Human Dignity and Freedom
Why restaurant menus may be destroying humanity
Erich Fromm and Richard Taylor on the perils of capitalism. (more...)
Can Machines Think?
Why it’s so hard to tell
The Turing Test wanted to provide a way to judge whether computers are intelligent, but pretending to be human in a chat is not the same as being intelligent. (more...)
Epicurus and Luddism
Would we be happier without technology?
Technology, at least in the way that it is deployed in capitalism contradicts the essential simplicity of the ideal Epicurean life. (more...)
Is Stealing Always Immoral?
Utilitarianism, Kant and Aristotle
In utilitarianism, stealing would only be immoral if it leads to bad consequences for the stakeholders. For Kant, it would always be immoral. (more...)
What is ethics?
Of means and ends
Ethics is the study of how we ought to behave, and why. There are many different theories of ethics, which we briefly discuss in this article. (more...)
What Is Deontological Ethics?
Immanuel Kant and not looking at outcomes
Deontological ethics is about actions that must be performed (or must not be performed) because the actions themselves are intrinsically good or bad. (more...)
How Can We Define Love?
How is love different from liking or friendship?
Love is characterised by: 1. Exclusivity; 2. Constancy; 3. Reciprocity; 4. Uniqueness; and 5. Irrepleaceability of the beloved. (more...)
What Is a Fair Share of Life?
The Fair Innings Argument in bioethics
The “Fair Innings Argument” assumes that there is such a thing as a fair share of life. But can we compare different lives in this way? (more...)
Aristotle's Highest Good
In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that we can recognise the highest good because we do everything else for its sake, while we never say that we pursue the highest good for any other thing’s sake. For Aristotle, the highest good is the happy life. (more...)
Hannah Arendt on work and being human
Labour, work and action
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) distinguishes three types of work; Labor, work, and action. (more...)
Abortion: The Unconscious Violinist Argument
Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of Abortion
Is abortion ethical? Philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson created one of the most well-known thought experiments in modern ethics. In her 1971 paper “A Defense of Abortion,” she presents the thought experiment of the unconscious violinist. (more...)
The Ethics of Organ Transplants
Can you kill one to save many?
Are we ever allowed to kill one in order to save many lives? Utilitarianism would look at the overall benefit and conclude that this might be permissible. (more...)
Peter Singer's Drowning Child
Are we required to save lives if we can?
Peter Singer’s Drowning Child thought experiment: If, on the way to the office, we saw a child drowning in a pond, would we think that we have to save it? (more...)
What Is a Stoic Person?
Learning to control one’s mind
A Stoic is an adherent of Stoicism, an ancient Greek and Roman philosophy of life. Stoics thought that, in order to be happy, we must learn to distinguish between what we can control and what we cannot. (more...)
Which Social Media Site Is the Most Ethical?
A case for applied utilitarianism
Social media affect our society in many ways: addiction, democracy, the decline of journalism, privacy, surveillance, and effects on friendships. (more...)
Is Whistleblowing Ethical?
...and why Confucius might disagree
Whistleblowing might be wrong because it violates one’s obligations to one’s friends, relatives, co-workers or superiors. (more...)
The Memories of Our Experiences
Daniel Kahneman on the Happiness of Memories
Economist Daniel Kahneman studied the effects of memory on our perception of past experiences. He distinguishes experienced from remembered happiness. (more...)
The Ethics of Eating Meat
Four moral theories and their views
Eating small quantities of meat that was grown in a sustainable way might be morally justifiable, while large-scale animal farming is probably morally wrong. (more...)
Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love
What is love made of?
Robert Sternberg thinks that we can best describe love as composed of three “primary” components that combine to produce all the kinds of love that we observe around us: intimacy, passion and decision or commitment. (more...)
Erich Fromm on Being Productive
Are we active, or just busy?
For Erich Fromm, true activity means to fully use one’s talents in order to grow as a person. The mere display of business is not a sign of productive work. (more...)