012: You Don’t Get Your Just Deserts

The expression “getting your just deserts,” according to Merriam-Webster, means receiving the punishment that you deserve. This episode looks at rewards as well as punishment. The idea is to explore whether we can be said to deserve something or not. I explain that there are three separate meanings for this notion:

  1. Merit — What we earn through talent and effort
  2. Civil Rights — What our culture, society, and laws say we are entitled to
  3. Intrinsic Deserts — What we imagine is inherently ours from the simple fact of being human

See Also

  1. The Tyranny of Merit (2020), by Michael J. Sandel
  2. Dependent Origination, in Buddhist Philosophy
  3. Not What Should Be, by Alan Watts
  4. Changing Attitudes on Same-Sex Marriage (2019), by the Pew Research Center

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