Care and demandingness

People sometimes object to moral claims on the grounds that their implications would be too demanding. But analogous objections make little sense in empirical and prudential contexts. I find this contrast instructive. Some ways of understanding moral obligation suggest relevant differences from empiricism and prudence. But the more we see moral life as continuous with… Continue reading Care and demandingness

Contact with reality

In thought experiments descended from Nozick's classic "experience machine," you consider how being plugged into a machine that generates the experience of a certain kind of life (generally, a very pleasant one) compares with some alternative. Such comparisons are meant to tease apart the purely experiential aspect of life from other factors -- in particular,… Continue reading Contact with reality

On clinging

I often find myself wanting to refer to a certain dimension of emotional experience, which I'll call "clinging." This post tries to point at it. I also suggest that understanding this dimension can resolve a common confusion about Buddhist philosophy and other types of spiritual/therapeutic advice -- namely, how "non-attachment" or “letting go” can be… Continue reading On clinging