Analysis of Sandler 10/10: “The Anthropocene”, Ecosystem Management, and Environmental Virtue

Despite humans being only one of roughly 8.7 million known species on Earth, we continue to be the most powerful in a multitude of ways. Humans are the ultimate generalists and have expanded onto every continent, and every biome. We consume resources beyond our necessity, and are able to outcompete most other species. It is essential then to understand just how great our impact is in an ecological preservation sense. Sandler’s article addresses this question by confronting the term “anthropocene.” He addresses the definition of anthropocene, whether it applies to today, how this title affects ecological preservation tactics, and whether we should embrace those tactics. One of the largest debates concerning the anthropocene is how humans should interact with the environment—should humans be more or less involved? This idea is a larger version of whether anthropogenic involvement in coral reefs is ethical based on current states, and Sandler’s article provides an abundance of insight into humans’ roles in environmental ethics. (more…)

Published in: on October 10, 2017 at 6:17 am  Comments (3)  

Summary of Martha Chen’s Women’s Right to Employment in India and Bangladesh

Response to Martha Chen’s A Matter of Survival: Women’s Right to Employment in India and Bangladesh

In this article, Martha Chen tracks the history of the food-for-work program in South Asia, and the struggle women have had to go through to be able to work and provide enough money and food for their families. In South Asia the divisions of labor are divided by sex. Women are in charge of the family and home life, and men are in charge of the public, work, and market life. Within these societies there is a “hierarchical social structure” divided into castes. What is startling about the caste system is that the higher up in caste a women is the more secluded and less free she becomes. Also, the middle castes try to mimic the higher castes, so often time those in middles castes also seclude their women, but those women may be allowed to work in the fields of their own farm, as opposed to not going outside at all. In many households in the lower castes, they women work either on their own lands, or neighboring lands to help support their families. (more…)

Published in: on September 27, 2006 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mike Huemer’s 8 Objections to Rand: A Response

A response to Michael Huemer’s “Critique of ‘The Objectivist Ethics’”
My comments this week will serve as an introduction to a more in-depth commentary on Michael Huemer’s article “Critique of ‘The Objectivist Ethics.’” Overall I must say that this article does reflect my general impression thusfar about Rand, but there are a lot of places in Huemer’s essay that seem to miss the mark on Rand. I believe he does a very good job of outlining Rand’s argument, point by point. However, my edition of Rand’s ‘The Objectivist Ethics” does not coincide with Huemer’s citations. Huemer has 8 main problems with Rand’s essay, or rather, with her logical premises and conclusions. I find major fault with 6 of his objections. The final two objections, however, are valid and definitely require further analysis and study. At this time however, I will give a brief explanation of why I feel the first six of his eight objections are slightly flawed. (more…)

Published in: on September 27, 2006 at 2:26 am  Comments (1)  

Response to Sen Questions


Published in: on September 26, 2006 at 11:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

J.J.C. Smart in Utilitarianism: for and against

J.J.C. Smart in Utilitarianism: for and against       I read the first forty-two pages of Utilitarianism: for and against (which were authored, as is the whole first half, by J.C.C. Smart). The selection was divided into 5 parts, excluding the introduction: act- vs. rule-utilitarianism, hedonistic vs. non-hedonistic utilitarianism, average vs. total happiness, negative utilitarianism, and rightness/wrongness of actions. Each of these sections seemed to be treated in an incomplete manner; ignoring the tendency of Smart to delay his explanations to later pages in the text, it is evident that Smart cannot attend all the questions before utilitarianism in the space provided (although that seems desirable). And, in fact, it was not his intention to battle with critics of the system, unfortunately for us. He aimed this book at convincing those who are so inclined to adopt utilitarianism that their choice is a valid one. Unfortunately, Smart did not convince me; rather, he left me with some questions. Addressing each section in turn, my queries should make evident a general question of what utilitarianism, according to Smart, can really say to guide man’s moral behavior.      (more…)

Published in: on September 15, 2006 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Convince me

1. Describe the “relative” conditions of virtue ethics?

2. Can’t wait to see more on the connection between existentialism and
Rand. Weird connection. Existance proceeds essence: how many ways can this be interpreted?

3. If you can represent Nietzsche’s view in a numbered way, and contrast it to
Rand’s, that would be really cool.

Published in: on September 15, 2006 at 6:52 pm  Comments (1)  

Comments on Eric Mack’s “The Fundamental Moral Elements of Rand’s Theory of Rights” – published in The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand

Mack’s piece did answer some of my questions and revealed that I had been incorrectly interpreting
Rand’s work, and was working from far too incomplete of an understanding of her idea of “self-interest.” My main problem with
Rand was my incorrect understanding of valid self-interest. The quote that Mack gives of her objectivist ethics “The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do” does explain some concerns I had. A being’s purpose is entailed in its existence. The way in which this is used is to identify valuing in respect to life and living. Living, being the ultimate purpose of a man, is properly facilitated by valuing things correctly in respect to that goal. The thing about this that I admire is that
Rand finally has given some  grounding for her absolute-ish claims about ethics, or at the very least, the possibility of an objective view of ethics. This seemed striking to me for the reason that most of the views of ethics I’ve been accustomed with are subjective and relative. Even virtue ethics, which, if I had to choose my favourite, would be such, relies on relative conditions. (more…)

Published in: on September 13, 2006 at 3:43 pm  Comments (3)  

Question about Sen’s distinction between capability/ freedom/ opportunity

  1. I am pretty confused about Sen’s capability/freedom/opportunity distinction. I don’t even really see where he has a final point after all this. I realize that he wants to make a distinction between being forced to do something you’d do anyway and being forced to do something, which given the option, you would choose not to do or to do otherwise. This entire section is weird because he starts off with two examples to contrast and then contrasts one of those with a whole different one when he starts on a new point, so I don’t really understand where he is going. Is he trying to say that one or the other is worse?
Published in: on September 12, 2006 at 2:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Questions about Sen’s philosophy– what is public reason for him?

  1. I don’t particularly understand what Sen means by “the role of public reasoning”. He is very concerned about it and I’m not quite sure what he is using as his definition. By the end of the paper I thought he meant the publics ability to interact with the capabilities that are required in their society and their ability to discern them by themselves. However, since I don’t understand his concern with a “set” list of capabilities forever and ever (which I don’t think that Nussbaum supports, although she does support a universal list) because I don’t think that this is really what anyone is trying to say. Is there anyone that supports that view, because he didn’t mention anyone?
  2. (more…)

Published in: on September 12, 2006 at 2:54 am  Leave a Comment