Open for Debate

Choosing for Changing Selves

Posted on 18 October 2021 by Richard Pettigrew

Our values change. What we want, value, prefer, desire, and how much; for nearly everyone, these will be different at different times in their lives. Perhaps when you were younger, you valued a life of action more than the life of the mind, but now you value intellectual pursuits above practical ones. Perhaps now you
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Mill and Ideal Theory

Posted on 4 October 2021 by Robin McKenna

John thinks that facemasks, social distancing and other public health measures are necessary to deal with the Covid 19 pandemic. He is aware that some disagree with him about this. But he hasn’t spent any time looking at their reasons for disagreeing. Should he spend time engaging with them and their arguments? Or should he
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On Anonymity

Posted on 6 September 2021 by Josh Habgood-Coote

After the England men’s football team lost to Italy on penalties on the 11th of July, the three England players who missed penalties—Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, and Jadon Sancho—were targeted with racist abuse on their social media accounts.
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COVID-19 exceptionalism

Posted on 23 August 2021 by Lisa Bortolotti

By Lisa Bortolotti and Kathleen Murphy-Hollies Exceptionalism Exceptionalism is the idea that a country is superior to other countries and in virtue of this superiority it is not subject to the same constraints. Some political leaders assumed that their countries were invulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, leading to a slow response, delegitimization
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Egotism in Higher Education

Posted on 9 August 2021 by Tracy Llanera

By Tracy Llanera and Nicholas Smith Crisis or no crisis, vice-chancellors in Australia remain exorbitantly well-paid. While most of them committed to pay cuts in 2020 in response to the pandemic, the Times Higher Education points out that many university leaders are back to their seven-figure earnings this coming academic year. This is difficult news
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CONSPIRACIES AND ‘COUNTERSPEECH’

Posted on 12 July 2021 by Maxime Lepoutre

‘The 2020 US election was stolen.’ ‘COVID-19 was intentionally developed as a biological weapon.’ ‘Climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.’ The times have been good for conspiracy theories. This, in turn, is dangerous. As these examples illustrate, conspiracy theories often sow confusion or scepticism about crucially important matters—matters such as the democratic
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Our warped geometry of attention and trust: The mutually exploitative relationship between anti-vaxxers and the far right is undermining public health

Posted on 28 June 2021 by Mark Alfano

Over the last half decade, I’ve been monitoring the discourse on Twitter about vaccines and immunization. For a while, this was one of the few polarized debates that wasn’t politically polarized. The ranks of anti-vaxxers included lefties skeptical of Big Pharma, hippies distrustful of anything that isn’t “natural,” cultural conservatives who opposed the human papillomavirus
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“With the intent to defraud or mislead”: Opioids, corporate propaganda, and epistemic rights

Posted on 31 May 2021 by Lani Watson

In May 2007, Purdue Frederick Company Inc., an affiliate of Purdue Pharma, along with three of its top executives, were ordered to pay fines totalling $634 million after pleading guilty to criminal charges of misbranding in relation to the opioid-based painkiller, OxyContin. Among other things, the company falsely claimed that OxyContin was less addictive than
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Think Before You Push the “Share” Button

Posted on 8 March 2021 by Sarah Wright

You’ve just run across a hilarious satire on a comedic news site and can’t wait to re-post it so your friends can get a chuckle. Or you’ve found an over-the-top editorial arguing for an unethical policy and want to show others the dangers of bad thinking. But before you share, take a moment to consider
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Modeling Sex as a Joint Activity

Posted on 22 February 2021 by Laura Caponetto

There has been an ongoing philosophical discussion over the last three decades on consent and refusal of sex qua speech acts – that is, acts performed in the uttering of certain words (typically, ‘yes’/‘no’) in a sexual setting[1]. Both consent and refusal are ‘second-turn speech acts’. The thought is simple: for my ‘yes’/‘no’ utterance to
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