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  • Introducing John Dewey

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    On July 4th at the Shelburne Farms Inn, I was talking with Peter Gilbert, Executive Director of the Vermont Humanities Council, and we were talking about notable Vermonters. Somewhat ironically, earlier that day—July 4th—I was at a brunch after running in a 5 K where the same topic arose. The 5 K was the Clarence [...]
    Posted July 06, 2012.
  • Note on Ethical Relativism

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    A Note on Relativism: I. “I’m saying that if you mutilate 100 million women and make it so hard for them to give birth that many of them will die trying or their children will be born deformed or crippled, how can you expect the continent to be healthy.” Alice Walker Well-intentioned people often believe [...]
    Posted May 24, 2012.
  • Phronesis or Pragmatic Wisdom

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    An important component to Aristotle’s virtue ethics is the concept of Phrönesis. In book VI of the Nichomachean Ethics , Aristotle’s presents two concepts of wisdom, sophia and phronesis. Sophia is generally translated as wisdom or knowledge and is typically meant to encapsulate the data produced by mathematical and scientific inquiry; whereas,…[Read more]
    Posted May 18, 2012.
  • The Ethics of Relationships

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    Healthcare is unique among modern professions in that the primary focus is care of the OTHER, the patient. It is an occupation built on a fiduciary relationship. “FIDES”, the Latin root of the word, means “trust”. As such a fiduciary relationship is one built on a sense of abiding trust and confidence that you are [...]
    Posted May 13, 2012.
  • Studying Medical Ethics

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    Medical Ethics: Welcome. You are about to embark on an exciting discovery to determine how you reason morally. We will start our class in healthcare ethics by determining how each of you reason about and make moral decisions. To achieve this, we will study the major normative ethical theories that philosophers argue humans use to [...]
    Posted May 13, 2012.
  • Is Understanding Necessary for Ethical Choice

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    One of the most important and problematic aspects to arise out of Greek philosophy is Socrates identifying virtue with wisdom. Virtue=wisdom. In short, this identity means that to do good, one must know the good. Ethical behavior becomes an epistemological concern with this approach. Is this true? Can you do good acts without understanding their [...]
    Posted March 25, 2012.
  • The 4 Virtues

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    In books II and Iv of Plato’s Republic, Socrates introduces and describes the four chief virtues needed for justice to thrive  in a polis He presents them as Courage, Moderation, Justice and Wisdom . To be sure the ancient Greeks meant something different than later cultures, but the signal importance of these virtues to the moral life remain …[Read more]
    Posted March 13, 2012.
  • On The Use and Abuse of Socrates.

    On The Use and Abuse of Socrates.
    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
      Once in a while there are these quiet events in publishing that go largely unnoticed. For example, there has been a spate of books written and published on or about Socrates in the last few years. Why? Is Socrates really the man for our times as the subtitle of Paul Johnson’s recent work on [...]
    Posted January 31, 2012.
  • The Examined Life

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    1. The Road Not Taken   Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5 Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because…[Read more]
    Posted January 28, 2012.
  • Choosing Your Moral Theory

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    In attempting to define what the”good” means you will use a normative theory.  In choosing the moral theory that best “fits,” you are trying to figure out what theory or set of practices guides you through life. It sounds cliche but you are looking for your moral north star. The guiding light that orients your [...]
    Posted January 26, 2012.
  • Moral Development

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    In my lectures on Plato’s “Apology” this morning, my Saint Michael’s students and I followed Socrates’ method of cross examination of Meletus and asked ourselves, “who does improve the youth?” Our replies were no different than Meletus’s; but upon further refelection, we too realized that only a few actually do improve children. The few who do, [...]
    Posted January 23, 2012.
  • Studying Philosophy

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    All philosophers are autodidacts. The true philosopher, I believe, is a self-motivated learner who seeks knowledge for its own sake.  As such, the philosopher seeks knowledge on her own terms and for her own sense of self-worth.  My suggestion to those interested in philosophy is simple: read.  Read widely! Read everything and anything that piques…[Read more]
    Posted January 22, 2012.
  • Hello Vermont

    pstanden on Vermont Philosophy
    I am starting this blog primarily for my healthcare ethics students at UVM and my philosophy students at Saint Mike’s but invite any person interested in philosophy, literature, history, science, medicine, ethics, disability and adaptive sports to wander in, read and join the discussion and dialogue.
    Posted January 17, 2012.