Philosophy

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Philosophy can often be obscure. But is that because it’s complex, or made so? Bernard Laguerre/Flickr

Philosophy versus science versus politics

We might hope that good arguments will eventually drive out bad arguments – in what Timothy Williamson calls “a reverse analogue of Gresham’s Law” – and we might want (almost?) complete freedom for ideas…
Moral judgment should not be based on knowledge that comes only from hindsight. Wolfgang Wildner

Killing Hitler: when is assassination justified?

The film 13 Minutes dramatises an attempt by Georg Elser to assassinate Hitler in 1939, to prevent the war the Führer was preparing for. How clear-cut was the moral justification for that act?
Most of us can’t bend it like Beckham, for various reasons. But is that necessarily the worst thing? Reuters/Ben Nelms

Why equality of opportunity is neither possible nor desirable

Rather than hold on to the idea of equality of opportunity, it might be more accurate to say that we don’t really support it because it comes at too high a price.
Giving, or contributing, beyond ourselves is one of the strongest predictors of happiness and health. Shutterstock/Nikki Zalewski

Happy? Consider how giving builds a life of meaning

A philosophy based on giving of ourselves to others may help us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives, while helping to bridge the extremes of our emotions and beliefs.
Seeking constant distractions and identifying with brands and status symbols, we struggle to escape the superficial self. Shutterstock/Sean De Burca

The lies of happiness: living with affluenza but without fulfilment

In the first of our series, On Happiness, the question is whether unsustainable consumption and debt can ever bring us happiness. The global financial question was a chance to take stock, yet did we learn anything?
Under certain conditions, war may be morally permissible, or even necessary. EPA/Said Yusuf Warsame

How should we think about war? Understanding Just War Theory

Political leaders frequently invoke Just War Theory to ground their explanations of why they are waging war against another state and how they plan to do so. What are the key components of this moral position?
There is precious little dignity available for those Australians who are in the last stages of their lives. shutterstock

The slow politics of dignity for the aged and dying in Australia

The contrast between rights with dignity and rights without is increasingly apparent with regard to two groups of Australians: retirees and those in aged-care facilities.
Perth City.

Philosophy for the people: commencing a dialogue

I have always been interested in how we try to understand the world in which we live, and artworks provide us with a great stimulus for such discussions. My research focuses on aesthetics, ethics and education…
Former SS member Oskar Groening, 93, is on trial, charged with accessory in the murder of about 300,000 people at Auschwitz. EPA/AXEL HEIMKEN / POOL

Oskar Groening and our own guilt for crimes committed collectively

Oskar Groening has declared his moral guilt as an Auschwitz accountant. His trial, currently underway, points to difficult questions about the implications of our own participation in collective activities.

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