Report on the Penn State Abuse Case: A Lesson for Us All

Today, the official report on the Penn State abuse case was released. The law firm of Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan prepared the report for the Penn State Board of Trustees. It is well over 200 pages long, including extensive appendices. The abuse case centers in the activity of Gerald A. Sandusky, a former assistant football [Read More…]

If Peas Can Talk, Should We Eat Them? Really! No Joke.

“If Peas Can Talk, Should We Eat Them?” No, that’s not a joke or a trick question. It’s a serious question, seriously asked in a recent article in the New York Times. And it’s being asked by a serious thinker: Michael Marder, the Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country, [Read More…]

Oh-oh. Maybe Feeling Your Pain Won’t Help Me Help You

In today’s New York Times, the ever-iconoclastic David Brooks weighs in on empathy. In “The Limits of Empathy,” Brooks has the gall to suggest that maybe empathy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Brooks acknowledges that empathy can be a good thing in a limited way. But “the empathy craze” falsely assumes that feelings [Read More…]

The Selfish Gene and Ethical Dilemmas on the Trails of the Grand Canyon

What if you’re hiking along a dry trail on a hot day and encounter another hiker who has run out of water? Do you share some of your precious supplies with this hiker? Do you risk having to turn back early? Do you even put your own health at risk? Or do you leave the [Read More…]