Ending Friendships Over Politics?

Dear Aristotle, Is it ethical to end a friendship over extreme political differences? I had a friend that had very different views from me and it often got in the way of our conversations. I felt like it was a reflection of her moral character. Thanks. – Sam Dear Sam, Thanks very much for this timelyContinue reading “Ending Friendships Over Politics?”

Is Gene-Enhancement Ethical?

Hello Aristotle, I just read about a researcher in China who was sentenced to three years in prison for creating, what he says are, the first “gene-edited babies.” This may be a broad question, but regarding these new gene-editing technologies, what would be some ethical questions to consider in regards to gene-enhancement? Oh, and welcomeContinue reading “Is Gene-Enhancement Ethical?”

Are Video Games Good?

Dear Aristotle, Hi Aristotle, love your column. Glad to see you writing again; it’s been a few years. I’m wondering what you think about video games. Is there a difference in virtue between video games and other types of recreation? Is it morally and/or aesthetically better to spend one’s free time, say, learning a musicalContinue reading “Are Video Games Good?”

Why Read Literature?

Dear Aristotle, Why should we read literature? I am a second-year engineering student at El Camino College in LA and I feel like I don’t learn anything from my English classes. I don’t see how Charles Bukowski or Herman Melville can teach me about balancing a budget or about getting a job after graduation. It’sContinue reading “Why Read Literature?”

Are Humans Rational?

Dear Aristotle, I recently was debating with a History professor about whether or not humans were inherently rational. As a philosophy student who was well aware of Aristotle’s definition of man as “rational, political animals” I was firmly rooted in the position that people were naturally rational as it was part of what distinguished usContinue reading “Are Humans Rational?”


Dear Aristotle, Is self-plagiarism ethical? Would I be doing something wrong if I did self-plagiarize?Thanks, Harrison Hello, Harrison.  Let us start (as much of philosophy starts) with defining our terms. You didn’t say exactly what you meant by ‘self-plagiarism,’ and the concept is an ethically complicated one. ‘Plagiarizing’ simpliciter, is something along the lines of, ‘passing offContinue reading “Self-Plagiarism?”