012: Ep8 – Selfish Ethics?

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Photo of Dr. Shane Courtland.This eighth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast features an interview with Dr. Shane Courtland of West Virginia University, on “Selfish Ethics?,” or better “Self-interested Ethics.”

Iconic artwork from Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, a text that was a great inspiration for this episode's guest, Dr. Shane Courtland.

Dr. Courtland is the leading director of the Center for Free Entreprise at Western Virginia University. His forthcoming book, Hobbesian Applied Ethics and Public Policy, will come out with Routledge Press in 2017. Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.



(1 hr 13 mins)

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  1. Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan is one of many classic texts available for free online at the Project Gutenberg.
  2. Co-hosts Dr. Anthony Cashio and Dr. Eric Thomas Weber bear no ill-will toward the great Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, whom we mention in this episode as a particularly strong fellow. You can follow The Rock on Twitter. We’re pretty sure that our guest, Dr. Shane Courtland did not mean any kind of threat to Mr. Johnson, despite his detailed plans for overtaking strong men like him.
  3. Dr. Courtland a few times mentioned an influential essay by Gregory Kavka, titled “Hobbes’s War of All Against All,” which you may have to have a special account to access.


You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Dr. Shane Courtland proposed the following question in this episode, for which we invite your feedback: “Should you ever sacrifice for someone you don’t care about?” Weber added: “And, either way, why or why not?” What do you think?

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