Ethical Realism

April 10, 2011

Philosophy Should be an Educational Requirement in High School & College Part 2: Objections

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 8:00 am
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This is part 2. You might want to see part 1 here if you haven’t already.

I have now encountered several objections to the idea that philosophy should be a requirement in high school, so that will be my focus here. Most of these objections were provided in a philosophy discussion forum on facebook. I will describe the objections, then respond to them below. The first nine of these objections are not serious and I think they are quickly dispelled. The final four objections target my specific ideas about implementing philosophy in high school as part of our English classes. That’s a much more difficult issue and I can’t say for absolute certain that my suggestion is the best one possible. However, I think my suggestion is one of the better options we have, and it’s modest enough to be a realistic goal. (more…)

March 23, 2011

A Discussion of Philosophy’s Importance

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 5:19 am

Philosophy is the “love of wisdom”–an attempt to deliberately become more reasonable and wise. Philosophy professors know a lot about what it means to be reasonable, and we have a lot we can learn from them. I created a new section to discuss the importance of philosophy called “Why Philosophy is Important.” I list 11 reasons that philosophy is important, provide evidence that philosophy is beneficial, and defend philosophy from objections. Much of the discussion is reused from previous things I’ve written. Go here to take a look at what I have to say.

March 2, 2011

Should Philosophy be a Requirement In High School & College?

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 10:50 am

I added a new piece to the Philosophy Campaign section of this site called, “Philosophy Should Be An Educational Requirement in High School & College.” I argue that philosophy is of the utmost importance because it helps us be reasonable and moral. We should help everyone become more reasonable and moral through philosophy.

I would like people to spread the word. I think this is important.

February 11, 2011

Philosophical Lobbying & Improved Ethics Requirements in Accounting

Filed under: ethics,outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 6:44 am
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I discussed the need for philosophical lobbying (philobbying), and we recently found some success in California. If you want to be a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) in California, then you might have to take 10 units of ethics classes thanks to lobbying by the Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) who hopes that such classes will help reduce the unethical behavior committed by accountants.1 I will discuss the new ethics requirement and why I think it’s a good idea. (more…)

January 8, 2011

A Powerful Idea: Philosophical Lobbying

Filed under: ethics,outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 12:45 am
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I have added a page concerning philosophical lobbying. I think this is relevant to the philosophy campaign and being a moral human being in general. We need to put our reasoning to use. One way to do that is to try to make a difference in politics. One of the most effective ways to make a difference in politics is lobbying. I call philosophical lobbying “philobbying.” (more…)

December 31, 2010

Should I Take A Philosophy Class? (And Should I Major in Philosophy?)

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 7:38 am
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When deciding if you should take a philosophy class (or major in philosophy), you might want to ask yourself what kind of an answer you want: (more…)

December 6, 2010

Two Political Goals: Let’s Limit Military Spending & Demand Accountability

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 8:11 am
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There are many admirable political goals, such as protecting human rights, helping the poor, protecting animals, protecting the environment, preventing wars, and so on. However, the government is notoriously bad at doing anything for the better of the common good because politicians have a lot of favors to return mainly to corporations and lobbyists who care little about the common good. Nonetheless, there are non-partisan goals and we should pressure the government to do the right thing when it is blatantly obvious to everyone what needs to be done. In particular, consider these two non-partisan goals for those of us in the USA: (more…)

October 27, 2010

Philosophy Education is Under Threat

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 1:00 am

Will philosophy continue to progress in the future or could it die out? If how society values academic philosophy has any indication, then we might be in serious trouble. First, philosophy and logic were once taught in high schools (and perhaps they still are for the few elite rich people who wouldn’t stand for anything else). However, a college education without philosophy is an outrage. Additionally, a university without philosophy is beyond an outrage. And yet – this is the world we live in, and it is becoming increasingly normal. People who care nothing for philosophy get to decide the fate of academic philosophy, and often decide that philosophy is unprofitable. In a world where independent thought is becoming increasingly unimportant to people academic philosophy could someday either be reserved for the very few elites or it could die out entirely “because it’s so darn useless!”1 (more…)

October 8, 2010

I Propose the Philosophy Campaign

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 12:42 am

philosophy campaginTo help increase the visibility of philosophy, I propose the Philosophy Campaign. People need to know that philosophy exists, and we should do something to help people know about it. This is a non-threatening, unobtrusive, and fairly inoffensive way to do it. Just link to the philosophy campaign or tell people about it. The webpage is at

I would like to help reverse the marginalization of philosophy and I would like it to have a greater impact on people’s lives. If possible, I would like a philosophical community that exists beyond the Internet and universities. This could be a starting point.

The Philosophy Campaign has a facebook page at

October 5, 2010

Corruption of Philosophical Language

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 6:02 pm
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The vocabulary of philosophy is being corrupted to the point that thinking philosophically is now difficult and considered offensive, which contributes to the marginalization of philosophy and assures us that philosophy will have a negligible impact on society. I will discuss the history of philosophical language, why thinking philosophically is so difficult without the appropriate language, and how exactly the philosophical language is being corrupted. (more…)

September 30, 2010

The Marginalization of Philosophy

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 11:37 pm
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There is a long tradition of ridiculing philosophers, such as Aristophanes’s The Clouds, which mocked Socrates, one of the first philosophers who actually called himself a “philosopher.” This tradition has been waning over the last couple thousand years. Although philosophy has been at the forefront of many of the greatest intellectual advancements, many people no longer have any idea what philosophy is at all, and you can’t ridicule things you’ve never heard of. Philosophers have been marginalized to the point that few even know what they are.

I will discuss the following:

  1. Some of the achievements made by philosophers.
  2. How philosophers have been ridiculed and despised.
  3. How philosophers have been marginalized.


September 14, 2010

A Proposal for a Philosophical Community

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 8:32 am
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The Stoic and Epicurean philosophers welcomed everyone to learn philosophy and they offered free education to anyone interested. If people wanted to learn philosophy, they knew where to go. I want that to exist again. I not only want people to have to opportunity for free philosophical education, but I also want philosophy to offer people a community. I want a place for those who value rationality and knowledge to gather for education and friendship – a place for people to organize and figure out how we can make the world a better place. (more…)

February 17, 2010

Why Philosophy is Awesome

If you are thinking about learning philosophy on your own or taking a philosophy class, it can be a good idea to think about why philosophy is so important. Philosophy is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Medication, self-help books, get quick rich schemes, and religion are all rather meaningless unless they have been vindicated through philosophy. There are at least two reasons that we should learn philosophy. One, it is enjoyable. Two, it helps us live a better life. (more…)

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