The Morality of Synthetic Meat
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
3d ago
Put roughly, vegetarians are defined by their refusal to eat meat. Vegans take it further and refuse to eat any animal products. There are, as vegetarians and vegans will tell you, many varieties of each and some involve nuances about what is and is not acceptable to eat. For example, some vegans will consume honey while others will not.  While this oversimplifies things, people tend to embrace these views for two broad reasons. Moral vegans/vegetarians are motivated by the belief that it is morally wrong to harm animals. Some also consider the total harm arising from the use of animals ..read more
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The Florida Lab-Grown Meat War
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
1w ago
While the consumption of meat has long been a part of the endless culture war, a new front has opened–the insects and lab-grown meat battlefield. In May of 2024 my adopted state of Florida passed a law prohibiting the sale of lab-grown meat. Governor DeSantis’ website made the announcement, asserting that Florida “is taking action to stop the World Economic Forum’s goal of forcing the world to eat lab-grown meat and insects.” Perhaps as an attempt at proving the claim about insects, the page links to a World Economic Forum page that makes a case for using insects as protein and fertilizer. In ..read more
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The Small Business Argument Against Raising the Minimum Wage
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
1w ago
A stock argument against raising the minimum wage is built on the claim doing so would hurt small businesses. This argument has some merit. While companies like Amazon and McDonalds could increase employee wages while still making a massive profit for upper management and shareholders, a small business that is barely making a profit could be hard pressed to increase wages without running at a loss.  To use an imaginary example, suppose Larry owns Larry’s Lawn Care and pays his workers $10 an hour. He charges his customers $20 an hour for the labor of his employees and the expenses for th ..read more
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Modern Philosophy & Racism IV: Philosophers
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
2w ago
In the previous essays in this series, I looked at the invention of race and addressed the general topic of what to do about racist philosophers of the Modern Era. This essay ends the series with a discussion of my assessment of the philosophers I include in my class. In engaging in this assessment, I sought out the most critical of credible assessments of the philosophers. I start the class with Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). His Leviathan was published in 1651, long before Linnaeus’ book and twenty-five years before Bacon’s Rebellion. This means that Hobbes was unlikely to have been aware of th ..read more
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Modern Philosophy & Racism III: What To Do?
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
2w ago
  In the previous essays in this series, I looked at the invention of race and some defenses offered against charges of racism directed at Modern era philosophers. In this essay, I’ll discuss the subject of what to do when a Modern era philosopher has been proven to be a racist. This would also apply, in some cases, to philosophers of other eras, including today. One extreme option is to purge works by racist philosophers and racist works from academic philosophy. In practical terms, this would mean these philosophers would not be mentioned in institutes of learning, and their works would ..read more
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Modern Philosophy & Racism II: Excuses & Arguments
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
2w ago
  In the previous essay I discussed the invention of the concept of race in the context of Modern era philosophers. In this essay, I’ll take a brief look at defending Modern era philosophers against the charge of racism. While some might assume all Modern era white European philosophers were racists simply because they were white, this would be a mistake. To assume that a white person must be racist simply because they are white would be both unreasonable and prejudiced. This holds true during our time as well as the Modern era.  If a philosopher is to be justly accused of racism, th ..read more
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Woke Wars: Beer & Sausage
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
1M ago
Two ways I track the culture war are my Facebook feed and memos about changes to higher education. One recent conflict was the Great Light Beer Battle of 2023. For those unfamiliar with this significant and world changing battle, TikToker Dylan Mulvaney received a custom can of Bud Light featuring her face and did a short promo spot. Since Mulvaney is a trans person, there was a reaction from many on the right.  Kid Rock added to the discussion of corporate marketing tactics by purchasing boxes of Bud Light and shooting them with a submachinegun. For those unfamiliar with gun laws, it is ..read more
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Progressive Feminists Put Boebert & Greene in Congress
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
1M ago
While the title of this essay could mean that Boebert and Greene’s culture war against “the progressives” and “the woke” got them into congress, it is not what I mean. What I mean is that progressive feminists fought for the rights of women to vote and hold office and without them, Boebert and Greene would be unable to do either. The right in the United States tends to be ahistorical or mythological in their approach to the past and hence rarely talk about how many conservatives of today accept progressive views that their predecessors savagely opposed. An excellent illustration of this is wo ..read more
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AI Apocalypse: Robot Rebellion
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
1M ago
  Rossum’s Universal Robots introduced the term “robot” and the robot rebellion into science fiction, thus laying the foundation for future fictional AI apocalypses. While Rossum’s robots were workers rather than warriors, the idea of war machines turning against their creators was the next evolution in the robot apocalypse. In Philip K. Dick’s 1953 “Second Variety”, the United Nations deployed killer robots called “claws” against the Soviet Union. The claws develop sentience and turn against their creators, although humanity had already been doing an excellent job in exterminating itself ..read more
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MEWF: Minority Excluding White Feminist
A Philosopher's Blog
by Michael LaBossiere
1M ago
In my last essay I discussed TERFs (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists), with a focus on the seemingly odd alliance between TERFs (or “gender critical” feminists) and the far right. J.K. Rowling is, sadly, the most famous example of what her critics see as a TERF allied with the far right. While a TERF need not be a racist, there is a category of feminism that often is, the MEWF (Minority Excluding White Feminist). While a TERF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist) excludes trans-women because they claim they are not women, a MEWF does not claim that minority women are not women. As such, t ..read more
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