October 2014

Philosophy as Therapy

A lot of philosophers I know need therapy.  I can’t think of too many I know I would want to be my therapist, however.  What do philosophers know about therapy?  But leave philosophers aside for a minute.  How about philosophy itself?

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Freedom, Blame, and Resentment

We blame people when they do bad things. Blame often leads to or is accompanied by resentment, especially when we are directly and personally harmed by another person. For example, some reckless jerk is darting in and out of traffic. He cuts me off, causing my car to spin out of control. Everybody is likely to blame him for being so reckless. Blame isn’t necessarily a personal thing. But as the directly harmed party, I am also liable to feel something more personal -- an intense and visceral resentment toward him.

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Corporations and the Future of Democracy

There are lots of ways that corporations threaten democracy. But they’re all, I think, rooted in one basic concept -- the idea of limited liability. That’s the concept that the individuals behind a corporation can shield themselves from full financial responsibility for risks they take. The thinking is, if people can protect themselves from full liability, they’ll be willing to take greater risks and try new things. Limited liability encourages creativity and innovation. But limited liability is a double-edged sword.

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