Tag Archives: ethics

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 […]

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 […]

my immortality poll & paper

I tweeted this recently: Philosophy poll: T/F – Death is a necessary condition for the meaningfulness of life; immortality is incompatible with meaningfulness. Here are the totally unrepresentative results: False – 6 True – 3 (assuming that this response counts as a “true”) For whatever it’s worth, my vote is “false.” Assuming that the meaningfulness […]

states of character vs. virtues

Ok, one last bit for now on the situationism stuff (continued from here, here, and here). I think a main source of confusion is the distinction between what empirical claims virtue ethicists make, imply, or are committed to, and what their normative claims are. Here’s my interpretation of at least part of the story: Empirical […]

another stab at situationism

I think maybe I explained situationism rather poorly back here in skepticism about moral character. Some things Adam says over at Sophistpundit about The Nature of Character provide a good opportunity for me to clear things up for him as well as anyone else I may have unwittingly confused. So let me address a few […]

snapshots of moral character

Here is my very late reply to Jim on skepticism about moral character. The short answer: No, in all my moderately extensive reading on this subject, I have not found any “studies that actually involve the observation of a person’s behavior across a wide range of relevant circumstances,” as opposed to studies which deal with […]

so be good for goodness sake

I’m taking a break from serious content to bring you frivolous xmas post, 2009. You know that song “Santa Clause is Coming to Town?” It contains the lyric: “so be good for goodness sake.” But this is clearly inconsistent with the content of the song, and it drives me crazy. Being good for goodness’ sake […]

skepticism about moral character

The other day, my buddy Adam over at Sophistpundit wrote about Character. I was not surprised that, being an economist and some kind of Humean virtue ethicist, he thinks that morality mostly concerns what kind of people we are, and that actions are signals to other people, providing information about what we’re like. Adam claims […]

wasting food

Even though I try really hard to buy only the groceries we need and in amounts we can use, my husband & I still end up throwing away a pretty good bit of food on a regular basis. What I can’t figure out is why throwing away food feels so much worse than letting clothes […]