Thinking philosophy delves into the world of ideas, ethics and deep reflection with philosophers from the Australian Catholic University. Explore the big questions of life and death, underlying meaning and how to live a better life with this podcast series.
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Australia should maintain closed borders to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Banks should offer discounts to first home buyers. Greenpeace should stick to legal protests. If you’ve ever made one of these statements - or something like them – you’ve entered into thorny philosophical territory about the relationship between individual and group duties. Associate Professor Stephanie Collins explores how companies, countries and organisations can be required to act ethically.
Why physics needs philosophy
Stephen Hawking famously claimed that philosophy was dead in the face of advances in physics. But the next advances in science may need metaphysics to enable us to rethink our concept of time or to develop new kinds of mathematics. Dr Sam Baron explains how physics and philosophy are merging to demand a rethink of some of our underlying beliefs about the way our world works.
Believers, from communists to the Christian right, often demand absolute faith. Doubters have traditionally been cast out of the ideological camp. But it is possible to simultaneously believe and maintain healthy doubt, argues Dr David Newheiser.
When utilitarianism fails
The greatest good for the greatest number is a moral mantra for many but it can lead to exploitation of the few. In its pure form, utilitarianism sometimes requires the sacrifice of innocents for the good of the majority. Dr David Killoren explores a hybrid form of utilitarianism that makes space for the value of individuals and human relationships.
Ethics beyond emotions
Morality does not require guilt, blame or shame Dr Tyler Paytas examines a rational ethical system determined to take emotions out of the equation.
The moral cost of inheritance
Inheritance is a core reason for increasing social inequity. Dr Stewart Braun discusses why we should we use estate taxes to limit inter-generational wealth transfer and explores whether any form of inheritance morally justifiable.
Finding Human Dignity
Our understanding of our own value and the value of others - not as units as economy but as human beings - is key to the kind of society we build. But often the particular moral quality of the human individual is forgotten in the push for material growth. Dr David Kirchhoffer considers the nature of human dignity and how to reintroduce it into our social calculus.
How we cope with the inevitable anguish of an uncertain and pain-filled life is the key existential question of being human. Dr Jamie Parr draws on the work of Friedrich Nietzsche to offer guidance in the face of suffering.
Dilemmas of dementia
An increasing number of people face the difficult question of how to relate to parents and partners suffering from dementia. Is it acceptable to lie to dementia sufferer who is confused and distressed rather than constantly confront them with painful realities? Dr Steve Matthews looks at how the philosophical understanding of the nature of self can guide carers with everyday dilemmas.
Life and Death Ethics
Healthcare providers use philosophy to make decisions from hot button issues such as abortion and euthanasia to big picture questions such as healthcare rationing. Associate Professor Bernadette Tobin works with them to guide the decision-making process.
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