July 2010

Social Reality

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The Irrationality of Human Decision Making

Decades of psychological research has shown, though, that although philosophers may be paragons of rationality -- ahem, ahen – in fact most people (and probably most philosophers too) are pretty irrational in their decision-making. People go wrong at every turn. We aren’t so good at figuring out what we want. Our preferences aren’t very stable or coherent. We’re bad at assessing risks and reward. You name it, when it comes to decision making, we’re bad at it.

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Loyalty

Loyalty binds people together. Friendships, marriages, even nations are built on loyalty. Try imagining a person who has no loyalty whatsoever to anything or anyone. Such a person would be friendless, loveless, nationless. She would feel no devotion to any higher cause or principle – like truth or justice. She would not even be a fan of any sports team. A life like that would be empty, devoid of many of the things that make us fully human.

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Rawls on Justice

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Democracy and the Press

Freedom of the Press was important to the Founding Fathers; it’s right there in the first amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Still, the founding fathers had a lot of ideas.

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