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Thomas Nadelhoffer
Charleston, SC
I live and teach philosophy in Charleston, SC.
Recent Activity
For today's post (which is the last of the semester), I would like you to discuss your thoughts on quarantine. First, what counts as quarantine in your eyes? Is it ever justified? If so, why? If not, why not? Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For this final weekly chat, I would like you to think about the future! More specifically, what do you think America should do moving forward to improve our response to future pandemics? Despite our immense wealth and some of the leading scientists in the world, America has performed worse than... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today's post, I would like for you to share your opinions concerning vaccines. Possible questions for you to discuss include: Were you skeptical of vaccines prior to the pandemic? Are you skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccines? Do you think the College can or should require that all students be... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today, I want you to discuss what Shaun Ossei-Owusu calls the "politics of disposability." What does he mean by this phrase and what are your thoughts about what he says about the phenomenon? Per usual, this will remain open for 48 hours. Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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In class this week, we are focusing on rationing care when resources are scarce. Usually, when discussing this issue, we are looking at rationing within a country--e.g., should the US ration care? But there is also an international element--e.g., what do wealthy countries owe poor countries in the context of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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Today in class, we are talking about rationing care. I am curious to hear what you think about it (especially after our discussion). Do you think rationing care is ethical? If so, how should we decide who gets care and who does not? If not, would you use a lottery... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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Today we had an informal discussion about masks. But for this post, I want you discuss the related issue of quarantine. There are medical cases where quarantine seems appropriate--e.g., you are returning home from overseas and it turns out you have contracted a highly contagious and lethal virus (e.g., Ebola).... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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Today, we watched this documentary in class. I thought it would be nice to hear your thoughts especially when it comes to differences and similarities with our current pandemic. Per usual, this will remain open for 48 hours. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For this week's chat I want you to discuss what you take to be the two most interesting legal, moral, and/or political issues that have arisen during the pandemic. Have the issues you mentioned touched your life personally? This chat will remain open until next Monday. Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today, I want you to share your thoughts about Hardin's "Lifeboat Ethics." First, explain the metaphor and then say whether or you think it's a helpful metaphor. If not, why not? If so, why? Per usual, this post will remain open for 48 hours. Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today, I would like you to discuss the article by Singer. First, do you agree with the two fundamental assumptions? Second, do you agree that we're obligated to help the drowning child? Finally, do you agree that we are obligated to help the starving child (far away)? Per usual,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For starters, since I am posting this a day late, it will run through next Monday (3/29). For the rest of the semester, I will stick to this new Monday to Monday format. That said, for today I want you to discuss what you think about our obligations (or lack... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today, I want you to discuss Rawls' views about what constitutes a just society. More specifically, I want you to imagine that you are in the original position. How would you structure society in terms of safety nets, redistribution, etc.? Per usual, this post will close in 48 hours. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today, I want you to discuss Nozick's entitlement theory. On his view--which captures a common theme among American conservatives--is that taxation is tantamount to theft. Why does he think this and do you agree? Per usual, this post will close in 48 hours. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For this week's chat, I want you to discuss wealth redistribution (e.g., using the kind of progressive taxation we use to fund the government--including social programs for the elderly, disabled, and poor). In last week's chat, several of you suggested that redistribution per se is problematic. Do you think it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today, I want you to discuss what you took away from the discussion today. Here is the document I used to frame the issue of wealth inequality: Download Wealth Inequality By The Numbers And here is the original article by Norton and Ariely: Download Norton & Ariely Per usual,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today, I want you to discuss my paper on moral omnivorism. I don't want you to agree or disagree with me, which could be awkward for both of us :) Instead, I want you to say which, if any, of the arguments for the moral permissibility of eating meat... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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On Thursday, we are going to start discussing wealth inequality. For this week's chat, I would like you take a look at this document from Pew Research about six trends in wealth inequality in America. I would like you to take a look and let me know what you think... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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Today we discussed the piece by Hsiao. On his view, only rational agents are part of our moral community. Thus, because animals are not rational agents, they are not part of our moral community. Moreover, because they are not part of our moral communities their interests are always subservient to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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Rather than discussing Hsiao today as originally planned, we instead has an informal discussion about abortion. We used the passage last week of the SC Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act. See here for the full bill and here for an article about McMaster's having signed it into law. What... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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Last week, we read a piece by Singer. This week we read a piece by Hsiao defending meat-eating and a piece by me criticizing many of the arguments used to defend meat-eating. As was the case in the abortion debate, a lot seems to hang on how we think about... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today's post, I want you to discuss Singer's argument about animal welfare. On his view, the way we mistreat animals is the "last remaining form of [widely acceptable] discrimination." What does he mean? Moreover, do you agree with what he says about speciesism and how we treat animals? Per... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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This week in class we will start the section on animal welfare (with a focus on the morality of eating meat). For now, I want you to express your preliminary thoughts. Do you eat meat? If so, what are your reasons. If not, what are your reasons. Per usual, this... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today's post, I want you to discuss Marquis' argument that many (most?) abortions are immoral. First, very briefly summarize his Future Like Ours argument. Then, state whether or not you find it compelling and why. Per usual, this thread will remain open for 48 hours. Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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For today's post, I want you to discuss Warren's claim that fetuses are not persons. Your main goal is to succinctly describe the gist of her argument. Having laid it out, briefly state whether you find her argument compelling and why (or why not). Per usual, this thread will close... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2021 at PHIL 105: Contemporary Moral Issues
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