Ethics in Action Podcast

Ethics in Action Podcast

Part of UMass Boston’s Philosophy Department, the Applied Ethics Center promotes research, teaching, and awareness of ethics in public life. In this podcast, Applied Ethics Center Director Nir Eisikovits hosts conversations on the intersection of ethics, politics, and technology.

Episodes

November 14, 2023 65 mins

In our final episode in our mini-series on the future of work, we are joined by universal basic income (UBI) advocate and writer Scott Santens. Scott is the founder and president of the Income To Support All Foundation (ITSA Foundation), the Senior Advisor for Humanity Forward, and he also serves on the board of directors of the Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity and as the editor of Basic Income Today. In this episode, we chat with Sco...

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Our fourth episode of our mini-series on the future of work features Gavin Mueller, Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam and the author of Breaking Things at Work: The Luddites Are Right About Why You Hate Your Job. We speak with Gavin about the history of the Luddite movement, technological unemployment, and the possibilities of interstitial political action. Listeners interested in w...
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In the third episode of our mini-series on the future of work, we are joined by Brian O'Connor, Professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin. Brian and I discuss the value of idleness in our lives, the burnout caused by the work ethic, and the pressure to view oneself as a project to be continuously realized. We discuss the goods of learning to live more with more idleness - to place less emphasis on our contemporary obsess...

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In our second episode of our mini-series on the future of work, we are joined by Andrea Veltman, Professor of Philosophy at James Madison University. We speak with Andrea about what it takes for work to be meaningful, if meaningful work is available to all, and what kinds of economic and social changes are necessary to help others find meaningful work. Please check out Andrea's excellent book Meaningful Work to learn more.

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In the first episode of our mini-series on the future of work, we are joined by University of Leeds economist David Spencer. We discuss the experience of alienated labor under contemporary capitalism, the importance of work for meaning and dignity in our lives, and the reduction of the working week. Spencer persuasively makes the case for less but better work and how we might imagine a better world of work. Check out his excellent ...

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Political philosopher Chris Zurn has just published Splitsville USA, a bombshell book arguing for the dissolution of the US. We talk about why Chris thinks this has become necessary, how history unnecessarily prejudices us against such a split, and what a post Splitsville future might look like. 

 

Draw your own new national maps

 

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The IEET and the UMB Applied Ethics Center recently released a White Paper on the political, moral and psychological questions involved in regulating the metaverse. J Hughes is the Executive Director of the IEET. Alec Stubbs is the Future of Work Post Doc at the UMB Applied Ethics Center. We discuss the main findings of the paper.

You can find the paper here

 

 

 

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We continue our series on the war in Ukraine. In this episode Vlado and I talk to journalist and anthropologist Alisa Sopova about what everyday life feels  like in Ukraine as the war passes the 100 day mark. We discuss the regional differences in how the conflict is perceived, we ask whether Ukrainians have different views about Russian politicians and ordinary Russians, and we also talk about how Ukrainians perceive assistance fr...

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We continue our series on the war in Ukraine.  Our guest is Vesko Garcevic, former ambassador of Montenegro to NATO, OSCE, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Vesko is currently Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.

We talk about what it means to diplomatically engage with Russia and whether it makes sense to think of it as a pariah state. We ...

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April 17, 2022 61 mins

Vladimir Putin wants to put Russia back on the map as a great power. But what does it even mean to be a great power in the nuclear age? Is that idea still coherent? If it is, can Russia be such a power? And how is Putin using history to frame this quest? What does his framing reveal about him and about contemporary Russia?

 

The second in a series of conversations with historian Vladimir Petrovic about the implications of Russia's ...

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For a while, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we could tell ourselves that the American-led liberal internationalist order was on the rise. That story had some big holes in it, but if we squinted a bit it was almost believable. Not "the end of history", but maybe a long vacation from it. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its insistence on declaring a “sphere of influence” free from western intervention, and its alliance with...

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How should we understand efforts at school integration? And how are they related to the idea of equal education? Larry and I consider different historical understandings of integration and the problematic idea of integration as a vehicle for gaining social capital. Larry and Zoë Burkholder just published Integrations: The Struggle for Racial Equality and Civic Renewal in Public Education

Larry is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy,...

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The New York Times 2017 front page story about UAP's (Unexplained Aerial Phenomena) spotted by Navy pilots, and the recent report to Congress by The Office of the Director of National Intelligence have generated tremendous public interest. I talk to Professor Avi Loeb about Harvard's new Galileo Project. We discuss what it means to explore UAP's scientifically, his reasons for pursuing this work, and about the academic community's ...

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What happens when the ties between the people who study psychiatric drugs and the companies who make them become too cozy? A discussion with UMass Boston psychology professor Lisa Cosgrove. 

 

Lisa Cosgrove, PhD is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston where she teaches courses on psychiatric diagnosis and psychopharmacology. She was a Research Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethi...

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Adam and I discuss the famous, moving passage at the end of the Iliad describing the meeting between Achilles and Priam. We talk quite a bit about Achilles' curious account of how Zeus determines humans' fate by doling out happenings from jars of joy and misfortune. 

 

Adam Beresford teaches philosophy and classics at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He has just published a translation of Aristotle's Ethics which you ca...

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Israel has signed normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain. These are the first Middle East peace agreements in two and a half decades. Why now? What does each of the main actors in this drama stand to gain from these accords? Can Middle East diplomacy really bypass the Israeli Palestinian conflict as these agreements attempt to do?  And does the deal signal a new alignment of power in the region? 

Dr. Ehud (Udi) Eiran is ...

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The US seems more polarized than it's been in decades. Can we communicate across ideological and political chasms? What does it mean to have a dialogue with someone we profoundly, even vehemently disagree with? If we do have such a dialogue, does it make us any less polarized? Do the effects last?  We talk with Professor Barthold about her new book: Overcoming Polarization in the Public Square: Civic Dialogue

Lauren Swayne Barthold...

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In the last few months, in the wake of recent protests against systemic racism, Confederate and other monuments have been torn down and defaced. What are these monuments supposed to convey?  What's the argument for taking them down? Dana and I revisit our conversation about the ethics and politics of monument removal in light of recent events.

  • Take a look at Dana's recent essay on the Politics of Monuments over at the APA's Bla...
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Before Covid 19 turned the world upside down we worried about Artificial General Intelligence and, ultimately, Super-intelligence - the moment when our machines, powered by sophisticated AI, catch up with us and, ultimately, out-perform us. But how coherent, how pressing, are these concerns, really? 

Dan Feldman is a senior research fellow at the UMB Applied Ethics Center. He is a software engineering executive and advisor to start...

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In the History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides provides a vivid description of the physical and social toll that a terrible plague took on Athens, a year or so into its war with Sparta. What explains the staying power of Thucydides' account? And what can we learn from it as we grapple with our own (albeit far less deadly) Covid 19 crisis? 

Greg Fried is Professor of philosophy at Boston College. He has taught at the University...

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