About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Michael’s Picks: drone edition
by Michael De Dora
* In its latest issue, Esquire published a feature article, by Tom Junod, critical of the Obama administration’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., drones), among other military tactics.
* Days later, the New York Times ran a news analysis, by Scott Shane, citing a number of sources who applauded Obama’s replacement of broader bombing efforts with precise attacks carried out by drones.
* John Kaag and Sarah Kreps of the Times then attempted to make sense of these two pieces in this article. I suggest reading the entire thing.
* Last week, The Guardian published a story on Bradley Strawser, a politically liberal philosophy professor who not only defends the use of unmanned drones in warfare, but also makes the case that the use of drones is moral.
* However, it turns out Strawser was not entirely happy with how the article represented his views, so The Guardian gave him an opportunity to make the case for drones in his own words. Here’s what he had to say.
* A day later, Noel Sharkey wrote in the same publication that drones will lead to “sanitised factory of slaughter.”
* Meanwhile, in case you were wondering which country owns the most drones, The Guardian has you covered.
* Not to be left out of the debate, The Daily Beast also published an article, by counter-terrorism official Phillip Mudd, who explored the moral issues with drone use.
* And last, but not least, Murtaza Hussain penned a critical essay for Salon in which he called Strawser’s arguments both “odious and wrong.”