Test your thoughts about what we owe others with this philosophy experiment based on articles by Peter Singer.
Using three philosophers as examples, Nicholas Kristof explains we cannot dismiss the humanities. “These three philosophers influence the way I think about politics, immigration, inequality; they even affect what I eat. It’s also worth pointing out that these three philosophers are recent ones. To adapt to a changing world, we need new software for our cellphones; we also need new ideas. The same goes for literature, for architecture, languages and theology.”
The mathematical world. Some philosophers — the Platonists — think math is about a mysterious other realm of eternal and unchanging entities. Others — the nominalists — think math is simply the manipulation of symbols according to rules we have made up. According to James Franklin, they’re wrong. His theory is Aristotelian realism: look around, and you can see math.
Paul Bloom says no. “It is a mistake to see the powerful and unique morality that modern humans possess as a divine gift. Doing so distracts us from its origin as a cultural accomplishment, best understood in terms of processes such as the exercise of reason and imagination … .”
Bob, his Bugatti, and what we owe others. Peter Singer’s 1999 New York Times article asking: “Now you, too, have the information you need to save a child’s life. How should you judge yourself if you don’t do it?” Many more articles by Singer, including “What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You?”
And what about the Bugatti? Bugatti: 1,001 horsepower, $1.24 million and 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic sells for a record $30+ Million.