Torture and Philosophy

With the release of the Senate report on the CIA’s torture program and the revelation that the CIA program was more extensive and more brutal than previously described, the ethical status of torture is once again a current issue.  Here are some articles by David Luban, who has been writing about the ethical problems with torture for the last decade or so.  I’ve also included a link to a paper about the use of torture in TV, especially the show “24″.

David Luban, “Liberalism, Torture, and the Ticking Bomb,” Virginia Law Review (2005)

David Luban, “Torture, American-Style,” The Washington Post (2005)

David Luban, “Torture and the Professions,” Georgetown Faculty Working Papers (2008)

The article is “Defining Dilemmas Down: the Case of 24,” John M. Parrish, Essays in Philosophy (2002)




“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”

I bought this book at the New Hanover County Library book sale for $1.  It was first published in 1985.  It was well worth the price.  The book, written by physicist Richard P. Feynman, is a very humorous series of stories about his life as a scientist.  But, the real value of the book is the portrait it draws of a person who is dedicated to the discovery of the truth about the world.  Professor Feynman had an unquenchable curiosity that led him to inquiry about nearly anything that he encountered from ants to locks to atomic theory to sense-deprivation tanks.  Yet, his inquiries were always guided and influenced by scientific method.

His commencement lecture on scientific method and pseudo-science, which is included at the end of the book, can be found here:

Cargo Cult Science

If you want to read more, I suggest checking out the CFCC library copy of

Classic Feynman : all the adventures of a curious character / Richard P. Feynman ; edited by Ralph Leighton
Book Book | W.W. Norton | 2006 | First edition.
Available at Wilm Circulating Books (QC 16 .F49 A3 2006) plus 1 more
This book contains material from “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” and a subsequent volume of his memoirs.



America’s Young Chess Stars

Here is a story about Wesley So and Ray Robson finishing first and second at on open chess tournament in Las Vegas.  They won $100,000 and $50,000 respectively.  They are both on the chess team at Webster University.

The author of the article played chess himself and was very excited by one of the game’s won by Robson.  You can read the article here:

Las Vegas Chess Tournament