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  • 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
  • Why We Have Moral Rules, But Don't Follow Them

    From New Scientist WHY do we sometimes wrestle with moral dilemmas? A twist on a classic psychology experiment suggests that our minds have two parallel moral systems, and they don't always agree. In the trolley experiment, participants are told that a runaway tram trolley could kill five people...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Yuck Factor Explained

    By Tiffanny O'Callaghan, in The New Scientist Disgust can be a bewildering emotion. In her new book, That's Disgusting, research psychologist Rachel Herz points out that our tendency to react by pulling away is based on a combination of self-preservation and learned behaviour. When we are grossed...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Jailbreak Rat: Selfless Rodents Spring Their Pals and Share Their Sweets

    By Ferris Jabr, Scientific American An excerpt: The English language is not especially kind to rats. We say we "smell a rat" when something doesn't feel right, refer to stressful competition as the "rat race," and scorn traitors who "rat on" friends. But rats don't...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Future of Moral Machines

    By Colin Allen, New York Times A robot walks into a bar and says, “I’ll have a screwdriver.” A bad joke, indeed. But even less funny if the robot says “Give me what’s in your cash register.” The fictional theme of robots turning against humans is older than the word itself, which first appeared in the...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Moral Dilemma: Would You Kill One Person to Save Five?

    From Science Daily Imagine a runaway boxcar heading toward five people who can't escape its path. Now imagine you had the power to reroute the boxcar onto different tracks with only one person along that route. Would you do it? That's the moral dilemma posed by a team of Michigan State University...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Moral Foundations of Occupy Wall Street

    By Jonathan Haidt, Reason Magazine From a rational perspective, joining a protest rally is like voting—a complete waste of time. The odds that your voice or your protest sign will make a difference are no better than the odds that your vote will change an election. And yet, people do join protests and...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Moral Choice or Tug of War?

    The Vexing Mental Tug-of-War Called Morality By Kristin Ohlson, Discover magazine Would you kill a crying baby to save yourself and others from hostile soldiers outside? Neuroscience offers new ways to approach such moral questions, allowing logic to triumph over deep-rooted instinct. You arrive at the...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Morality Play

    From TPM (The Philosopher's Magazine) In this activity you will be presented with 19 different scenarios. In each case, you will be asked to make a judgment about what is the morally right thing to do. When you have answered all the questions, you will be presented with an analysis of your responses...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Patricia Churchland and Her New Book, Braintrust

    Video from The Science Network Patricia Churchland is one of the most interesting public intellectuals of our time. Since the publication in 1986 of her seminal book “Neurophilosophy”, which began to explain the neural underpinnings of an enormous tradition of philosophy, Churchland has been a major...
     Posted by: agomberg
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