The moon is full tonight, and it has turned Neil Sinhababu, a mild-mannered liberal philosophy graduate student, into a mild-mannered liberal philosophy blogger.
So why "Ethical Werewolf?" For one thing, I wanted my blog name to be like a Halloween costume -- to be silly and fun and also represent something I think it'd be cool to actually be. It'd be pretty awesome if I roamed the land as a big powerful beast every full moon, searching for ways to increase aggregate pleasure and decrease aggregate pain. (Here you might be tempted to make the 'utility monster' objection against the hedonic utilitarianism that I endorse. But a bold werewolf will outsmart you by biting that non-silver bullet.) For another thing, I have interests in both ethics and werewolves. Ethics is my area of specialization in philosophy -- among other things, I'm interested in defending utilitarianism and in attacking irreducible moral properties of either the Cornell-realist or the Moorean kind. I also tend to like friendly werewolf characters in fantasy. Oz from Buffy and Remus Lupin from Harry Potter are particularly memorable examples.
I'm thinking that this blog will cover a mix of philosophy and politics, with the odd personal note thrown in if something interesting happens to me. Thanks to Dana and Brandon for pushing me to start a blog. I think this is going to be fun!