Is Envy Always a Vice?

At first glance, it seems hard to find anything positive in the phenomenon of envy. But upon deeper reflection, we can recognize that while envy is often demoralizing, antisocial, and even planet-destroying, there’s also a good kind of envy—one that motivates us to raise our game.

Creativity and Character

Do you have to be courageous to be creative? Or is it better to give the public what it wants? What are the character traits that make somebody exceptionally creative? What exactly are we picking out when we praise an individual for her creativity. Is it eccentricity? novelty? originality?

Should the ethics of Presidential candidates matter?

The classical view on the relationship between ethics and rulership can be traced back to Plato (424-348 BCE), whose Republic argues that a state will never be well governed unless its rulers are virtuous.  Plato’s student Aristotle challenged his master on many issues (rejecting Plato’s radical views on gender, the family, and the private ownership of wealth), but the two agreed in linking personal virtue and effective leadership.  In contrast, the foundational texts of modern political philosophy – The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) and Leviathan by Thomas Hob

Review of Iris Murdoch's The Nice and the Good

This is a review of Iris Murdoch's novel, The Nice and the Good (1968).