Fiction and Philosophy

When you think of philosophy, and in particular, how to do philosophy, you probably think of rhetorical tools and principles like reason, logic, and truth. These are things that guide us in our quest to obtain and analyze knowledge, and when we have knowledge that we think is true on the basis of logic and… Continue reading Fiction and Philosophy


Better than we Are

Aristotle was the first (known) philosopher to posit that we can become better people. He thought we could do this by modifying our actions in such a way that acting morally became an unconscious habit, and that we could know what morality was by watching paragons of virtue and imitating them. Now, the interesting things (for today's… Continue reading Better than we Are

Making Philosophy Accessible

Welcome, all. Today's post is going to be a little different from what you're used to, because today I am not going to teach you about philosophy. Instead, I'm going to talk about what philosophers can do to make philosophy accessible to non-academics. Why? Because I think philosophy is important, and because I think the… Continue reading Making Philosophy Accessible

Generating AI Values and Norms

I was recently recommended the following request for input* on the ethical design of AI systems and various corollary technologies. Some of the things that are included in this treatise (and it is well worth the read!) are things that I've talked about before: accountability, transparency, bias, etc. However, one of the really interesting ideas… Continue reading Generating AI Values and Norms

Sci-Fi Syndrome and Government Policy

As some of you may know, I am a huge sf nerd. I say "sf" instead of "sci-fi" because of how much of a huge nerd I am. I think in many ways, sf, or at least the sf I love best is often a good way to do philosophy- and in particular, moral philosophy!… Continue reading Sci-Fi Syndrome and Government Policy

Dirty Little Secrets: How paranoia about the risks of technology reveals our existing prejudices

So you may have realized by now, but one of the things I find most fascinating about ethics is not just high-level discussion about how we value things, or what we should value, but also how we apply those values and make decisions about things we haven't had enough time to make informed moral opinions about.… Continue reading Dirty Little Secrets: How paranoia about the risks of technology reveals our existing prejudices

Robot Slaves and the Misnomer of Human Rights

Human Rights. We all have them. We think they are important. We wage battles in court, in the public sphere, even in our personal lives because of how passionately we feel about these things that we believe are intrinsic privileges we should have on the basis of our humanness. But is it our humanness that… Continue reading Robot Slaves and the Misnomer of Human Rights