Category Archives: Morality

On viruses and trolleys

(featured image: NIAID CC BY and withvengeance86 CC BY) We can catch a virus on a trolley, but there is another connection – or why we sometimes must think the unthinkable The coronavirus, in the meantime rechristened COVID-19 by the … Continue reading

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The mystery of the moral obligation

(featured image credit: Arek Socha/Pixabay) It may sound like the title of a Sherlock Holmes story, but moral obligation is rather more mysterious Imagine you are offered an interest free loan, with a moral obligation to repay it. That’s it. … Continue reading

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The needs of the many

(featured image: Isriya Paireepairit CC BY) Rules and laws matter, and they often matter even more when we don’t like them – because they protect the needs of the many against attacks by the powerful few The works of William … Continue reading

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Matters of Life and Death

(featured image: Andrea Kirkby CC BY) Sometimes a decision of life and death is not just a metaphor. What can we learn from people who genuinely face them? In September 2007, Sampson Parker had to make a really difficult decision. … Continue reading

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A tale of bad luck and good fortune

(featured image credit: abby chicken CC BY) Wat does a harrowing story reaching the news headlines tell us about our individual and collective response to people affected by fate? Baby Pia is 9 months old. She lives in Antwerp, Belgium, … Continue reading

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It ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you say it

(featured image credit: Ron Cogswell CC BY) Can we communicate and not manipulate? I first encountered behavioural science many decades ago – long before I discovered Kahneman, Thaler, Ariely and co. Moreover, it was not even in an academic paper, … Continue reading

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Money talks (but do we understand what it says?)

(featured image credit: Olivier Mabelly CC BY) What the flood of financial support for the rebuilding of the Notre Dame (and the reactions to it) tells us about ourselves Fires at famous landmarks understandably get a great deal of attention. … Continue reading

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