Ethics in Action Podcast


What is Social Democracy? A Conversation with Jeppe von Platz

Jeppe von Platz teaches philosophy at the University of Richmond. His research focuses on political philosophy, political economy, and the history of philosophy. He has published on questions of distributive justice, the status of economic rights, just war theory, how we should respond to systemic injustices, and Kant’s practical philosophy. Jeppe's book Theories of Distributive Justice: Who Gets What and Why will be coming out with Routledge this spring. In this episode we discuss his new project - on the nature and justifications of European style Social Democracy. 


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Philosophy and Our Understanding of Mental Disorders: A Conversation with Jennifer Radden

UMass Boston's Jennifer Radden has made numerous seminal contributions to the philosophy of psychiatry. She has just published an entry on Mental Disorders in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. We talk about how philosophy can help us think about mental health and disorders.  

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AI, Algorithms and the Post Human Future of Governance: A Conversation with J Hughes

How will the rise of AI change state and federal bureaucracies? Are AI mediated politics more democratic? More fair? What does post human governance look like?

James Hughes is a senior research fellow at the Applied Ethics Center at Mass Boston. He is a bioethicist and sociologist who serves as the associate provost for institutional research, assessment, and planning at UMass Boston. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago where he taught bioethics at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. Since then, he has taught health policy, bioethics, medical sociology, and research methods at Northwestern University, the University of Connecticut, and Trinity College. He is the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future (2004) and is the co-editor of Surviving the Machine Age: Intelligent Technology and the Transformation of Human Work (2017). In 2005 he co-founded the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) with Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, and since then has served as its executive director. Hughes serves as associate editor of the Journal of Evolution and Technology, and as co-founder of the Journal of Posthuman Studies. He is also a fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of Humanity+, the Neuroethics Society, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, and the Working Group on Ethics and Technology at Yale University, and served on the State of Connecticut's Regenerative Medicine Research Advisory Committee. He speaks on medical ethics, health care policy, and future studies worldwide. 

J will be giving a talk on this topic at UMass Boston on February 20th at 2PM. Please join us! email for details. 


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Should we rename Faneuil Hall? A Conversation with Dana Miranda

Faneuil Hall, one of Boston's most celebrated public spaces and tourist attractions, is named after Peter Faneuil - an 18th century merchant and slave trader. Nir Eisikovits and UConn's Dana Miranda discuss the debate around renaming Faneuil Hall and place it in the context of the national debate around problematic monuments and memorials - from Charlottesville to Yawkey Way. 

Dana Francisco Miranda  is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut and a Research Fellow at UMass Boston's Applied Ethics Center. His research is in political philosophy, Africana philosophy, and 19th century and contemporary European thought. His research includes examining the political and narrative role of monumentalization. In particular, he has analyzed the reconciliatory significance of the Verdun Monument, the mutable narratives of the Bunker Hill Monument, and the difficulties that arise when dealing with racist monuments. His dissertation investigates the philosophical significance of suicide, depression and well-being for members of the Africana Diaspora. He also currently serves as the secretary of graduate outreach and chair of architectonics for the Caribbean Philosophical Association.


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Kant’s Liberal International Order: A Conversation with Claudio Corradetti

Eisikovits and Corradetti discuss the relevance of Kant's celebrated essay "Towards Perpetual Peace"

Is peace a process to be constantly managed or an outcome? Why does Kant think that republicanism is conducive to peace? What's the best way to understand his call for creating a world state? Is that a concrete political proposal? A tool for assessing our own political behavior? In what ways is Kant a realist?

Claudio Corradetti is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata. He has written extensively on transitional justice and human rights theory.  




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No Ethics on Campus: A Conversation with James Keenan

Eisikovits and Keenan discuss the need to create a culture of ethics on college campuses.

How is it that the university - one of the few institutions that teaches ethics - does not give much thought to what it means for it to create an ethical climate on campus? How are the prevalence of sexual assault, the mistreatment of adjunct faculty and racial tensions on campuses related to this failure?

James Keenan is the Canisius Professor and Director of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College. His Book University Ethics: Why Colleges Need A Culture of Ethics was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2015.


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Hate anger and Resentment: A conversation with Thomas Brudholm

Nir Eisikovits hosts Thomas Brudholm of the University of Copenhagen for a discussion about the philosophy of hate, anger, and resentment. The two discuss whether there are more and less legitimate forms of hate, whether it should be understood as an emotion or as an attitude, and whether a philosophical understanding of hate can help us make better sense of these very tense political times.

  • Resources for Further Reading:
    ‘’Hatred Beyond Bigotry," in Hate, Politics, Law: Critical Perspectives on Combating Hate, Oxford University Press, co-edited with B.S. Johansen, forthcoming May 2018.
    "Pondering Hatred" (co-authored with B.S. Johansen), in Emotions and Mass Atrocity, Cambridge University Press, co-edited with J. Lang, forthcoming April 2018.
    "Conceptualizing Hatred Globally: Is Hate Crime a Human Rights Violation?" in J. Schweppe and M.A. Walters (eds.), The Globalization of Hate: Internationalizing Hate Crime?, Oxford University Press, 2016.
    "Hatred as Attitude," Philosophical Paper 39: 3, 289-313 (2010).
    Resentment’s Virtue: Jean Améry and the Refusal to Forgive, Temple University Press, 2008. 
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The Confederate Monuments Debate: A Conversation With Glenn Loury

Debating Confederate monuments and Civil War memorials in light of the violence in Charlottesville. 


Honor, Slavery, and Social Death: A Conversation with Historian Ken Greenberg

Nir Eisikovits and Ken Greenberg talk about the prominent role of honor in the antebellum south and its relationship to the institution of slavery. They also discuss Greenberg’s recent work on Nat Turner’s rebellion and the challenges of creating a historical account from necessarily incomplete evidence and records.