The State of New York Court of Appeals rendered a verdict yesterday in a case involving the question of whether chimpanzees are persons, and in doing so, cited the work of Tom Regan and an amicus curiae written by several philosophers. (more…)
On March 19, 2018 a self-driving Uber car-for-hire struck and killed a pedestrian, Elaine Herzberg, in Tempe, Arizona. This was not the first trouble Uber has had with its self-driving cars, nor was it the first fatal crash involving a self-driving car (for example). (more…)
Seventeen philosophers co-authored and submitted to the New York Court of Appeals an amicus curiae brief in support of legal personhood for a pair of chimpanzees. (more…)
A 13-year old African-American girl goes to the hospital for a tonsillectomy. What ends up happening is heartbreaking, infuriating, surprising—and, in part, a result of the work of philosophers and bioethicists. (more…)
“Had I received this job offer under the newly proposed plan for immigration reform endorsed by President Trump, I’d have been deported back to Canada.” (more…)
The latest edition of “The Ethicist,” the The New York Times‘ moral advice column (published last Wednesday), takes as its topic sham green-card marriages. The advice seeker asks current Times ethicist, Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU), whether she should report that at a wedding of an acquaintance, the bride explained to her that the marriage “was a fraud, one she’d ent..
Gerald Gaus (Arizona) reminds us of the law’s limited power for social change in a new essay at The Critique. There is only so much that the legal declaration of a right can do,and when controversial rights are imposed on a society, we should not be surprised by backlash. This is supposed to be part of what explains the electoral success of Donald Trump.
Some monkey business is raising questions in philosophy of action, philosophy of language, legal theory, and animal ethics.
British photographer David Slater traveled to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, came across some macaque monkeys, and set up a camera with a tripod. One of the monkeys, Naruto, reportedly pressed the button on the camera, with the result be..
“Like a surprisingly large proportion of Americans, I have a cyberstalker.” So begins Martha Nussbaum’s lengthy and wide-ranging review, in The Nation, of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace by Danielle Keats Citron. Nussbaum (Chicago) goes on to describe her stalker, his stalking and her reactions to it, delving into the culture of the internet (including the effects of anon..
In England, a judge who relied explicity on the writings of John Stuart Mill in his ruling granted an imprisoned mentally ill Jehovah’s Witness sex offender the right to refuse a blood transfusion after a suicide attempt.
The judge was told that had been moved to hospital from prison after cutting his arm with a razor blade and opening an artery. Specialists said ..
It is the beginning of the school year. Some professors start off their first class with deep puzzles, or thought experiments, or polls. Others begin with definitions of philosophy or by reciting and discussing inspiring passages from great philosophical works. Still others, strangely, hand out syllabi and read through them. There are those, though, that like to bri..
This past Tuesday, Amnesty International representatives from 60 countries voted on which stance the influential non-governmental organization should take regarding the legal status of prostitution, ultimately deciding to support its full decriminalization, including both the selling and buying of sex.
The position is highly controversial—particularly the decri..
Philosophy professor Sheikha al-Jassem (Shaikha Binjasim) is facing charges of blasphemy and the possible loss of her faculty position at Kuwait University, owing to remarks she made in a television interview about freedom of conscience, the politicization of religion in Kuwait, and how the Kuwaiti constitution, not the Quran, is and should be the basis of law in Ku..