The Badlands Politics & Philosophy Podcast

The Badlands Politics & Philosophy Podcast

A group of trained philosophers explore the philosophical dimensions of contemporary politics, and make the case for progressive politics.

Episodes

September 30, 2022 97 min

In this episode, we discuss the complaints of artists that machine learning programs are using the works of human artists to mass produce similar kinds of art, and replacing the need for human artists. Can and does AI art have the same aesthetic value as human art? And if the complaints of the artists are justified, on what grounds?
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In this episode, we dig into the Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe v Wade, thereby eliminating a constitutional right to an abortion. There are two main questions at issue: Was the reasoning in Roe sound? And then, separately, should it be overturned? We go over the arguments of the majority and concurring opinions, and also the criticisms of the dissent.

Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In this episode, we dig into the Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe v Wade, thereby eliminating a constitutional right to an abortion. There are two main questions at issue: Was the reasoning in Roe sound? And then, separately, should it be overturned? We go over the arguments of the majority and concurring opinions, and also the criticisms of the dissent.

Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In today's episode, we discuss whether Google's "Lambda" chat bot is sentient. If not, is it intelligent? Does it have moral standing? What do these terms even mean?

Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In this episode, we continue discussing Adam Mastroianni's "Against All Applications" (https://experimentalhistory.substack.com/p/against-all-applications?s=r). What is wrong with the application process, both for hiring and for education, and what are the alternatives?
Toby Napoletano. Michael Hughes

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In this episode, we discuss Adam Mastroianni's "Against All Applications" (https://experimentalhistory.substack.com/p/against-all-applications?s=r). What is wrong with the application process, both for hiring and for education, and what are the alternatives?
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In this episode, we continue to discuss some of the ethical problems surrounding machine learning technologies, and particular concerns about their discriminatory uses. We use the Toronto Declaration, which applies a human rights framework to machine learning as our starting point. 
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In this episode, we discuss some of the ethical problems surrounding machine learning technologies, and particular concerns about their discriminatory uses. We use the Toronto Declaration, which applies a human rights framework to machine learning as our starting point. 
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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March 28, 2022 100 min

In this episode, we consider whether, and why, it is wrong to use various performance enhancing drugs in sports. Should they be allowed? How and where do we draw the line? And what even is fairness in the context of sports?
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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On today's episode, we consider whether, given the depressing state of the world, we are actually just living in a failed simulation. Is there reason to think we are living in a simulation? And should we have hope that things will improve, or would it be better to simply accept our failure?
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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Pope Francis recently declared that couples who choose to have pets over kids are exhibiting a “form of selfishness” which “diminishes us and takes away our humanity.” In 2014 Francis claimed that having pets instead of children was “another phenomenon of cultural degradation”

In this episode, we defend ourselves as childless cat-owners against this brutal personal attack.

Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In this episode, we discussed Aldo Leopold's "Land Ethic", the idea that ecosystems--including the water, the soil, the rocks, the plants, animals, etc.--have intrinsic value. The idea sounds quite radical against a backdrop of standard moral theories, but whether the view is true or not, there might be lots of good reasons to adopt it.
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes, Hanna Gunn 

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In this episode, we discussed Aldo Leopold's "Land Ethic", the idea that ecosystems--including the water, the soil, the rocks, the plants, animals, etc.--have intrinsic value. The idea sounds quite radical against a backdrop of standard moral theories, but whether the view is true or not, there might be lots of good reasons to adopt it.
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes, Hanna Gunn 

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In this episode, we dive into the ethics of abortion. In particular, we ask: what positions on personhood, harm, and sacrifice does one have to hold in order to be anti-abortion WITHOUT also being committed to the moral (or legal) requirement of veganism or the mass redistribution of wealth. Turns out it's not so easy a question to answer.
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In this episode, we dive into the ethics of abortion. In particular, we ask: what positions on personhood, harm, and sacrifice does one have to hold in order to be anti-abortion WITHOUT also being committed to the moral (or legal) requirement of veganism or the mass redistribution of wealth. Turns out it's not so easy a question to answer.
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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September 20, 2021 56 min

In today's episode, we discuss the recent anti-abortion law passed in the state of Texas, which effectively tries to eliminate most abortions that occur after six weeks of pregnancy. The law is a blatant attempt to get around Roe vs. Wade, and creates a dangerous precedent wherein states can, at least temporarily, pass laws which violate constitutional rights.
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In this episode, we continue our discussion of conservative and liberal psychology. Is one cognitive style more rational than the other? How does philosophical conservatism fit in? And what, if anything, does this research suggest about how to do politics better?
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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In today's episode, we begin discussing the psychological and cognitive research on the differences between the brains, minds, and personalities of liberals and conservatives. 
Toby Napoletano, Michael Hughes

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On today's episode, we continue our discussion on meritocracy and Michael Sandel's recent book The Tyranny of Merit, which argues that meritocracy is  "a hollow political project that reflects an impoverished conception of citizenship and freedom...". Meritocracy poisons our civic culture by dividing society into winners and losers, and breeds hubris and resentment which undermines the civic good.

Toby Napoletano, Mi...

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On today's episode, we revisit the topic of meritocracy and begin discussing Michael Sandel's recent book The Tyranny of Merit, which argues that meritocracy is  "a hollow political project that reflects an impoverished conception of citizenship and freedom...". Meritocracy poisons our civic culture by dividing society into winners and losers, and breeds hubris and resentment which undermines the civic good.

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