Category Archives: ethics

have your college and eat it too: consuming education

Today, I want to make what, to my economics-ish friends, are probably some painfully obvious points. However, I had never explicitly considered this angle on college/education before taking economics of education last semester, and I suspect that it’s something many others of even my rather intelligent friends and colleagues have also failed to consider in […]

being judgmental: imprudent and vicious

People seem to like to claim that they aren’t judgmental. Especially the hip, young, urban, liberal people who I encounter regularly. What’s wrong with being judgmental, anyway? There are at least two aspects to it, I think which maybe get conflated. On the one hand, sometimes the badness of being judgmental gets explained something like […]

on taking oneself too seriously

I have recently noticed that it has somehow become somewhat fashionable to voice one’s disapproval of people who “take themselves too seriously.” For example, someone might say about herself, “I work hard, but I play hard, and I try not to take myself too seriously,” thereby insinuating that something is wrong with taking oneself very […]

on the non-normativity of value-added analysis

As you are likely to have heard by now, the Los Angeles Times recently conducted and published a value-added analysis of some of the city’s elementary school teachers, using data that had been collected by the school district but never previously analyzed in this way. There was a nice summary of the value-added analysis and […]

plagiarism, etiquette, and morality

Plagiarism by college students has gotten some attention in the New York Times lately, and it occurs to me that I have dropped the ball on a series of posts about plagiarism that I started earlier this summer. Although I had planned to write other stuff next, I’m instead going to allow myself to be […]

plagiarism, ignorance and responsibility

Here’s the third post in a series on cheating/academic dishonesty in college (first post, second post). A year and a half ago, I taught an introduction to philosophy course independently. The lectures were in person, but the tests were online because the class only met once per week and I didn’t want to use up […]

prizes, payments, and donating blood

This old post, on the moral status of donating blood, still attracts a trickle of Google searches to this blog. I wonder who the searchers are – perhaps people trying to get motivated to donate, people trying to rationalize not donating, or biomedical ethics paper writers? Anyway, I hadn’t donated blood in over six months […]

book review: Lierre Keith's "The Vegetarian Myth"

Somewhere between my ex-vegan interview at Let Them Eat Meat, the blog Hunt.Gather.Love, and Paleohacks, it was at least once recommended to me that I read Lierre Keith’s “The Vegetarian Myth.” So, I did. The author spent 20 years as a vegan. Understandably, veganism became ever nearer and dearer to her identity, but it also […]

the wrongness of cheating

Last time, I discussed some problems with the theory that, when you cheat, “you’re only cheating yourself.” Today, I have a few things to say on the wrongness of cheating. These are by no means comprehensive or ground breaking, just some food for thought. First, I’ll backtrack just a little and say that there is […]

“you’re only cheating yourself”

As a graduate teaching assistant and course instructor, I’ve encountered cheating and plagiarism a number of times. I know that many of my friends encounter similar issues as well. So, to mark the end of this semester, I thought I’d start a mini-series of posts on the subject. First up: the “you’re only cheating yourself” […]