My travel/speaking schedule, September-December 2014

The new academic year is beginning, and here is my line-up for the first semester:

September 4: Santiago de Chile, Department of Philosophy, Universidad de Chile. Topic: “Philosophy, Education, and Entrepreneurship.” speaker-action-145

September 18-21: Tucson, Arizona, Liberty Fund Seminar. Topic: “Is the Decline of Liberty Inevitable?”

October 10-11: University of Illinois, Springfield. Topic: “Thirteen Arguments for Liberalism: Are Friedman’s, Hayek’s, and Rand’s Arguments Compatible?”

November 1-12: Buenos Aires, Argentina. Five lectures in connection with the release of Explicando el Pósmodernismo, la crisis del socialismo, which is the Spanish translation of my Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault.

December 6: Lisbon, Portugal, Institute for Political Studies, Catholic University of Portugal. Seminar topic: “Two Narratives of Modernity: Enlightenment and Postmodern.”

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Liberty and medical experimentation

Should dying patients have the right to try drugs not yet approved by the government?

pill-bottlesIn my Business Ethics course, we cover the classic Laetrile case (my one-hour video lecture with accompanying readings on the case), in which the arguments for government paternalism and market liberalism go head to head. Every few years brings another round of debates — for example, over treatments for AIDS, the use of medical marijuana, and so on — making this a perennial issue.

Here is some recent journalism on right-to-try bills in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, and Missouri to enable patients to make their own choices.

Daniel Henninger on “Drug Lag” (at The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics).
Daniel Klein and Alexander Tabarrok’s (at The Independent Institute).

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Endless summer? On leave for academic year 2014-15

The new academic year has begun — but I am on leave from teaching this year in order to complete my next book. Good progress so far, but summer is summer and now it’s time to get systematic.

So let me mark the transition with a Vacation’s-Over picture.


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The Richest Man in the World’s Healthcare [new "The Good Life" column]

The opening of my latest column at EveryJoe: “You might not think of yourself as wealthy. Let me prove that you are.

“In 1836, the richest man in the world was Nathan Rothschild. He was 58 years old and, according to a medical check-up at the beginning of the year, in good condition for a man of his age. …” Read more here.


Last week’s column: When Can Professors Have Sex With Their Students?

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Kant’s wayward relative Emil

Via Roger Donway, this from a brief obituary in The New York Times, August 2, 1927, page 21:

kant-silhouette-75x134“Emil C. Kant, last German relative of Emmanuel Kant, famous philosopher, was buried in Corozal Cemetery, Canal Zone, yesterday … . While a student at the University of Dorpat, Emil was conscripted by the German Army, thereby failing to obtain the degree Doctor of Medicine. He rebelled against army discipline, assaulted a superior officer and deserted the army, fleeing to Africa. Later, he went to the United States and came to Central America in connection with the construction of the railroad from Port Limon, Costa Rica, to San Jose, capital of that country.”

Imagine that: a Kant who failed to do his duty, disobeyed, and followed his inclinations.

A snippet from the Times says “Philosopher’s Relative Sought All Over the World for 40 Years.”

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Cassius on Roman versus Greek superiority

The Greeks, according to Cassius:

greek-vase-males“They are an arrogant people, I’ve always found. I remember one of them telling me they had invented everything, from gods to sex. I pointed out that Romans took their ideas and improved upon them. Ares became Mars, Zeus became Jupiter. And of course, although we could not improve on sex, we are the ones who thought of trying it with women.”

That zinger is from the fictionalized Cassius of Conn Iggulden’s Emperor: Blood of Gods, a novelized treatment of the power struggle in Rome following Julius Caesar’s assassination.

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When Can Professors Have Sex with Their Students? [new "The Good Life" column]

The opening of my latest column at EveryJoe:

“Two sex scandals in philosophy departments have, well, scandalized the academic world recently.

“One at the University of Miami in Florida led to the resignation of professor Colin McGinn. The other, at the University of Colorado, Boulder resulted in the removal of the department chair, Graeme Forbes. …” Read more here.


[Last week's column: "Are Philosophers Stupid About Politics?" My other columns on The Good Life.]

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Philosophy and a Century of War — now with Portuguese subtitles

For the video’s Portuguese subtitles, click the “Transcription” icon:

Here also are the English transcription and the text of the Portuguese translation as “Filosofia e um Século de Guerra.”

Much thanks to Matheus Pacini and Vinicius Cintra for their work on this project.

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