‘Ethics & Public Policy’ course in Fall ’18

For the Fall semester of 2018, I’m planning an upper level course here at the University of Kentucky in ‘Ethics and Public Policy,’ PHI 531, Section 1, which will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 – 4:45 pm. The course will begin with an examination of major moral traditions as well as ethical problems that are special challenges for leadership in the policy sphere. We will then survey a variety of policy areas and documents in which moral consideration is deeply important and needed.

The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

A stack of newspapers.Areas of interest and application for the course will include:

  • Educational Aims & Policies
  • Mass lncarceration
  • Healthcare Ethics
  • Economic Development Policies
  • Climate Change
  • Human Rights
  • Research Ethics
  • Animal Rights
Image of a flyer for the course, featuring the information described on the present page.

Flyer for the course.

My former students who have studied ethics and public policy with me have gone on to work in the White House, under both the present and previous administrations, the House of Representatives and the Senate, the State Department, the F.B.I., the Heritage Foundation, the Center for American Progress, and numerous think-tanks, as well as a variety of offices in state government. There is need for study of the kind addressed in this course also for countless advocacy groups and organizations, as well as in current events journalism.

For those interested, here is the University of Kentucky’s page with information about how to register for courses for the Fall of 2018.

For those interested in more information now, you can check out my books on ethics and public policy, including:

Cover for 'Morality, Leadership, and Public Policy.'

 

Morality, Leadership, & Public Policy (London: Bloomsbury, 2010)

 

Photo of the paperback and hardback editions of 'Democracy and Leadership.'Democracy and Leadership: On Pragmatism and Virtue (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013)

and

Paperback editions featuring the cover of 'Uniting Mississippi.'Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the South (Jackson, MS: The University Press of Mississippi, 2015)

 

The logo for Philosophy Bakes Bread, which involves to slices of bread with tails, making them look like dialogue bubbles.In addition, for those who are unfamiliar, I co-host the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show & podcast that airs on WRFL Lexington, 88.1 FM and in the show we cover a number of public policy topics. Give it a listen!

Tehran Times Front Page on ‘Uniting MS’

Check out the front page of February 28th’s Tehran Times. I gave an interview on Uniting Mississippi and was honored with some pretty cool real estate in the paper. Here’s an image of the cover and below that I’ve got links for a clipped PDF of the interview and to the regular text version on their site:

Cover pic of the front page of the Tehran Times, featuring an interview on 'Uniting Mississippi.'

Click on the image above to read a PDF of the piece, or click here. You can also read it online here.

You can learn more about the book here and find it for sale online here.

Follow me on Twitter @EricTWeber and “like” my Facebook author page @EricThomasWeberAuthor.

Videoed Talk on ‘Uniting Mississippi’ at USM

Liberal Arts Building at the University of Southern Mississippi.I had a great time at the University of Southern Mississippi on Friday, January 29th. After a fun interview on WDAM TV in Hattiesburg, MS, I headed over to the new Liberal Arts Building on campus, which is beautiful.

Dr. Sam Bruton in the Philosophy and Religion department at USM organizes the Philosophical Fridays program, which runs in part with the general support from the Mississippi Humanities Council. I’m grateful to Dr. Bruton, to the department of Philosophy and Religion at USM, and to the MS Humanities Council for the chance to present in Hattiesburg and the permission to post the video of my talk here. The video was first posted here on the USM library Web site.

I’ve posted the talk on YouTube here below. If you’re interested in the book, you can learn more here or pick up a copy here.

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

If you enjoy the talk and are interested in a speaker for an upcoming event, visit my Speaking and Contact pages.

Fun Interview on WDAM TV

Photo of Miranda Beard in a school library.I had a delightful time in Hattiesburg, MS this January. My first stop while in town was at WDAM TV’s studio for the Midday News on Channel 7. I had the great pleasure of talking with Miranda Beard, who invited me to tell people about Uniting Mississippi and who announced my talk at the University of Southern Mississippi later that day, as well as the book signing afterwards. Miranda is a very impressive news professional and was very kind and welcoming.

Photo of WDAM TV's studio in Hattiesburg, MS.

The people at WDAM were very kind. The studio was easy to find, and I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to drive. I will say that Mississippi’s actually quite a big state. I had to get up at 5 and be on the road at 7 to get to Hattiesburg by shortly after 11 for this interview. It was well worth it. One of the members of the audience at my 2pm talk said that she saw me on WDAM and that she had read my interview in the Clarion Ledger earlier in January.

Here’s the interview:

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

Thank you to Miranda and to Margaret Ann Morgan, who set this up!

If you’re looking for a speaker for your next event, or know someone who is, visit my Speaking & Contact pages. Also, follow me on Twitter @EricTWeber and “like” my Facebook author page.

TV Interview and Talk at USM

I’m looking forward to meeting the folks at WDAM in Hattiesburg, MS, on Friday, January 29th for an interview about Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the South. I’ll be on live at around noon. I’ll post a clip of the interview as soon after it as I can. That same day (Friday), I’ll next head to the University of Southern Mississippi, where Sam Bruton in the Philosophy department hosts “Philosophical Fridays.” Check out the sweet announcement poster they made:

Poster of the announcement for my talk at 2pm in Gonzales Auditorium, LAB 108, on 'Uniting Mississippi.'

MHC-logo-FB“Philosophical Fridays” is a great initiative that engages audiences in and around Hattiesburg. The program has the support of the Mississippi Humanities Council, which is great.

If you’re in the area, come on by. I’m finalizing details about the book signing that’ll follow the talk.

Video of My Interview on WLOX TV News at 4

The video clip of my interview on WLOX TV News at 4 in Biloxi, MS, is included at the bottom of this post. I had a great time visiting the coast, seeing the beautiful water, and talking with some really nice people.

This is a still video frame from my interview on WLOX TV News at 4 in Biloxi, MS, about my book, Uniting Mississippi.

I also had a great time meeting Jeremy from Bay Books for the book signing afterwards at the West Biloxi Public Library. While I was at the TV studio, I was able to snap these photos.

I knew I had found the right place. The official studio, looking sharp. The requisite multi-TV display, demonstrating that this is a TV studio. The West Biloxi Public Library, where we held the signing. Made me laugh. One perk of a visit to Biloxi.

Here’s the interview video:

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

MHC-logo-FBFor more information, you can visit my page about the book here. If you are looking for a speaker for your group or think your community might enjoy a book talk and signing, visit my Contact page and drop me a note. Groups in Mississippi can apply for a mini grant from the MS Humanities Council, as they have a speakers’ series that features my talks on Uniting Mississippi.

Also, if you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter @EricTWeber and on Facebook.com/EricThomasWeberAuthor.

Signed Copies of ‘Uniting Mississippi’ for Southern Bound Book Shop

image

Beautiful day in Biloxi! Just met the owner of Southern Bound Book Shop. If you live nearby and can’t make it to the signing tonight, you can head there for a signed copy later. They also have a store in Ocean Springs. If you live closer to Bay Saint Louis, Bay Books will have copies there after tonight’s signing.

Video of my Interview on WLOV of Tupelo

Screenshot of the interview I gave for WLOV's This Morning show with Katrina Berry.

As promised,  I’m posting here below my interview on WLOV of Tupelo’s This Morning show with Katrina Berry. Also, below that is a photo of the nice layout that Reed’s Gumtree Bookstore setup for the book signing later that day.

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

Katrina was a lovely person who was kind and encouraging. As I said, she drove home the fact that on WLOV they like to support local authors.  It was a great experience, and also featured the fastest turnaround I’ve experienced for getting a video of the broadcast. All around, great trip.

Oh, and here’s Reed’s Gumtree Bookstore’s nice setup before the book signing. Very nice people there too. They’ve got signed books from John Grisham, George Will, and many more. Great people.

Nice table and display layout for my book signing at Reed's Gumtree Bookstore in Tupelo, MS.

If you know of TV or radio stations that would be interested in an interview about Uniting Mississippi, or groups looking for a speaker, contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or via my info on my Contact page.

Had a Great Visit with Katrina Berry on WLOV Tupelo

Photo of terrible rain in between Oxford and Tupelo, MS.Despite the torrential rain this morning, I made it on time to meet with Katrina Berry of WLOV Tupelo’s This Morning show.

Berry is an impressive, award-winning journalist and TV anchor. Her award was from the Associated Press for her weekly series, Heavenly Helpers. When I first got a chance to talk with her, she explained that they aim to support local authors on the show, which was great.

It can seem strange to most scholars to put a lot of effort into securing and participating in a 3 minute interview, which is what it came out to be. Consider how much advertisers spend on 30 seconds or 1 minute of television, however, and all of a sudden, you can appreciate better what 3 minutes of air-time means, in financial terms. One source estimates that even on a local show, ads can cost from as little as $200 to as much as $1,500 for 30 seconds. So a 3 minute interview could be valued from anywhere between $1,200 and $9,000. That’s worth the drive to Tupelo, MS. Those aren’t funds that come to me, of course, but they are value that the show offers for getting the word out about Uniting Mississippi.

After a few nice questions about the book, Berry asked me about the book signing that I’ll be holding from 12-1:30 pm today at Reed’s Gumtree Bookstore, here in Tupelo. Here are a few photos I snagged of my visit to WLOV. When I get a clip of the video of the interview, I’ll post it to my site also. It was a great experience.

Selfie photo of Eric Thomas Weber with Katrina Berry of WLOV Tupelo. Photo of the weatherman in front of a green screen in Tupelo, MS's WLOV TV studio. Photos from the WLOV TV studio in Tupelo, MS.

Know a TV station that might be interested in hearing about Uniting Mississippi? Let me know on Twitter or on Facebook

A State Divided Against Itself, Mississippi

Mississippi offers a clear example of Plato’s worry about disunity. One of the four virtues that he clarifies in The Republic is moderation, which is important for avoiding the extremes of behavior or of belief. What is most famous about Plato is his conclusion that the good city needs philosopher-kings, that leadership most fundamentally must be guided by wisdom. While that is true, it misses what Plato’s Socrates calls the greatest good for the city, the absence of which yields the greatest evil.

The building and logo for the Clinton School for Public Service at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Plato’s Socrates asks “Is there any greater evil we can mention for the city than that which tears it apart and makes it many instead of one? Or any greater good than that which binds it together and makes it one?” Yes, wisdom is the most important virtue in one sense, for Plato, but when it comes to the public good, wisdom should be most concerned about division, and most fervently and wisely striving for unity. Without the latter, a state, divided against itself, only falls apart or fails at its aims.

The logo for KUAR 89.1 NPR, University of Arkansas Little Rock's Public Radio channel.I am looking forward to visiting the Clinton School for Public Service at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on October 19th (if you’re in the area, mark your calendar). For those interested, I believe you’ll be able to watch the talk I give there via live Web stream. I should also be able to link to the video of it afterwards. And, as I’ve noted, I’ll give an interview on the Little Rock affiliate of NPR program, the “Clinton School Presents.”

Images of Google's headquarters.In preparation for that trip and while talking with students, I’ve wondered about Alabama’s quick removal of its Confederate Battle Flags from public spaces. On the one hand, it was no surprise, given how atrocious the Charleston murders were. On the other, places like Alabama and Mississippi have been home to some of the most stubborn unwillingness to change. As places in which land is cheap and taxes are low, Alabama and Mississippi nevertheless struggle with economic development in part because of our troubled histories and the continued division and dysfunction that come from disunity.

Confederate Battle Flag that used to fly in public spaces in Alabama.The same day in Alabama, however, the Governor announced the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag and the commitment from Google to build a $600 million facility in the state. According to the Alabama Media Group, “The decision to take the flags down had nothing to do with the Google announcement, but the governor said economic development was part of the reason to avoid a fight.” The denial of a relationship between the two announcements sounds about as plausible as Nixon’s declaration that he’s not a crook.

As one of my students asked me this week, “How much has Mississippi missed out on because of our stubbornness?” Good question. More importantly, however, is the meaning of Mississippi’s recalcitrance. It means that people have yet to feel the pangs that they should in their hearts. We remain a state divided against itself, and we continue to suffer the consequences of the evil that tears us apart.

Bust of the great philosopher Aristotle.I’m glad to say that civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams has joined the rally to change Mississippi’s flag, which features an emblem of the Confederate Battle Flag in its canton. There are those who have said that taking the flag down won’t change their hearts (1, 2, 3). To them, I say two things. First, it is alright for some people to be a lost cause, when so many other people are not. In a lovely garden, there are still unpleasant things living under a rock. That doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy the garden’s beauty, appreciating all that warrants sunlight. Second, Aristotle explained that one’s virtue, the state of one’s character, is a result of what we repeatedly do. Our habits matter. Public spaces are a visible place that inspires habits and maintains them. Changing those habits will only slowly bring about a change. It is also no guarantee. But, it is a wise step in the right direction towards healing, virtue, and unity.

Paperback editions featuring the cover of 'Uniting Mississippi.'As I finished my latest book, thinking about the possible titles for it, the most pressing challenge and opportunity for the state jumped out clearly. The difficulty for Mississippi, and, if resolved, the incredible opportunity for the state, would come from unity. No greater good could come to Mississippi than from that which will make it one, instead of many. There is therefore no greater cause I can see for the state than of Uniting Mississippi.

Visit & “like” my Facebook Author page. Also, connect on Twitter @EricTWeber