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9: Canal Crisis

This is a story of a failed transportation project that bankrupted the state of Indiana... 200 years ago. We uncover the human suffering this canal system causes and the moral questions it raises. We also discuss questions like: when is it morally permissible to go into debt to fund a big project? When is it OK to tax? This episode was made in partnership with Indiana Humanities. Read More
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Update: What Does a Canal Have to Do with Ethics?

We're going on a break this month and the month of May in order to work on a very special project. We've partnered with Indiana Humanities to create a special three-episode miniseries in which we will explore questions in ethics that have been raised by some fascinating moments in Indiana history. We'll reveal the connections between Indiana's failed canal building projects and the ethics of legislation. We'll hear from two experts on the troubling history of the Indiana Women's Prison. We'll explore issues of immigration and refugees in Indiana. If you're not listening in Indiana (and we know a lot of you are not!), we promise this will still be worth your time. We're so excited about the stories we've been gathering, and we hope you'll join us for the first episode of Season Three on Wednesday, June 29. Hot dog!
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Bonus: Ethics in Focus with David Benatar and David Wasserman

Welcome to the second episode in our “Ethics in Focus” series. These bonus episodes get right to the point for people with backgrounds in ethics or philosophy. There are no explanations, just the full-length interviews with some of our expert guests. Regularly scheduled episodes of Examining Ethics will still be released at the end of every month. But every once and a while, keep an eye out for one of these “Ethics in Focus” interviews. Today's edition of "Ethics in Focus" features our host Andy Cullison's conversation with David Benatar and David Wasserman, authors of Debating Procreation: Is It Wrong to Reproduce? out now from Oxford University Press. Read More
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8: To Be a Parent…Or Not

When thinking about whether or not to become a parent, there is a lot more at stake than just deciding when you're ready or if you even want to. But what are the questions we should be asking ourselves when we think about parenting? In this episode, we discuss the ethics of having children and more with Samantha Brennan and Sarah Hannan, the editors of Permissible Progeny: The Morality of Procreation and Parenting, out now from Oxford University Press. Read More
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Bonus: Ethics in Focus with Caspar Hare

Welcome to a new series called “Ethics in Focus.” These bonus episodes get right to the point for people with backgrounds in ethics or philosophy. There are no explanations, just the full-length interviews with some of our expert guests. Regularly scheduled episodes of Examining Ethics will still be released at the end of every month. But every once and a while, keep an eye out for one of these “Ethics in Focus” interviews. Today's edition of "Ethics in Focus" features our host Andy Cullison's conversation with Professor Caspar Hare, author of The Limits of Kindness out now from Oxford University Press. Hare is a professor of philosophy at MIT, and his work focuses on ethics, practical rationality, and metaphysics. His book The Limits of Kindness addresses questions in moral philosophy by starting with an uncontroversial principle, that being moral “involves wanting particular other people to be better off.” Read More
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7: There’s No Clear Line in Comedy with Maysoon Zayid

Comedian, actress and tap dancer, Maysoon Zayid joins us to discuss the ethics of comedy, discrimination, and General Hospital. We discuss questions like, "Is it ever okay to make fun of someone?" and "Should you be allowed to make fun of Donald Trump's hair?" Join us as Maysoon answers these questions and more. Read More
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6: The “Burden” of Whiteness

Ever wonder what role white people should people play in fighting against racism? The legendary feminist scholar and racial justice activist Peggy McIntosh has some ideas. Maybe you have also wondered, "why does it always feel like white people avoid the topic of race?" To answer this question, we bring on the philosopher Alison Bailey to discuss a phenomenon known as "white talk." Join us on a journey through whiteness in the United States in which we explore a Crayola crayon factory, police stations in Massachusetts, and Donald Trump claiming to be "the least racist person you will ever meet." Read More
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5: Can Animals Be Moral?

Summary: In this episode, we tackle the question, "Can Animals Be Moral"? Our host, Andy Cullison interviews philosopher Mark Rowlands to get his perspective. Join us on the journey from animal videos on YouTube to metaphors that liken humans to mindless corks bobbing on a sea. We will leave you with not only questions regarding the morality of animals but also, what should you do if they are moral? Read More
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4: Individuals vs. Groups

Summary: In this episode, our host Andy Cullison interviews Lori Gruen and Martin Wilkinson. As a group or nation, we like to own pets and keep people in certain kinds of jails, but Lori Gruen will explain to us why she thinks our current practices might be problematic as they relate to the autonomy and dignity of individuals (including animals) in captivity. There is a worldwide organ shortage. As a group, we have an interest in procuring organs of the recently dead. Martin Wilkinson will explain to us how difficult it is to balance that need against individual rights (even after they’re dead). Read More
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3: The Right Side of History

Summary: In this episode, our host Andy Cullison joins the cultural historian Chris Hager to discuss the phrase, "the right side of history." When did we start using this phrase? When is it most often used? Is it legitimate reason to change one's mind about an issue? Read More
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2: Systems in Sheep’s Clothing

Summary: In this episode we hear from producers Sandra and Christiane about their voices. Our host Andy interviews Rebecca Gordon about her new book Mainstreaming Torture, and Robin Zheng discusses her work on racialized sexual preferences. Read More
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