Ariadne's Thread:

Experiments in Critical Thinking

According to myth, Ariadne gave Theseus a thread with which to find his way out of the Labyrinth. If our Labyrinth is made up of political rhetoric, brute assertions, and sound bites, then we too must find a thread.

Ariadne's Thread is concerned with arguments related to politically significant ethical issues like abortion. The arguments are mainly ethical rather than legal or political. The purpose of this site is not to promote any particular answer to any particular question. Rather, its purpose is first of all to introduce concepts, claims, and arguments that are part of modern moral philosophy. Secondly, it is to help each of us to critically analyze those concepts, claims, and arguments in order to develop reasoned views of our own. This is one place to pick up the thread through the labyrinth.

'Activity' on this site consists in following a trail or 'thread' of arguments, answering questions, replying to objections, and thinking about the concepts and the logic of what is 'said.'

Political and Moral Philosophy

Current 'Threads' or Topics

Ariadne is divided into sections called 'threads' that deal with a particular topic such as abortion or justice. All threads except for the one on abortion take the form of a dialogue. The three threads below on the left are laid out in a relatively plain style. The three threads on the right use a different layout designed to make it easier to follow the dialogue.
Abortion: Rights and Wrongs

Ethical Relativism

Affirmative Action


Hate Speech

Property: A Short Dialogue

For now, the site will concentrate on secular arguments using standard methods from moral philosophy. In part, I have done this because secular arguments are the common language of public argument in the United States. Ideally, however, I would like Ariadne to include other approaches to moral argument so that the site reflects our culture more accurately.

Your ideas are welcome. Anyone using this site can send their reactions to Ariadne by email. You can also submit arguments and counter-arguments (or comments on existing arguments) for inclusion in the text. If you do submit an argument or comment, please suggest where you think it would best fit into the existing text. All submissions will be reviewed. If accepted, the name of the author will be acknowledged in the text.

Copyright James DeHullu 1996-2018

All text on Ariadne's Thread, except for quotations from other authors, is copyrighted by James DeHullu or EduText Software. None of the text should be copied or reproduced without written permission from EduText Software. You can reach EduText using the email address given above.