The is/ought problem

1 minutes

Ought we accept Hume’s severing of any connection between ‘is’ and ‘ought’?

How do you decide whether you ought to do something? Chances are you’ve employed statements about how things are or have been as the basis for making a judgment call. The 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume forcefully argued against this approach. According to ‘Hume’s law’, also known as the ‘is/ought problem’, determining what you ought to do based on what is represents a logical mistake because there’s a gap that reason cannot bridge between the facts of the world and the values you might espouse.

Video by BBC Radio 4 and The Open University

Script: Nigel Warburton

Animator: Andrew Park

Video/Gender & Sexuality

How a dairy farmer preached radical self-acceptance to his gay son in the 1950s

4 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Ethics

If soldiers act with unjust aggression they are as culpable as civilian criminals

6 minutes

Video/History of Technology

Breakthroughs, quackery and strange beauty: the afterlife of outmoded medical devices

5 minutes

Idea/Fairness & Equality

Hierarchy is either strictly constrained or it is indefensible

Philip Pettit

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Essay/Fairness & Equality

In defence of hierarchy

As a society we have forgotten how to talk about the benefits of hierarchy, expertise and excellence. It's time we remembered

Stephen C Angle, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Julian Baggini and others

Video/Beauty & Aesthetics

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, which is the fairest rectangle of them all?

2 minutes

Essay/Political Philosophy

The last hollow laugh

Since Francis Fukuyama proclaimed ‘The End of History’ 25 years ago, he has been much maligned. His work now seems prophetic

Paul Sagar

Video/Values & Beliefs

How a millionaire traded his wealth for happiness – and a shoeshine box

4 minutes

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Idea/Political Philosophy

Simone de Beauvoir’s political philosophy resonates today

Skye C Cleary