Immanuel Kant as a Philosopher of Freedom

Last week, I met with the MVHS students to discuss Section 2 of The Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. We looked at the way Kant derived a “categorical imperative” from the idea that morality commands us categorically rather than hypothetically. For instance, morality says “do not murder,” not “if you don’t want to go to jail, do not murder.” […]

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A Good Will

One of the new readings we are doing for this year’s Ethics and Economics Challenge course is Immanuel Kant’s Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. Last week, I spoke with the students about the first part of this essay, and we discussed Kant’s conception of morality based on the good will. Kant says a good will is the only unconditionally […]

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“Thanksgiving, Ethics, and Economics” or “Why The Lesson of Plymouth Plantation Lasts Longer Than One Day in November”

On December 9, 2015, as students reconvened with E3NE following their Thanksgiving break, we decided to reflect on history, and how it provides lessons in ethics and economics. But first we needed to define a few terms, and keep our eyes peeled for a few others that would be important for the future and intellectual growth. I asked the students […]

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Justifying Borders

Vassal doing homage

For my last discussion with the Merrimack Valley H.S. Ethics & Economics Challenge students, I brought up the issue of borders. We started our discussion with a little bit of improv theatre. I played a foreigner trying to get into the United States without documentation. Students volunteered to play a border guard trying to keep me out. Between us lay […]

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