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Indecent Proposal March 21, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Culture, Dwight Furrow's Posts, Philosophy.
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Kieren Healy at Crooked Timber was forwarded an email from an acquaintance containing a strange request:

Hello,
I hope you are doing well! I am a casting producer for ABC Television’s hit reality show, Wife Swap. I am currently trying to cast families that promote philosophy as a discipline for a special episode of our show and thought perhaps you might know some scholars that would be interested in such an opportunity. An ideal family would have 2 parents that are both philosophers and children that also believe in the discipline…In case you are unfamiliar with the show, the premise of Wife Swap is to take two different families and have the moms switch place to experience how another family lives. Half of the week, Mom lives the life of the family she is staying with. Then she introduces a “rule change” where she implements rules and activities that her family has. It’s a positive experience for people to not only learn but teach about other families and other ways of life.

Fascinating! The timberites are having a great time in the comments section speculating about what “believing in the discipline” might mean and, because this show is really based on conflict, imagining  the kind of bloody debacle the producers want to see—Kantians vs. utilitarians, anyone vs. the Nietzscheans, etc.

Myself, if my wife and I were paired off with metaphysicians I would share dsquared’s worry.

I would be worried that they were actually going to destroy my wife and then replace her with a molecule-by-molecule replica of my wife.

But philosophers ought to be cautious about signing up for this. Imagine if a family of moral realists were paired off with a family of moral constructivists and they got along just fine—no big disagreements about family rules, appropriate behavior,etc. That would expose a dirty little truth about philosophy. And we can’t have that.

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Comments»

1. Huan - March 22, 2009

Hahaha one of the comments contained a rather interesting depiction in the format of Jerry Springer: http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/x/humour/humour00069.html

2. James Gray - March 27, 2009

To be serious for a moment I am completely fine with anti-realist philosophers because I don’t think they need realism due to their “social instincts.” Realism is what is necessary to justify morality to people who would otherwise be uninterested.


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