Matthew Skene

Author's details

Name: Matthew Skene
Date registered: March 1, 2010


I have a Ph.D in philosophy from Syracuse University (Dec, 2013). I am currently working as an adjunct while pursuing a tenure track job.

Latest posts

  1. The Last Jedi — January 3, 2018
  2. Success of Philosophy Students: Selection Bias or Skill Development? — June 14, 2014
  3. Self-interest and Affirmative Action: Why Employers should voluntarily adopt Affirmative Action Policies — April 29, 2013
  4. What is Plagiarism? — March 20, 2013
  5. The Crime of Immigration Restrictions — June 18, 2011

Most commented posts

  1. The Crime of Immigration Restrictions — 2 comments
  2. Why Health Care isn’t a Right — 2 comments
  3. Hello world! — 1 comment
  4. Why Study Philosophy? — 1 comment
  5. The Gap in the Market — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Jan 03

The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi is divisive. Most people liked it, some people absolutely loved it, and many people absolutely hate it. Most of the hate comes from people who think that the movie wasn’t enough like the other Star Wars movies, and that the way it was different tarnishes the value of those films. They are …

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Jun 14

Success of Philosophy Students: Selection Bias or Skill Development?

In an earlier post, I claimed that one reason to study philosophy is that it teaches valuable skills. I supplied as a piece evidence for this view the fact that philosophy majors do better on post-graduate exams than almost every other discipline. Several departments have raised this point on their web pages as a reason …

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Apr 29

Self-interest and Affirmative Action: Why Employers should voluntarily adopt Affirmative Action Policies

I am uncertain how the ethical considerations surrounding affirmative action balance out as an issue of public policy. However, there appears to be an argument for private companies to adopt a policy favoring minorities and other under-represented groups in their hiring decisions that bypasses the tricky ethical issues raised in the debate. This argument is …

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Mar 20

What is Plagiarism?

After tiring of the excuse that “I didn’t know that counted as plagiarism,” I wrote up a lengthy explanation of the different types of plagiarism out there. It hasn’t stopped it from occurring, but it has diminished it, and it does negate the most common excuses. If anyone finds it valuable, you should feel free …

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Jun 18

The Crime of Immigration Restrictions

Social contracts have long been held by political philosophers to be a just foundation for civil societies. Such contracts are supposed take into account the interests of citizens by ensuring that the state is governed by rules that society has accepted. The fundamental problem with social contracts throughout history, however, has been that actual contracts …

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May 15

An Argument for Limited Redistribution of Wealth

For a while now I have thought that redistribution of wealth was unjustified since it involved a form of taxation that I thought violated people’s rights. However, there is what appears to be a sound argument for the view that some redistribution of wealth through taxation is morally justified, even though taxation is a violation …

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May 12

Is the War on Terror Over?

I’ve been reading a very interesting book over the weekend called The Gift of Fear. It was written by Gavin de Becker, who is an expert at analyzing the causes of violence and has received numerous awards for his work in the field. The book is fascinating on its own, primarily because it clearly shows …

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Apr 16

The Wire

It is often hard to sell The Wire to people. When people hear that it is about the drug trade in Baltimore, they are likely to immediately misunderstand it. There are a few ways such a show could traditionally go. It could glorify the drug trade and gangsters, like a classic Mafia movie parading around …

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Sep 06

Why Study Philosophy?

A college education is usually thought to provide three main things to students: 1. Valuable knowledge about various subjects. 2. The acquisition of useful skills. 3. A signal to future employers of intelligence and a willingness to work hard. Students should study philosophy because it does a very good job at providing value relative to …

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Aug 16

Why Health Care isn’t a Right

Positive and Negative Rights: When someone has a right to something, this always creates obligations in others. My right not to be killed creates an obligation in others not to kill me. My right to be compensated for my labor in accordance with the terms of a contract creates an obligation in my employer to …

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