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Morality and Ethics

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The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature – The Basics

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature – The Basics

What makes a man a man? What drives our behavior? What makes us us? These are the questions that Steven Pinker tries to answer in The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature . The answers are surprisingly entangled in religion and our belief ...
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature – The Implications

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature – The Implications

In part 1  of this book review of The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature , I focused on the basics of the argument. We learned about the blank slate, the noble savage, and the ghost in the machine. In this part, I focus on what the implications ar...
The Evolution of Cooperation: Revised Edition

The Evolution of Cooperation: Revised Edition

Just how does cooperation evolve? If you followed Darwin’s survival of the fittest, cooperation doesn’t make sense. How do you benefit from sacrificing for someone else? That’s the problem that game theory sets out to solve. Along the way, they found...
How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living

How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living

Had you asked me a few months ago what it meant to make an ethical decision, I would have been inclined to tell you something along the lines of “doing what’s right.” It’s a fine response but one that overlooks a problem. How do you decide when you’re ...
Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership

Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership

If you’ve been reading my blog – or even just the book reviews for a while you may have realized that I’m on a voyage of self-discovery – and it’s a voyage that isn’t even close to its end. I’m constantly trying to improve my understanding of psychology...
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil – Normal Evil

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil – Normal Evil

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil  left me with a terrifying thought. What if we are all evil? What if we don’t turn people evil? What if, instead, we’re all evil and only briefly rise to be good? This is the third and fina...
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil – Prison Construction

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil – Prison Construction

It seems as if the construction of prisons is all about the bricks, mortar, and iron bars. On the surface, constructing a prison is about preventing break outs. However, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil  explains that the r...
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil – The Devil Made Me Do It

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil – The Devil Made Me Do It

Young children can say things that adults could never get away with. Ask a child why they did something wrong, and one answer you may get is, “The devil made me do it.” The personification of evil, they proclaim, can override their free will and cause the...
Moral Disengagement: How Good People Can Do Harm and Live with Themselves – The Cases

Moral Disengagement: How Good People Can Do Harm and Live with Themselves – The Cases

In part 1 of this review, we talked about the mechanisms which allow good people to execute Moral Disengagement . In this part of the review, we’ll talk about the second half of the book, which discusses moral disengagement in a variety of topics. Th...
Moral Disengagement: How Good People Can Do Harm and Live with Themselves – The Mechanisms

Moral Disengagement: How Good People Can Do Harm and Live with Themselves – The Mechanisms

If you want to talk about moral behavior, at some point Albert Bandura’s name is going to come up. He’s done a great deal of work trying to understand people. His research in 1961 showed that children imitate the aggressive behavior they see adults doi...