MU philosophy professor Robert N. Johnson found himself drawn to philosophy as a child who was always “lost in his thoughts.” Then, in high school, Johnson happened upon the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and just “got hooked.” The “Zen” part of the book was not what grabbed his attention; it was the discussion of Plato’s dialogues that framed the story. That encounter led him to check out the Collected Works of Plato from his local library. “I was obsessed… I still am obsessed,” he admits.
How much we can know simply by reflecting? What is the nature of moral judgment? Johnson discusses practical reasoning and whether it really has an effect on our behavior.
Johnson’s discusses his current book project, What We Owe to Ourselves, which defends the controversial idea that we have a moral obligation to ourselves to honor our talents and skills and to develop our natural capacities.