Philanthropy podcasts — take part

Do you have 2 minutes to spare this week?!

We are making a series of short podcasts to be broadcast on the w/c June 8th , as part of the launch of the Hannah Directory 2015, on the topic of philanthropy. We are working with our artist in residence (Ilana Mitchell) to explore the idea of a ‘trickle-up’ economy, in which the virtue and happiness of artists can be ‘purchased’ by those who are cash-rich but integrity-poor.

It isn’t that all artists are happy and virtuous and all rich unhappy and corrupt; but philanthropy and charity are one mechanism by which wealth trickles down, and may also be a mechanism by which those qualities associated with art and artists — integrity, authenticity, truthfulness, creativity — along with other benefits like ‘good feels’, reputation, tax breaks, and status, trickle up. If philanthropy has benefits for the philanthropist then perhaps access to such benefits should be limited to the ‘deserving rich’ rather than the ‘undeserving rich’. If so, how?

As part of the podcasts we’d like to insert some mini-lectures – around 60 seconds in length – which introduce the historical and philosophical issues that lie behind some of the discussion points. Below are the questions that have come up so far, though there are numerous others which relate. If you can answer any of these questions, or know of historical or literary cases which bear on them, please make a recording and email it to, ideally by noon Friday 6th June. The idea is for chatty and general, so it really shouldn’t take you longer than a couple of minutes ….

  1. What is the relation between a good life and feeling good?
  2. What is the relation between doing the right thing and feeling good?
  3. When is a market exchange fair / unfair?
  4. How does giving / receiving money affect relations between individuals?
  5. What is work?
  6. Is altruism possible?
  7. What is the value of art?
  8. Should the arts be privately or publicly funded?
  9. What do consequentialists, virtue ethicists, deontologists have to say about charity?
  10. What is the role of the artist in a capitalist economy?
  11. Can you be rich and virtuous?
  12. Are there historical or literary cases that can help to illuminate or explore the relation between artist and benefactor or between recipients of charity and charitable donors?
  13. Does the Christian tradition of paying for indulgences provide an illuminating comparison with some contemporary philanthropic giving?
  14. How does dirty money get clean?
  15. Is Socialism opposed to charity?

It really will make a difference to the quality and impact of the podcasts and project if you can help.

About Rachael Wiseman

Rachael is an Addison Wheeler Research Fellow at Durham University. She works on philosophy of action, especially Elizabeth Anscombe's, and her research project -- Integrity, Speech and Action -- is developing a taxonomy of pretense and lying, and examining the kinds of deceit that are a threat to integrity.
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