Self-Esteem and the Death of the Subject

I have written here repeatedly about the problems with person-oriented reactive attitudes and character skepticism. But recently I came across the work of the psychologist Albert Ellis, whose work is at the intersection of therapeutic psychology and philosophy. His work on self-esteem and person-oriented assessment suggests an interesting new direction for the general insight that we… Continue reading Self-Esteem and the Death of the Subject

Reflections on my Crime and Punishment Seminar

Old Ohio Penitentiary by J. Harris Day

  This semester I taught a course on crime and punishment, and in part out of competition with my colleague Seth Vannatta, I set out to give a final presentation on the dimensions of the course. This is the presentation I wrote. Introduction Our task was to explore the role of ethics in the law,… Continue reading Reflections on my Crime and Punishment Seminar

Naturalism and the Truth of Human Values

Peter Levine has been blogging on various aspects of truth recently: democracy in a “post-truth era,” issues in prediction, and now a piece on scientism: if all truths were scientific truths, we would be in deep trouble. We would then reject  any claims that science cannot support. For example, do all human beings have equal value or… Continue reading Naturalism and the Truth of Human Values

Status Emotions and Punishment

I haven’t written much about status emotions, recently, but I came across one of my favorite Facebook memes and remembered again how central it seems. I don’t endorse the misogyny here, but it perfectly describes the way that fundamental attribution bias transforms resentment into contempt, and thus leads, in my view, to both epistemic and… Continue reading Status Emotions and Punishment