In Part 1 of this article where I asked Is it OK to stereotype people?, I pointed out how modern cognitive science, understood in particular in terms of the paradigm of Active Inference, leads us to conclude that stereotyping is intrinsic to all observing, understanding and learning. So any attempt to stigmatise people for engaging… Continue reading On Stereotyping, Part 2 – Should stereotyping be considered harmful?
A paper that came out in 2014 by two sociologists, Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, made the argument that with the rise of a more diverse and egalitarian culture, particularly in the academic world, combined with the rise of powerful administrative sectors therein, a new form of social morality has emerged that they referred to… Continue reading Don’t be a victim! Beyond the culture of entitlement and anxiety
“I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, US congressional representative and activist) Equity is defined as the quality of being fair and impartial (OED). As such it is uncontroversial and clearly a good thing, something we should all… Continue reading Equity Explained, Part 2: The Misdirecting Hand
“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.” (Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind, 1977) The problem of evil is one of the oldest problems in human thought. Every religion and many philosophical systems have contended with its nature and… Continue reading The Imperfect Paradise: Narratives of Ordinary Life and the Incursion of Evil
“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” (Immanuel Kant, Epitaph) In the Metaphysic of Morals Immanuel Kant proposed what he considered to be the rational basis of all morality,… Continue reading Social Morality from Kant’s Categorical Imperative to Transcendent Individualism
In my previously published Lexicon for the Moral Maze, I set out a number of phrases commonly employed in what passes for contemporary moral debate and offered some assistance on how anyone starting to find themselves bewildered can unpack the jargon and glean an understanding of the protagonists’ real agenda. The debate has moved on… Continue reading An Extended Lexicon for the Moral Maze
Almost no pundit, politician or purveyor of good causes can today make their case without extolling its benefits for ‘the community’ or miscellaneous ‘communities’. The importance of community has become a touchstone of contemporary thinking, on both the political left and the right. It might be thought that what socialists and conservatives mean by community… Continue reading What actually is ‘Community’?
Do you find yourself confused or bewildered by what passes for moral debate in the social milieu these days? Asking yourself why so many people seem to be so hot under the collar about things that would have passed as normal behaviour only a few years ago? Don’t worry. It’s a common problem people have… Continue reading Lexicon for the Moral Maze
It is often suggested that obedience to the law is a virtue and by implication that respect for the law is a requirement of morality. But is this necessarily the case? Although this might at first might appear obvious, I would suggest the issue turns out on closer inspection not to be so at all.… Continue reading Legality and Morality: Can Man Serve Two Masters?
There are many moral issues relating to the plight of refugees and migrants in our world today we could usefully give attention to. But there is no compulsion to support or advocate freedom of movement as part of a moral response. Ultimately the degree to which freedom of movement is allowed between nations is a political decision with moral arguments capable of being made on both sides.