Tag Archives: Ethics

History

The horrors of the 1930s and 40s seem far more than a lifetime away. But they aren’t. Accompanied by the flicker of black and white, the terrifying demagogues of the 20th century now seem like exaggerated fiction. But they weren’t. … Continue reading

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Lance

Last night I stayed up late, to watch a remarkable documentary on a fallen hero of our times – Lance Armstrong. On the day the Tour de France hit London, it couldn’t have been better timed. The ordinary background, the … Continue reading

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Bayesian Ethics

As I’ve written before, one of my past wrestles is with Utilitarianism: that the moral act is the one with the best consequences regardless of what rules it breaks. I’m now firmly Aristotelian – aka a ‘virtue ethicist’ – we … Continue reading

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Bonhoeffer

I quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer to a friend the other day. Bonhoeffer stood up to the Nazis and perished for it in a concentration camp. He is celebrated (pictured on the right) as a 20th Century martyr in Westmister Abbey. A … Continue reading

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The Good Life

I used to be a strict Act Utilitarian – the moral act is the one that produces the most overall happiness or least harm. The undergraduate philosophy case studies all seemed clear cut to me. Knowing what we know now, … Continue reading

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Truisms ii) Sad but true

Three of Jenny Holzer’s truisms get under my skin. I was talking to another father on Friday, who’s just become a grandfather, and they positively annoyed him. They are: Fathers often use too much force A man can’t know what … Continue reading

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Cosmopolitanism

last week, in the middle of an all-day management board full of metrics, deficits, claw backs and targets I popped out to talk to 59 fiercely bright teenagers from 59 different countries on a Global Citizenship programme. As the bright … Continue reading

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Anger

Last weekend I had a ‘falling out’ at work on my mind. Someone had confronted me and asked to come to an important board meeting and I’d said No. The following morning the person stormed in and accused me of … Continue reading

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Magnificence

I’ve talked to a lot of people about the Aristotelian virtue of Magnificence in the last two weeks. Magnificence feels a bit strong as a virtue one might aspire to these days, and indeed the good news is that most … Continue reading

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Art

A super article in the New Scientist explains – as artists have intuited down the centuries – that the brain works to a different set of rules than the real world. We have misread shadows and mirrors from Velazquez Rokeby … Continue reading

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