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Ethical Theory Review

Ethical Theory Review

By Bradford Cokelet
Interviews with authors of recent books in ethics and practical philosophy.

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Confucianism, Morality, and Well-being

Ethical Theory Review

How to Do Things with Emotions: Owen Flanagan
Are our emotional reactions natural or malleable? Which moral emotions are useful in our increasingly secular and multi-cultural environment? What kinds of anger should we give up?  Does shame get a bad wrap?  -- Interview with Owen Flanagan about his book How to Do Things with Emotions
April 05, 2022
Confucianism, Morality, and Well-being
What different views on human nature inform ethical theory in the Confucian tradition?  What kinds of rituals do Confucians think we need to engage in to achieve flourishing lives or high levels of well-being?  What kinds of rituals today might be inhibiting our flourishing and moral growth?  -- a Discussion with Richard Kim about his book Confucianism and the Philosophy of Well-being.
March 15, 2022
Ethics of Gamete Donation and the Value of Genetic Knowledge
If you conceive a child with a donated egg or sperm (gamete), are you morally required to tell the child how they were conceived?  Do children need knowledge of their genetic parents to develop a healthy self-understanding or identity?  Or is the desire for such genetic knowledge a reflection of morally suspect cultural norms? Interview with Daniel Groll about his new book Conceiving People (OUP, 2021).
February 16, 2022
Prophetic Pragmatism: Cornel West, Hope, and the Philosophy of Race
What is Cornel West's Prophetic Pragmatism? How can we be honest about the legacy of racism in the USA and not lose hope? What role can and should philosophers play in promoting progress and democratic values?  Interview with Brad Elliott Stone and Jacob Goodson about their book Introducing Prophetic Pragmatism.
February 01, 2022
Grief: A Philosophic Guide
For whom do we grieve?  When we grieve, what are we grieving about? Is there any benefit we should aim to get from grieving? Is grieving sometimes morally required? And what additional questions about grief are philosophers exploring?  -- Interview with Michael Cholbi about these questions and his new book Grief: A Philosophic Guide 
January 13, 2022
Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals
Would the discovery that determinism is true undermine moral responsibility?  Should it?  In this episode I interview Pamela Hieronymi about her new book Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals, which offers a new interpretation of P.F. Strawson's influential argument that the discovery of determinism would and should not threaten our practices of moral responsibility. 
April 21, 2021
Religion and Human Development (Jennifer Herdt)
Humanists argue that there is something special about human beings and that to live well we must grow up, overcome our childish and brutish temptations, and become fully human.  Secular Enlightenment humanists think this is something human beings can and should try to pull off on their own – through personal and collective human efforts.  Religious Humanists raise worries about this secular program and emphasize the need for humility and divine agency or assistance. I interview Jennifer Herdt (Yale Divinity School) about her new book, Forming Humanity, which explores what we can learn from German Enlightenment intellectuals and their debates about these issues.
July 08, 2020
Virtue and Meaning -- an Interview with David McPherson
Interview with David McPherson, Associate Professor  at Creighton University.  We discuss his new book, Virtue and Meaning, which develops and defends a new theory of human nature – the human being as the meaning seeking creature – and explores its implications for ethical theory.  We discuss David's criticism of Aristotelian Naturalists such as Foot, Hursthouse, and MacIntyre, his alternative account of moral virtue and the good life,  and his view that Aristotelian moral philosophers need to develop accounts of the cosmic meaning of human life and of human spirituality.
May 05, 2020