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Do We Have a Moral Sense?

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2016

Smith explains some fundamental tenets of the moral sense school of ethics, especially as found in the writings of Francis Hutcheson.

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Values and Facts

by George H. Smith on Aug 5, 2016

Smith discusses axiology (the study of value) and David Hume’s celebrated argument about “is” and “ought.”

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Why Should I Be Moral?

by George H. Smith on Jul 15, 2016

Smith explains how questions like “Why should I be rational?” and “Why should I be moral?” involve a bait and switch tactic.

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Neo-Thomism and the Virtue of Reasonableness

by George H. Smith on Jul 8, 2016

Smith explains the value of Neo-Thomistic books for libertarians and Randians, and what is meant by the virtue of reasonableness.  

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Some Basic Problems in Ethics

by George H. Smith on Jul 1, 2016

Smith explores the nature of belief, knowledge, ethics, the difference between moral and prudential decisions, and some ideas about virtue.

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Belief and Moral Judgment

by George H. Smith on Jun 24, 2016

Should we apply moral judgments, such as “immoral,” to beliefs per se? Smith begins his discussion of this difficult problem.

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Immanuel Kant on War and Peace

by George H. Smith on Jun 20, 2016

Smith discusses some of Kant’s ideas about the moral, political, and practical aspects of perpetual peace.

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Immanuel Kant on Spontaneous Order

by George H. Smith on Jun 10, 2016

Smith explains Kant’s notion of the “unsocial sociability” of human nature, and how these antagonistic tendencies generate human progress.

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Immanuel Kant on Property Rights

by George H. Smith on May 6, 2016

Smith discusses how Kant used his theory of property rights to justify government, and how he distinguished physical possession from rightful ownership.

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Immanuel Kant, the Social Contract, and the State

by George H. Smith on Apr 29, 2016

Smith explains how Robert Paul Wolff and Immanuel Kant used the same principle of moral autonomy to reach opposite conclusions about the legitimacy of the state.

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Immanuel Kant and the Natural Law Tradition

by George H. Smith on Apr 15, 2016

Smith discusses Kant’s attempt to justify objective moral principles and his views on when the use of coercion is morally proper.

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Some Personal Reflections on Ayn Rand

by George H. Smith on Apr 1, 2016

Smith discusses some good and bad influences that Ayn Rand’s ideas had on his own intellectual development.

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Ayn Rand on Aristotle

by George H. Smith on Mar 4, 2016

Smith examines some of Rand’s claims about the beneficial influence of Aristotle’s ideas on the course of Western civilization.

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On the Influence of Ideas

by George H. Smith on Feb 26, 2016

Smith discusses the issue of whether we should hold a philosopher responsible for the beliefs of those followers who agree with him.