• Podcast

The Ethics of Privacy Online with Andy Cullison

We've long considered privacy on the internet to be a privilege we can freely give up, at no harm to ourselves. But in light of the recent Cambridge Analytic scandal, that perspective is beginning to change. Examining Ethics resident ethics expert Andy Cullison explains why we should all protect our privacy online -- for our own sakes as well as for others. Read More
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29: A Dungeon Crawl Through Moral Alignments

Can necromancers be good people? Can dragons be feminist care ethicists? Why are we asking? In this episode, producer Eleanor Price asks resident ethics expert (and fellow role-playing game enthusiast) Andy Cullison about the moral theories behind games like Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder. They guide producer Christiane Wisehart through the game mechanic called moral alignment -- an attribute that shows how good or evil you are in the game --  and how closely these imagined ideas align with real-world philosophy. Read More
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28: Philosophy and #MeToo with Emily McWilliams

In late 2017, women’s stories of sexual assault, abuse and harassment took the center stage on social media with the hashtag MeToo. But this isn't the first time people have shared these stories--tales of these experiences have been around for hundreds of years. The MeToo movement itself has been around since 2006. But last fall, the MeToo hashtag went so viral that mainstream media couldn’t ignore it. Today’s guest, the philosopher and the Prindle Institute's Schaenen scholar Emily McWilliams, explains the connections between the MeToo movement and the philosophical concept known as hermeneutical injustice. Examining Ethics producers Eleanor Price and Christiane Wisehart join Emily for a discussion of the ways movements like MeToo might address the problem of epistemic injustice around sexual violence and harassment. Read More
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27: Perceiving Morality with Preston Werner

Can you see goodness with your eyes or feel immorality in your heart? The philosopher Preston Werner thinks so. He defends an idea called moral perception, which means that just like you are able to see or feel things like the color of an orange or the softness of a sweater, you’re also able to perceive, or feel, morality. Some philosophers argue that perceiving morality is a key part of how we make moral judgments about situations. There are a lot of people who are skeptical of this idea. And as you’ll hear in this conversation with Preston Werner, our producer Christiane Wisehart also needs some convincing to believe that moral perception might be true. Preston explains what moral perception is, and also explains why it's an idea worth defending. Read More
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Forgiveness and More: Bonus Material with Myisha Cherry

In Episode 26, producer Christiane Wisehart spoke to philosopher Myisha Cherry about her work on forgiveness and moral exemplars (people who exemplify excellent forgiveness practices -- for better or for worse). They had a great conversation, so much so that producer Eleanor Price put together this bonus episode to showcase more of Myisha's wisdom. Myisha explains who might have stake in someone's forgiveness, and whether a person should ask for forgiveness. Read More
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26: Forgiveness and Moral Exemplars with Myisha Cherry

Forgiveness is a big, complicated topic. We often see stories about forgiveness play out in the media, and it probably plays a large role in our personal lives as well. That's why we wanted to talk about it with philosopher and host of the UnMute Podcast, Myisha Cherry, who’s put a lot of thought into the ethics of forgiveness. On today’s show you'll hear about a fascinating facet of her work: the ethics of convincing victims--particularly victims who are marginalized--to forgive. When people try to persuade victims to forgive, they often resort to using “moral exemplars of forgiveness” or models of forgiveness like Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela. Myisha claims that when people try to persuade victims to forgive, using moral exemplars alone to convince them is wrong. Read More
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25: What’s the Deal with Philosophers?

We're talking about the culture and quirks of the world of moral philosophy on this episode. Specifically, we're asking questions about the parts of the field of ethics and philosophy that confuse us the most. First, independent producer Sandra Bertin roams the streets of New York City, looking for people who can correctly define moral philosophy jargon. Then, producer Christiane Wisehart sits down with our resident ethics expert Andy Cullison and another ethicist, Emily McWilliams, to ask them some questions she's always had about the world of ethics and philosophy. Read More
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24: The Art of Listening with Krista Tippett

Deep, meaningful conversations require active listeners. It’s obvious that part of what makes a good discussion is listening. But as it turns out, being an ethical listener requires effort. Krista Tippett joins us to share her insight into what makes a good listener. She's the host of a public radio show and podcast called On Being. She’s been on the radio for almost two decades, and in that time, she’s become one of the best interviewers on the air. And it’s not because she asks hard-hitting, clever questions or goads people into saying something controversial. It’s because she is so clearly present, and has so clearly cultivated a kind of listening superpower. We'll also hear an essay by the philosopher and ethicist Bob Fischer, who explores what it means to do this real work of being present for one another and for the causes we believe in. Read More
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23: Frankenstein and His Creation: Who’s the Real Monster?

Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein introduced the world to archetypes we’re still familiar with: the mad scientist and his terrifying creation. But the novel is more than just a horror classic. It also asks questions about the ethics of scientific and technological innovation--questions that we still struggle with today. On this episode, we explore one of these questions: is it wrong for scientists and innovators to work or create in isolation? First, we introduce you to “sociability,” an important, behavior-shaping idea in the scientific community of the nineteenth century. Then, we discuss whether scientists and innovators working today have similar ethical obligations. We cover things like the importance of transparency in the ethics of scientific and technological innovation. We also explore the value of democratic oversight to the world of science and technology. Read More
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22: Gaslighting, PTSD and Testimonial Injustice with Rachel McKinnon

Trans people are vulnerable to many types of harms. And unfortunately, some of these harms can come from their “allies”-- people who claim to want to help them. On today’s episode, Andy and Christiane talk to the philosopher Rachel McKinnon, who writes about allies and their relationship to the trans community. She tells us that one of the bad behaviors that allies can be guilty of is something called gaslighting. Rachel describes for us two of the major problems with gaslighting: it’s a particularly harmful form of epistemic injustice and it can lead to a type of post traumatic stress disorder. Read More
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Bonus: White Talk

Ethics On My Mind is our special bonus series for quick discussions of timely ethics issues. Earlier this month, large groups of white supremacists held rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia that erupted in violence, killing one person and injuring at least 19 others. These rallies are just the latest manifestations of a growing white supremacist movement in the United States. It can be easy for well-meaning white people to try to distance themselves from the hateful actions of a small number of self-identified supremacists. But as we’ll hear from the philosopher Alison Bailey and women’s studies scholar Tamara Beauboeuf, white oppression can take many forms. A behavior known as "white talk" is just one of these forms of oppression. For this episode of Ethics on My Mind, we're re-releasing a segment about the behavior known as "white talk" from episode 6: The "Burden" of Whiteness. Read More
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21: Layered Landscapes

What is a layered landscape? How should we restore places with complex social and cultural legacies? Producer Christiane Wisehart traveled to Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge in Madison, Indiana to explore how the former military site was restored into a landscape that is now home to many endangered species. She unpacks the concept of "layered landscapes" with scholars Marion Hourdequin and David Havlick, editors of Restoring Layered Landscapes. This idea is helping to re-shape how restorationists ought to approach their work Read More
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20: Ethics of Protest, Part Two

Are protests productive? Should they be? And if they should be productive, what does that productivity look like? In part two of our ethics of protest series, we interview Tabitha St. Bernard, the youth and family coordinator for the Women's March. We also hear from Derek Ford, a DePauw professor and long-time protest organizer. Read More
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19: Climate Justice

Happy Earth Month! Many people think of climate change as something that will affect the world equally sometime in the distant future. But that's not true. Some communities are already experiencing the effects. Join special guest host Jen Everett and producers Christiane Wisehart and Sandra Bertin as we learn how to challenge our thinking about the environment with scholar Kyle Whyte. Read More
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18: Ethics of Protest, Part One

On this episode, producer Sandra Bertin tells the story of the Freeman Field Mutiny, a protest that led to the desegregation of the United States military. Even though the men who participated in the protest were peaceful and nonviolent, they were still criticized for their methods of protest. This got us thinking, is it ever okay to criticize a protester's methods? Or should we be focusing on something else? Read More
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17: Achievement Matters

What are achievements and how should we think about them? How should we talk about them? Philosopher Gwen Bradford's work on the nature of achievement inspired us to talk about the ethics of naming achievements for other people. Can you tell someone they have achieved something if they don't think they have? What do you think? Send us a comment or a voice memo to: examiningethics@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ExaminingEthics. You can also find us on Facebook. Show Notes: Read More
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16: Skepticism and the Skeptical Skeptics Who Use It

A recent trip to the Creation Museum caused producer Sandra Bertin to be very skeptical of, well, skepticism. Sandra returned to the studio to interrogate the idea of skepticism with host of the show Andy Cullison and our other producer, Christiane Wisehart. We turn skepticism inside out and upside down with philosopher Barry Lam and geologist Jeane Pope. Do you have thoughts about skepticism? Send us a comment or a voice memo to: examiningethics@gmail.com. Read More
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15: New Year’s Resolutions

This month, we bring you our New Year's resolutions. But we're not talking about things like eating less sugar--we're discussing our ethics-related resolutions. Listen in as we talk about implicit bias prevention walls, effective altruism and fast fashion. And hey--we'd love to hear what your New Year's resolutions are. Send a voice memo recording of your resolutions to us at examiningethics@gmail.com. Read More
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14: Back to Basics

Election day is coming up very soon, so we thought we'd give you all some things to think about as you head to the polls (or if you're thinking about abstaining). Our producer Sandra Bertin shares some reporting she did on the ethics of voting. Listen in with our other producer Christiane Wisehart to hear the voices of experts and everyday people discussing their thoughts on how to vote. We managed to get through the entire episode without even mentioning who you should vote for! Read More
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13: Distrusting the Narrative

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A lot of people wouldn’t guess that the first women’s prison in the nation was built in Indiana in 1873. Though it has moved locations and changed names, it is still open and imprisoning women. Its current name is the Indiana Women’s Prison. We talked to two researchers who uncovered stories about the early history of this prison, stories that call the official textbook account into question. But this isn't just the story of the first women’s prison in the nation, it’s also the tale of the journey of the two researchers who exposed the prison’s dark beginnings. Read More
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12: Should Civilians Be Spared?

On today’s episode, we have one major question for philosopher Seth Lazar: is it ever acceptable to kill civilians in war? As with all good questions in philosophy, it turned out to be a lot more complicated than we initially thought. Lazar wrote Sparing Civilians, out now from Oxford University Press. He lays out what it takes for a civilian or soldier to be considered a threat, what it takes for someone be responsible for that threat, and how to weigh risking harm to other people. Then later in the show, host Andy Cullison sits down with producers Sandra Bertin and Christiane Wisehart to discuss what responsibility civilians in the United States have for foreign wars. What do you think? Send us a voice memo to: examiningethics@gmail.com. Or leave a voicemail: 765-658-5857. We might feature your comment on a future episode! Read More
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Callout: Ethics of Voting

Producers Sandra and Christiane want to hear your opinions on voting! Not who you are voting for...but how you think about voting. Do you think everyone should vote? Do you think people should vote in their own self interest? What's the right way to protest something you don't like about the election process? Call 765-658-5014 and leave a 1-3 minute voicemail with your thoughts on voting, your name, and your email to contact you with.  Your voicemail could be featured on an upcoming episode!
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11: Hoosier Hospitality

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What does the idea of "Hoosier Hospitality" really mean? In this month's episode, we tell the story of a group of hospitable Hoosiers who--in the face of tremendous wartime hysteria--helped Japanese American students escape West Coast internment camps and resettle in Indiana during World War II. This story inspired our discussion about courage and the ethics of state-determined borders. This episode was made in partnership with Indiana Humanities. This episode is an officially endorsed Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project. Read More
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