Category Archives: Morality

The consequences of loyalty

When rules and consequences clash, we had better weigh up carefully what matters most When a pandemic is wreaking havoc, and many hundreds of people are killed by a virus every day, it is important that the population as a … Continue reading

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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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A fair price for everyone

(featured image credit: Timothy Takemoto CC BY) Fairness is an important feature in our society. But is a fair price a fixed price, which is the same for everyone? For billions of years, life on this planet has been subject … Continue reading

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A new life or an old life?

(featured image credits: Jenny Mealing CC BY and Dr KontogianniIVF) One of the fundamentals of economics is also a fundamental of life. It involves cake and eating. Most people know pretty well what actions are needed to make babies. But … Continue reading

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