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  • Choosing the Good: An Interactive Museum Experience

    By Luci Scott, AZ Central News Imagine you're riding in a car with a friend who is speeding and the car hits a pedestrian. You're the only witness, and the friend's lawyer asks you to testify that your friend was not at fault. Do you help your friend or tell the truth? This is one of many...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Virtuous Behaviors Sanction Later Sins

    By Ashley Welch, Scientific American Anyone who has ever devoured a triple-chocolate brownie after an intense workout knows how tempting it can be to indulge after behaving virtuously. A new study suggests, however, that we often apply this thought process to inappropriate scenarios, giving ourselves...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Will in the World

    By Cordelia Fine, the Wall Street Journal 'If there were an Olympics of desiring," the philosopher William B. Irvine once observed, "we would all make the team." Desire animates us: What, quite literally, would we do without it? Yet all too often—for about four hours a day, according...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Five Best: Novel Approaches to Kindness

    By Linda Grant, Wall Street Journal An excerpt: Life and Fate , by Vassily Grossman (1959) An old Russian woman, seeing a captured German soldier, raises a brick to throw at him, but at the last moment she instead hands him a piece of bread. The woman has no idea why she does this and in the years to...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Nice Guys Finish First

    By David Brooks, The New York Times The story of evolution, we have been told, is the story of the survival of the fittest. The strong eat the weak. The creatures that adapt to the environment pass on their selfish genes. Those that do not become extinct. In this telling, we humans are like all other...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Modesty Manifesto

    3/11/11 By David Brooks, The New York Times We’re an overconfident species. Ninety-four percent of college professors believe they have above-average teaching skills. A survey of high school students found that 70 percent of them have above-average leadership skills and only 2 percent are below average...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • More Reasons to Be Nice: It's Less Work For Everyone

    3/9/11, Science Daily A polite act shows respect. But a new study of a common etiquette -- holding a door for someone -- suggests that courtesy may have a more practical, though unconscious, shared motivation: to reduce the work for those involved. The research, by Joseph P. Santamaria and David A. Rosenbaum...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Art of Social Change

    By Kwame Anthony Appiah, in The New York Times In 1929, the Church of Scotland Mission, which had a long and successful history of missionary work among the Kikuyu in colonial Kenya, began a campaign to eradicate the practice of female circumcision. The results were hardly what church members hoped for...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Experiments in Philosophy

    By Joshua Knobe from The New York Times. "...The study of human nature, whether in Nietzsche or in a contemporary psychology journal, is obviously relevant to certain purely scientific questions, but how could this sort of work ever help us to answer the distinctive questions of philosophy? It may...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Government should nurture virtue

    By Nick Clegg from Gaurdian . "I basically believe people are born good. How can you think anything else when you see the innocence of young children? Of course, people are born with different, sometimes difficult, personalities. But fundamental optimism about human nature has always been a driving...
     Posted by: cait
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