November 2019

#Francis-on-Film: Parasite

Parasite, the new critically-acclaimed film by the South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, challenges audiences to probe social parasitism amidst growing inequality in a largely affluent country. Who exactly are the parasites? And what makes them parasites?

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Nonhuman Persons, Nonhuman Rights

Should some nonhuman animals be regarded as persons in the eyes of the law? And should animals so-regarded be allowed to sue in court to protect their legal rights? These are some of the questions we’re asking in this week’s show.

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Hobbes and the Absolute State

Shouldn’t citizens have a say in how they are governed? Or is that just a recipe for extremism, division, and war? Do we need a ruler with absolute power to maintain peace? This week we’re thinking about Thomas Hobbes and his views about citizenship and the state.

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A Puzzle About Sacred Values Part II

Classic theories of choice posit that our preferences are transitive. But in a recent blog, I wrote about how sacred values have the puzzling feature of violating transitivity. So how should we interpret the fact some people seem to violate transitivity, when it comes to sacred values?

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Why Not Change Your Core Self? Part II

If you could snap your fingers and all your tastes and preferences would change overnight, would you do it? In my last post, I considered two kinds of answer to this question, but neither seemed satisfying, because neither gave us any reason not to make the change.

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Sanctuary Cities

What gives a city the right to offer sanctuary to unauthorized immigrants? Can local or state government ever be justified in defying the laws of the nation? These are some of the questions we’re asking in this week’s show, recorded live in front of an audience at SF State University.

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