Dishonesty gets easier on the brain the more you do it Cast your mind back over the past week. How many times were you tempted to act dishonestly? Perhaps you were given too much change at the pub and deliberated … Continue reading The temptation of dishonesty
The Simple Psychological Trick to Political Persuasion Ever since Donald Trump handed down his executive order temporarily halting all immigration from seven majority-Muslim nations for three months and barring refugees from Syria indefinitely, the social-media outpouring from liberals has focused, … Continue reading Morally reframed messages
The Real Problem With Hypocrisy What, exactly, is the problem with hypocrisy? When someone condemns the behavior of others, why do we find it so objectionable if we learn he engages in the same behavior himself? The answer may seem … Continue reading The dislike of hypocrisy
The Laws of Unintended Consequences Lately, I’ve been interested in innocent evil, the evil that results from perfectly innocent choices people make. Moral philosophers generally fall into one of two camps, intentionalist, and consequentialist. Intentionalists argue that you have to … Continue reading Causes, reasons, and motivations
The Psychology of White-Collar Criminals Two leading executive headhunters once wrote a book called Lessons From the Top: The Search for America’s Best Business Leaders that celebrated 50 titans of industry. Readers were encouraged “to learn from and pattern themselves” … Continue reading Lessons from business crimes
The Argumentative Theory Last July, opening the Edge Seminar, “The New Science of Morality”, Jonathan Haidt digressed to talk about two recently-published papers in Behavioral and Brain Sciences which he believed were “so important that the abstracts from them should … Continue reading Does reasoning lead to truth?
There’s No Such Thing as Free Will For centuries, philosophers and theologians have almost unanimously held that civilization as we know it depends on a widespread belief in free will—and that losing this belief could be calamitous. Our codes of … Continue reading Do you believe in free will?