A Theory of Jerks and Other Philosophical Misadventures

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MIT Press, 5. nóv. 2019 - 384 síđur
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A collection of quirky, entertaining, and reader-friendly short pieces on philosophical topics that range from a theory of jerks to the ethics of ethicists.

Have you ever wondered about why some people are jerks? Asked whether your driverless car should kill you so that others may live? Found a robot adorable? Considered the ethics of professional ethicists? Reflected on the philosophy of hair? In this engaging, entertaining, and enlightening book, Eric Schwitzgebel turns a philosopher's eye on these and other burning questions. In a series of quirky and accessible short pieces that cover a mind-boggling variety of philosophical topics, Schwitzgebel offers incisive takes on matters both small (the consciousness of garden snails) and large (time, space, and causation).

A common theme might be the ragged edge of the human intellect, where moral or philosophical reflection begins to turn against itself, lost among doubts and improbable conclusions. The history of philosophy is humbling when we see how badly wrong previous thinkers have been, despite their intellectual skills and confidence. (See, for example, “Kant on Killing Bastards, Masturbation, Organ Donation, Homosexuality, Tyrants, Wives, and Servants.”) Some of the texts resist thematic categorization—thoughts on the philosophical implications of dreidels, the diminishing offensiveness of the most profane profanity, and fatherly optimism—but are no less interesting.

Schwitzgebel has selected these pieces from the more than one thousand that have appeared since 2006 in various publications and on his popular blog, The Splintered Mind, revising and updating them for this book. Philosophy has never been this much fun.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Umsögn notanda  - steve02476 - LibraryThing

Fifty or so very short essays about philosophical topics. Liked most of them, although a few I found less interesting. Great sense of humor and also I like his sense of humility & fallibility. He has ... Read full review

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1 A Theory of Jerks
3
2 Forgetting as an Unwitting Confession of Your Values
15
3 The Happy Coincidence Defense and TheMostYouCanDo Sweet Spot
17
4 Cheeseburger Ethics or How Often Do Ethicists Call Their Mothers?
21
5 On Not Seeking Pleasure Much
33
6 How Much Should You Care about How You Feel in Your Dreams?
37
7 Imagining Yourself in Anothers Shoes versus Extending Your Love
39
8 Is It Perfectly Fine to Aim for Moral Mediocrity?
43
33 The Legend of the Leaning Behaviorist
165
34 What Happens to Democracy When the Experts Cant Be Both Factual and Balanced?
167
35 On the Morality of Hypotenuse Walking
171
36 Birthday Cake and a Chapel
175
IV Cosmic Freaks
179
37 Possible Psychology of a Matrioshka Brain
181
38 A TwoSeater Homunculus
189
39 Is the United States Literally Conscious?
195

9 A Theory of Hypocrisy
49
10 On Not Distinguishing Too Finely among Your Motivations
53
11 The Mush of Normativity
59
12 A Moral DunningKruger Effect
63
13 The Moral Compass and the Liberal Ideal in Moral Education
69
II Cute AI and Zombie Robots
73
14 Should Your Driverless Car Kill You So Others May Live?
75
15 Cute AI and the ASIMO Problem
79
16 My Daughters Rented Eyes
85
17 Someday Your Employer Will Technologically Control Your Moods
89
18 Cheerfully Suicidal AI Slaves
93
19 We Would Have Greater Moral Obligationst to Conscious Robots than to Otherwise Similar Humans
97
20 How Robots and Monsters Might Destroy Human Moral Systems
101
21 Our Possible Imminent Divinity
107
22 Skepticism Godzilla and the Artificial Computerized ManyBranching You
111
23 How to Accidentally Become a Zombie Robot
117
III Regrets and Birthday Cake
127
A Seemingly Foolish Game That Contains the Moral World in Miniature
129
25 Does It Matter If the Passover Story Is Literally True?
133
26 Memories of My Father
137
27 Flying Free of the Deathbed with Technological Help
141
28 Thoughts on Conjugal Love
145
29 Knowing What You Love
149
30 The Epistemic Status of Deathbed Regrets
153
31 Competing Perspectives on Ones Final Dying Thought
157
32 Profanity Inflation Profanity Migration and the Paradox of Prohibition or I Love You Fuck
161
40 Might You Be a Cosmic Freak?
201
Voluntarism about Personal Identity
207
42 How Everything You Do Might Have Huge Cosmic Significance
213
43 Penelopes Guide to Defeating Time Space and Causation
217
44 GoldfishPool Immortality
223
45 Are Garden Snails Conscious? Yes Noor Gong
229
V Kant versus the Philosopher of Hair
237
46 Truth Dare and Wonder
239
47 Trusting Your Sense of Fun
243
48 Whats in Peoples Stream of Experience during Philosophy Talks?
247
49 Why Metaphysics Is Always Bizarre
253
50 The Philosopher of Hair
259
51 Obfuscatory Philosophy as Intellectual Authoritarianism and Cowardice
263
52 Kant on Killing Bastards Masturbation Organ Donation Homosexuality Tyrants Wives and Servants
267
53 Nazi Philosophers World War I and the Grand Wisdom Hypothesis
273
54 Against Charity in the History of Philosophy
283
55 Invisible Revisions
289
56 On Being Good at Seeming Smart
291
57 Blogging and Philosophical Cognition
295
58 Will Future Generations Find Us Morally Loathsome?
305
Acknowledgments
311
Notes
315
References
335
Index
363
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Um höfundinn (2019)

Eric Schwitzgebel is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of Perplexities of Consciousness (MIT Press). His short, accessible essays on philosophical topics have appeared in a range of publications and on his popular blog, The Splintered Mind.

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