, but not much discussed by contemporary philosophers.   We are grateful to Charles for agreeing to appear on the show and also grateful to him for agreeing to guest blog.  Please make him feel welcome by commenting extensively on the threads he starts!

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