This Week in Philosophy 2018–05–06

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

“There’s an expression used by boards of directors about the hiring and firing of executives: “You hire them for what they can do. If you have to fire them, you fire them for who they are.”

With Facebook FB, +1.49% under pressure, it’s only natural to wonder what the company’s independent directors are thinking about their CEO. We know what Mark Zuckerberg can do. Do we know — does he know — who he is?

Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” reputation has been under fire for some time. The industry’s leaders — many of them young leaders just starting out — pour their energy into ideas, innovation and hyper-growth, and they understand technology in ways few of us can. But technology is not the answer to any of the problems that brought Zuckerberg to Capitol Hill last month.”


“It is true that Plato and Socrates did not create works with titles like “Maximizing Happiness in Your Life.”

But they did address the subject of happiness in their philosophy. So did many other philosophers through the years, a fact capitalized upon by modern philosopher Frederic Lenoir.

He culls the ranks of philosophers past and present for the material in his book, Happiness: A Philosopher’s Guide.

Frederic Lenoir visited in 2015, and we revisit the interview here.”


“ This refers to a philosophical thought experiment that is used to refute the argument that people simply seek the maximum amount of pleasure in their daily lives. It was proposed by American philosopher Robert Nozick in his 1974 book Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Nozick devised the idea of a machine that can simulate only good feelings in people who choose to plug themselves into it and asked if people would opt for it. He went on to argue that most people would choose to live their lives plugged outside an experience machine.”


“Tampa, FL (WFTS) — Thousands will graduate from the University of South Florida this weekend. 81-year-old John Voelpel who graduated on Friday night is the oldest graduate this semester.

“Getting the Ph.D. feels wonderful. The cap and gown feel a bit warm,” laughed John Voelpel.

Voelpel earned a Ph.D. in philosophy. He took his first class at USF in 2002 for no credit. He stuck around nearly 15 years.

“I’ve learned a lot through the philosophy department because philosophy is really where science started,” said Voelpel.

He shared photos from his high school yearbook from nearly 60 years ago.

He graduated from college in 1959 form the University of Illinois. He learned a law degree from Wayne State University in 1972.”


“Kgomotso Kgopa’s prowess behind the lens has been an inspiring self-taught and organic journey.

The man from Lebanon in Mabopane, north of Pretoria, started taking photos in 2011 after his mother bought a laptop that came with a bonus of a phone which had a good camera.

Kgopa says he shared these shots on Facebook and received encouraging feedback. But his parents wanted him to finish his education, so photography was on the back burner as he focused on his electrical engineering studies at Tshwane University of Technology.

In 2013 he did practicals and with his first pay cheque, he bought himself a Canon Powershot camera ostensibly to record his electrical engineering projects. But, off he went to photograph flowers and insects.”


“It’s a logical fallacy to assume that, just because x implies y, y therefore also implies x. For example, all great philosophers may be geniuses, but that certainly doesn’t imply that all geniuses are great philosophers. Kanye West is a case in point.

Though his recent comments on slavery are offensive and shallow at best, Kanye has shown musical and marketing brilliance throughout his career. In his latest high-profile act of creativity, Kanye announced that he was writing a philosophy book in real time on Twitter. In quintessentially grandiose style, Kanye made this transition into a new and complex field without a shred of self-doubt.”


(Updated September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:, Scott.Jacobsen@TrustedClothes.Com, Scott@ConatusNews.Com,, Scott@Karmik.Ca.

He is a Moral Courage Webmaster and Outreach Specialist (Fall, 2016) at the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center), Interview Columnist for Conatus News, Writer and Executive Administrator for Trusted Clothes, Interview Columnist for Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), Councillor for the Athabasca University Student Union, Member of the Learning Analytics Research Group, writer for The Voice Magazine, Your Political Party of BC, ProBC, Marijuana Party of Canada, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Harvest House Ministries, and Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Editor and Proofreader for Alfred Yi Zhang Photography, Community Journalist/Blogger for Gordon Neighbourhood House, Member-at-Large, Member of the Outreach Committee, the Finance & Fundraising Committee, and the Special Projects & Political Advocacy Committee, and Writer for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Member of the Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab and IMAGe Psychology Lab, Collaborator with Dr. Farhad Dastur in creation of the CriticalThinkingWiki, Board Member, and Foundation Volunteer Committee Member for the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, and Independent Landscaper.

He was a Francisco Ayala Scholar at the UCI Ethics Center, Member of the Psychometric Society Graduate Student Committee, Special Advisor and Writer for ECOSOC at NWMUN, Writer for TransplantFirstAcademy and ProActive Path, Member of AT-CURA Psychology Lab, Contributor for a student policy review, Vice President of Outreach for the Almas Jiwani Foundation, worked with Manahel Thabet on numerous initiatives, Student Member of the Ad–Hoc Executive Compensation Review Committee for the Athabasca University Student Union, Volunteer and Writer for British Columbia Psychological Association, Community Member of the KPU Choir (even performed with them alongside the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Delegate at Harvard World MUN, NWMUN, UBC MUN, and Long Beach Intercollegiate MUN, and Writer and Member of the Communications Committee for The PIPE UP Network.

He published in American Enterprise Institute, Annaborgia, Conatus News, Earth Skin & Eden, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Huffington Post, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Jolly Dragons, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology Department, La Petite Mort, Learning Analytics Research Group, Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab, Lost in Samara, Marijuana Party of Canada, MomMandy, Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society, Piece of Mind, Production Mode, Synapse, TeenFinancial, The Peak, The Ubyssey, The Voice Magazine, Transformative Dialogues, Treasure Box Kids, Trusted Clothes.




Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen supports science and human rights.

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Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen supports science and human rights.

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