Episode 26

#26 - Moral Philosophy Cage Match (with Dan Hageman)


June 8th, 2021

1 hr 33 mins 35 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

In a rare turn of events, it just so happened that one or perhaps both of your charming co-hosts spewed a bit of nonsense about Derek Parfit in a previous episode, and we had to bring in a heavy hitter to sort us out. Today we're joined by friend of the podcast Mr. Dan Hageman, immuno-oncologist by day and aspiring ethicist by night, who gently takes us to task for misunderstanding Parfit and the role of ethical theorizing, and for ignoring the suffering of pigeons. The critiques land, and convince Vaden that we should dedicate our resources towards providing safe and affordable contraception for Apex predators.

We cover all sorts of ground in this episode, including:

  • Mistakes we made in our thought experiments episode
  • Is it possible to over-theorize?
  • Wild animal suffering
  • Don't fish eat other fish?!
  • Feline family planning
  • Antinatalism
  • Moral Cluelessness
  • Population ethics and the repugnant conclusion (Ha!)
  • Similarities and differences between theoretical physics and theoretical philosophy


Dan Hageman is a biomed engineer who works in immuno-oncology, but in his not-so-free time strives to sell himself as an amateur philosopher and aspiring 'Effective Altruist'. He spends much of this time trying to keep up with impactful charities focused on the reduction and/or prevention of extreme suffering, and in 2020 helped co-found a hopefully burgeoning side project called ‘Match for More’. He would like to note that the IPAs are to blame for any and all errors/misapprehensions made during his lively discussion with epic friends and podcast hosts, Ben and Vaden.

How many insect lives are morally equivalent to one human life? Send us your best guess at incrementspodcast@gmail.com. We'll reveal the correct answer in episode 1000.

Update 13/06/21: The original title of this episode was "Meta-ethics Cage Match (with Dan Hageman)"

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