No Thanks, This Experience Machine’s Fine.

Given the opportunity, would I allow myself to be hooked up to a machine that makes me feel as though I am authentically living out my wildest dreams? If this were the case given the choice, considering that I would be basing my decision on personal and psychological factors, I would not go into the machine. I am too attached to this life to follow through with this decision, even if I were to reason out that it was in my best interest, even with the knowledge that my decision would be irrelevant once in the machine. However, while my philosophical reasoning would be largely irrelevant in my actual decision-making process, I will argue that, philosophically, based on my conception of the ‘good life’, I would still not enter. Continue reading No Thanks, This Experience Machine’s Fine.

Kant’s Argument for Free Will

By Andy Yu
Kant argues that we can and must admit free will in order for morality to be meaningful at all. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct his arguments found in the Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason. I explore his main argument for free will, which relies on the thesis that morality reciprocally implies free will and break this argument into two steps: by discussing how Kant shows that morality implies rationality and how Kant shows that rationality implies free will. Finally, I review Kant’s position on the apparent incompatibility between free will and determinism.
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Anscombe’s First Person

By Erik Hinton
Elizabeth Anscombe’s notorious claim in The First Person, that “I” is not a referential term, has suffered an unfair history of discredit. Although, I will ultimately conclude that Anscombe’s position is untenable when argued to apply for all uses of “I”, to deny the irreferentiality of “I” in many common uses is equally wrong-minded. The assumption which undermines both Anscombe’s argument and criticisms thereof is that “I” must always be either referential or not. While this claim seems to be intuitively true, our clinging to the fixity of “I” is purely a result of a fear that to sacrifice the fixity of “I” would be to sacrifice the fixity of self. Continue reading Anscombe’s First Person

Obama and State Aggression Acting in Violation of Libertarian Principles

By Matthew Ignal
The recent election of Barack Obama was certainly an historic moment for the United States, but for those who carry an affinity for the concept of freedom, its symbolism is rather disheartening. While the majority of libertarians (even at more traditionally mainstream outlets such as Reason Magazine) rightly preferred Obama to that neocon sycophant, John McCain, this election witnessed the triumph of a man who campaigned on the promise of a benevolent activist government. From the libertarian perspective, there are scant words in the English language more frightening to emanate from a politician’s mouth. Continue reading Obama and State Aggression Acting in Violation of Libertarian Principles