News & Opinion Regarding Moral Philosophy, Environmental Ethics & Public Policy

Ernest Partridge, Ph.D,  Lecturer-Consultant, Environmental and Applied Ethics

October 13, 2017

A New Essay:

The Gadfly Bytes -- Recent Editorials and Essays

Why Should We Trust the Scientist?

About Cold War II

Unwrapping the Russia Enigma
An Open Letter to Rachel Maddow
Vladimir Putin as Emanuel Goldstein
Trump Aides Talked to Russians?  Big Deal!
In the Throes of a National Hissy-Fit
A Martian View of the New Cold War






An Invitation to Instructors of Philosophy and Editors of Anthologies


The Online Gadfly is the website of "Gadfly Enterprises," administered by Ernest Partridge (hereafter, "The Gadfly"), a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental and Applied Ethics. (

This website contains original essays,  an assortment of papers (published, unpublished, and in progress), news and notes, bibliographies and other research tools, and much more, most of these pertaining to issues in environmental ethics, politics and public policy.  

The Online Gadfly will also serve as a "gateway" to other web sites, publications, organizations and educational institutions devoted to progressive political ideals and to the study of environmental ethics and policy.

We "promote" this site by word of mouth and reputation.  
Add our link to your website.  Spread the word.

Attention Philosophy Teachers:

The most recent additions to Conscience of a Progressive, my book in progress, Chapter 12, and Chapter 15 are essays that I wish I had written while I was teaching courses in ethics.  Now that I have retired, it is too late for me to use them for that purpose.  But not for you.  You are welcome to download these chapters and use them in your courses.  I only ask that you include the author's name and the source.  The courtesy of informing me of your use thereof would also be appreciated.   (The copyright on the book is intended as a deterrence to plagiarism).

Of special interest, I suggest,  Chapter 12, "How is Morality Possible?"  While the ideas therein are not original -- (they are drawn from psychology, sociology and anthropology) -- they are rarely included in introductory courses in ethics.  Of the many textbooks in ethics that I have used through the years, I cannot recall that any of them dealt at any length with these concepts of moral psychology.  Accordingly, I presented these ideas in a series of lectures.  In this chapter I have, at long last, transcribed those notes into essay format.

While I can claim some originality in my defense of moral relativism in Chapter 15 ("A Progressive Moral Philosophy"), the remainder of that chapter, now in preparation, will be adapted from other sources.  As of this date, Chapter 13 ("Rights, Justice and Human Dignity") is also still in preparation, but I expect it to be posted shortly.  After I complete Chapter 13, I will return to the second half of Chapter 15, in which I will present and defend my answer to the ancient question, "Why be Moral?"

Of course, my invitation also applies to the use of any other material in the book, possibly in such courses as Applied Ethics, Philosophy of Economics, Policy Analysis, Political Philosophy, etc.

If you do decide to use any of this material in your classes, or choose to cite it in your publications, please be sure to check back at this site now and then, since the book is undergoing constant revision.


Attention Publishers!

The Gadfly may have a book for you: Conscience of a Progressive.  Work in progress on this book may be found here at The Online Gadfly.  The book combines both original material, and an integration of essays and editorials written over the past six and a half years for The Online Gadfly, and The Crisis Papers.  With serious interest from a publisher, the book could be competed in from three to four months.  If  you are interested, or can suggest a publisher that might be interested, contact The Gadfly at .

"Mad as Hell, and not going to take it any more?"  Then get to work!

For ammunition, see "The Internet -- Last Refuge of the Liberal."

Then write your Senator, Congressperson, and the media:  "To Take Back Our Republic." 

If you have found The Online Gadfly to be useful in your work as an educator or an activist, or if it has been provocative and insightful to your concerns as a citizen, we urge you to add its link to your websites, and to inform others who may share our concerns about the issues discussed at this site.

Visitors to The Online Gadfly are welcome to copy and distribute any material herein bearing the copyright of "The Gadfly" (Ernest Partridge), provided the name of this author and the URL of this website are included in the copies.  This permission extends also to educational use, in which case, notification to this author will be appreciated.

However, publication of any copyrighted material requires the permission of this author or (if otherwise copyrighted) the publisher: its the law.  

Enjoy! And don't hesitate to send back an e-mail buzz, if so inclined, to .